At our last Social Learning Boot Camp we had several teams representing corporate heads of learning, HR and Talent Management as well as representatives from these functions at the federal and state government agencies. Andrew Krzmarzick from GovLoop attended our Boot Camp and later wrote about how social learning is making a headway into the federal government.
Andrew begins a recent blog post by stressing the inefficient ways employees of the federal government experience training and education, and by suggesting three forces that will shape the future of learning for federal government. These include:
- Informal learning is the new normal (i.e. Google searches, YouTube videos, LinkedIn / Quora / GovLoop question and answer).
- The real experts are in cubicles, not classrooms (meaning that we learn less from people who stand in front of us in a classroom and more from our colleagues online and in-person).
- Social networks are the perfect, perpetual classroom (you don’t need to wait for the next training – you can learn right here, right now).
Social Learning Boot Camp Modeled Social Learning
With that background as context, Andrew participated in the Social Learning Boot Camp hosted by Future Workplace at Georgetown University. First Andrew shared how the Boot Camp was not just another conference, but really an executive education session which successfully modeled a new way of learning, one that is social, collaborative and mobile.
- Participants were encouraged to engage in pre-work that got them to interact with one another and primed them for in-person engagement
- Pre-work was incentivized through gaming and that online interaction was incorporated into the in-person session.
- Each participant received an iPad and was taught how to use it throughout the session.
- Participants broke into teams and used the iPad in a hands-on, real-time activity where they created a sample learning video to explain a concept or challenge – in under an hour!
In addition to these practical elements of the training, participants heard from practitioners who shared case studies about enterprise-level learning through internal social networks and gaming. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the Defense Acquisition University, who presented on their cutting-edge gaming endeavors.
Key Learning Points from the Boot Camp
Some other gems I heard in conversations and presentations throughout the day:
- “We are canceling more instructor-led, classroom-based courses than we are putting on due to tightened budgets and restricted travel.”
- Employers are increasingly expecting their potential hires to demonstrate social media literacy (or training them in that subject)…and applicants are increasingly expecting an open, social environment that welcomes online engagement as part of work flow.
- The top 3 barriers to adoption of social learning in an organization are: a culture that’s not ready for it, confusion about its value, and lack of training on its use.
- It is not fear of technology, but fear of transparency that inhibit social learning.
- Culture change happens when an organization identifies the committed leaders, communicates the benefits, and creates social media literacy training programs
- Social media / learning policy should explain the value, not just the do’s and don’ts (see socialmediagovernance.com for examples)
Why the Real-Time Video Project Was Successful
The videos created by participants were great examples of how quick, easy and effective it can be to prepare video for the purpose of training as they were:
- Created in real-time for just-in-time learning
- Authentic because it wasn’t over-edited
- Involved focused, fast production (vs. a long, drawn-out process)
- Fostered collaborative, social work to get it done
- “…not just a tech thing” as most of the production process was a dialogue about challenges (45 minutes) that culminated in a tech-enabled product (5 minutes)
One of the groups even used an app called Magisto to add music and some editing – all in just a few minutes – to take their video to the next level.
The next Social Learning Boot Camp is scheduled for:
March 7-8th, 2013
Learn more and register here:
Social Learning Boot Camp