This is my second blog post reviewing 2011. Today, I take a look at some the key moments of my own year in terms of resources, blog posts and presentations I have produced.
In January I published my Social Learning Handbook (both as a paperback and a PDF). This book aggregated a lot of my thinking and activities from 2010. Its main premise was that social learning happens all the time in the workplace, and I tried to show how it this is being enhanced in the workflow using social media tools.
Update: The Handbook has been well received during the year with feedback and comments like:
“Social Learning Handbook’ best professional book I’ve read the last years regarding L&D !” Karl-Heinz Thunemann
“Just purchased and started to consume your ‘Social Learning Handbook’. Only 30 or so pages in and I’m already hooked.”
As it is now a year since I wrote the book, and things have moved on , I have now made the pages of Part 1 available for free online, although the paperbook will remain available for purchase for a short while longer.
In February, I produced a promotional slideset for my Social Learning Handbook, which I shared on Sldeshare. Here it is embedded below.
UPDATE: As there was quite a bit of interest in the 10 steps to working smarter that I mentioned in the last slide, I later fleshed these out further in a webinar, and released the script supported by shots of the slides in this resource: 10 steps for working smarter
In March, I set up the Social Learning Community, a Community of Practice intended for those interested in the concept of “social learning” and the use of social media to work and learn smarter, and to provide a place for discussions, to ask questions as well as to share links, experiences and events with others. I used Yammer to host the community – a private social networking platform which is a sort of cross between Twitter and Facebook
Update: In November, the Community welcomed its 1,000th member. I used this statistical milestone as an opportunity to reflect on its value. Feedback from members of the Community included the following:
“this network is second only to my Twitter PLN (or PPN as I prefer to call it) as my go-to group. By design of course, the community is focused and continually reinforces focus on Social (non-formal) learning in both Orgs and Education. Yammer allows for deeper than tweets posts but enough brevity to not be confused with the reflective efforts found in blogs. Being that 90% of my access is via mobile device, I find the tool & community, like Twitter to meet my needs. Its always about Time &Value. Put in the time, you’ll see the value and likewise the more value you find, the more time you’ll put in.”
“I have been able to benchmark my ideas and views on Social Learning and Workplace learning via the community. The community is fantastic source of information.”
“”I read every post (honest!) as they are sent daily to my inbox. I thus use the community as a great source of information/learning, much of it serendipitous, and as an example for others on how a community can work well… even for a lurker.”
In May I blogged about Share&Learn, a collaboration platform I set up for members to share links, resources, ideas, experiences, tips, etc about the use of social media. The intention of Share&Learn was to show how such a platform could provide the infrastructure for learning communities to be quickly and easily created by its members, so that peer-to-peer learning could be encouraged and supported.
UPDATE: I have also used Share&Learn to host my 30 days to using Social media to work smarter programme, where I acted more as a “guide on the side” rather than a “sage on the stage”, and where the emphasis was on the conversations and discussions around short pieces of content. I have now moved the materials to their own special site – The Smart Worker’s Guide to Social Media – where members can use these materials an on-demand resource or join a scheduled programme. The next scheduled programme starts 9th January 2012.
I have taken part in a lot of fabulous events during 2011 – in Europe, South Africa and USA – but one of the most rewarding took place quite close to where I live in the south-west of England. I was invited to chair an e-Learning Network event about Informal Learning in Bristol in June. The morning consisted of a number of presentations about informal learning, but in the afternoon I ran a session on Using social media in informal learning, and this was how I blogged about it in Social learning in action at #elnin
“Rather than give a presentation, we decided to host an informal social learning activity based around a live Twitter chat session.
The idea was that those in the room who knew how to use Twitter would “buddy up” with those that did not, so that they could pass on their knowledge, and the newbies could ask any questions of them; there would be no formal “teaching” of how to use Twitter. We used Tweetchat to display the hashtag stream on the two screens so that everyone could see what was happening and this provided good opportunity for us all to chat about what we were seeing and what it meant.”
UPDATE: I think the photos and resources that were produced at the event (which you can see in the blog post) really showed how this was a great example of “social learning” in action. And I know that a number of the participants at that event have gone on to run similar events in their own organisations.
During July and August I ran a series of posts on how the Smart Worker is using social media to address his/her learning and performance problems. These included the following.
- The Smart Worker : learns continuously with social media
- The Smart Worker : needs immediate access to solutions to his performance problems
- The Smart Worker : needs job aids rather than courses
- The Smart Worker : shares what s/he learns
- The Smart Worker : relies on a trusted network of friends and colleagues
- The Smart Worker : recognises she learns to do her job as she does her job
- The Smart Worker : learns best with and from others
- The Smart Worker : thrives on autonomy
As there has been a lot of interest in these posts, I have aggregated, extended and updated these posts here: The Smart Worker and Social Media.
I have about spoken about these 8 key features of a Smart Worker extensively in a number of presentations and webinars in 2011. Here’s just one of the slidesets I produced and shared on Slideshare.
In September I was asked to write a series of articles for TrainingZone for their Social Learning Month. I subsequently reproduced these articled on my blog. Here was the first one: Key social learning resources: part 1
UPDATE: When the series of articles for Trainingzone came to an end, I was asked to continue my weekly round up of social learning resources. I have now just completed Part 15 . Links to all the posts in the series appear in the Related Posts at the bottom of this page.
During September and October I wrote a number of posts on a topic I felt strongly about, namely that “social learning” is not just something that you add to the “training blend”, but is something that happens continuously in the workplace, and which can’t be “created”, “delivered” and/or “managed” in the traditional way. But rather we now have the potential (and tools) to enhance this important aspect of workplace learning in much more powerful and relevant ways in the modern workplace.
- Social Learning doesn’t mean what you think it does: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 – slideset
- Social learning is not a new training trend
- Do you really need separate social learning tools and platforms: part 1 and part 2: 6 ways to integrate learning into the workflow
- You can’t manage informal learning – only the use of social media
UPDATE: I have aggregated my thinking about the need to focus on supporting and encouraging non-training approaches in the workplace here: The Non-Training Approach to Workplace Learning
In November I finalised the 2011 Top 100 Tools for Learning List – both as a textual list and as a presentation – based on the contributions of over 500 learning professionals worldwide.
UPDATE: As at the end of December 2011, the presentation has now been viewed over 120,000 times. I subsequently produced the list and presentation of 50 tools that didn’t quite make the 2011 Top 100 list.
During the year as I’ve described above, I’ve explored a number of ways of supporting learning in more social and collaborative ways, and in this blog post in December, The Flipped (or Social) Webinar, I looked at how I wanted to try and “flip” the traditional webinar format and provide a more social approach.
UPDATE: The event proved to be very successful, and I shall be writing more about it in a posting next year.
So this now brings me to what I think 2012 will bring, and the areas I will be focusing on in future blog posts. I’ll be talking about that in my blog post tomorrow.