Posts Tagged ‘training’

Learning goes social

July 25, 2010

As a follow on to my blog post of July 2nd (, I want to expand the subject with newly acquired information from the conference where I presented my research and survey on social media in Learning and Training.

There are a few conclusions I heared and want to put forward:

  • There are certainly a number of good examples around of how (e-) learning can happen using social media.
  • There seem to be no negative stories around especially in the training sector (Domino Pizza’s example overlooked?), but that is more because the professionals in this domain are thinking along the next point in the list.
  • Learning should be kept within the firewall and not use publicly available tools.
  • Platform vendors seem to think they have included social media in their products.
  • Platform vendors seem to be re-inventing functionality of social media tools rather using existing platforms.

Focusing on the positive, as I mentioned, there are some good examples out there of how you can use social media in a training and development environment.  Here are a few examples.

One area where social media could play a big role is in induction training materials.  Learning to understand the new organization you will be working before you actually show up should have enormous payback.  Here are 3 elements that come to mind:

  • You can start the process before the person actually starts working for you.
  • Video, org charts, contacts, mentors and products can be provided to smooth out the initial period.
  • It will increase the retention

Video is certainly the best media to use in social learning.  Companies like Black& Decker, Waterford Wind Turbines or BT (Dare2Share – have demonstrated that social media is a viable channel to learn.  Each of these examples have demonstrated a great ROI whether that is in $ or in less downtime.  The type of training needed is different.  Here is a concept: Teach people how to make and upload a good video…

I think Winston Churchill was right when he said “I hate to be trained, but I love to learn”.  Social learning is something that needs to come from the grass roots up where people help each other rather than being told to use social media to actually sit down and learn.

Your feedback and comments are welcome.  You can reach me via a number of ways:


Mob. +32 478 50 41 35



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Social media and e-learning survey results

July 2, 2010

It seems that the training and education departments can greatly benefit from social media.  But are they?  In order to see what the knowledge and acceptance is by training professionals (in the Benelux), I have conducted a market survey. Below you will find the a summary of the results.  For the full document, I would like to refer you to Slideshare where the document will be uploaded.

1. Shaping the future

Today, social media is only at the entrance gate of training departments.  The adoption rate is very small but picking up speed.  This is largely thanks to 3 trends fueled by LinkedIn, Twitter/Facebook and YouTube.

The first trend is that some social media is getting a professional label stuck on it and provides the platform to distribute content (LinkedIn).  The second trend is driven by the buzz generated for social media by platforms such as Twitter or Facebook fuelling fabulous growth to create a connected world.  The third trend is the acceptance of low(er) grade video materials.  Thanks to platforms such as YouTube democratizing video creation by the end user, people are now not expecting “not top notch” videos in a learning environment.

2. Social media and e-learning

When we look at social media and e-learning, we can see 3 different angles appear:

  • Use e-learning to understand and use social media
  • Use social media to create content for e-learning materials
  • Use social media to distribute and offer e-learning materials

3. Overall findings

A large majority (90%) are using social media today, but mainly for private use.  Social media is seen a digital platform (40%) to connect/network (60%+)and share experiences (50%).  The use of social media today is limited (in order of importance) to business networking, personal networking and some video.  In terms of usage it seems a weekly activity (vs a daily activity) where people spend between 1 and 2h.

In terms of usage of social media, training professionals seem to think that social media is not a good vehicle for e-learning, but do see some use for getting content for developing e-learning modules.  When asked where social media could help them in their jobs, close to 60% could not see any use

Finally, when asking about the sources for content to develop e-learning materials, the training professionals tend to lean towards asking people or using specific websites. And not social media.

4. Some issues

During a number of face-to-face conversation, I have tried to get a sense of what some of the issues are that stop social media to become mainstream in the training departments.

  1. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others are considered toys by “the business”.
  2. Social media is seen as a “timewaster”
  3. The lack of understanding and experience creates a lot of aversion to the technology
  4. The general attitude within social media (=give and get back attitude for FREE) is not understood
  5. The influence of negative news and stories create a bad atmosphere around the topic

None of this is new and limited to the training/education departments but also true for other departments within a company.

5. Challenges

The challenges that are awaiting e-learning and social media are:

  • How to learn socially?
  • How to effectively use the different platforms?
  • Finding success stories?
  • Defining social media return on investment for e-learning?
  • Management buy-in?
  • Whether to create a private social network vs. public social networks?

Social media will become mainstream in e-learning but it will take some time and some good success stories to fuel this evolution.

For more a more detailed report please go to

Reaction, Comments, Feedback, etc. are welcome!  Need more info? contact me “Mic Adam”


Mob. +32 478 50 41 35

Twitter: @micadam


Find me also on Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Xing, Viadeo, Ecademy Netlog, etc.