1.2.1 Prepare

Activity Progress:

Thinking about social media

Learning in the traditional workplace is often influenced by these ideas:

  • Course designers believe that performance problems can only be solved by training solutions.
  • Course designers believe the only valid solutions are those created/delivered by qualified trainers.
  • Trainers ban access to social media resources – just to make sure.
  • Course designers believe that courses (i.e. comprehensive solutions to problems) are the only way forward, and that there are no shortcuts.
  • Trainers and course materials provide only instructionally-designed solutions.

Source: 2 – The Smart Worker wants immediate access to solutions to his performance problems

Who could you turn to when you need professional learning support? Take a moment to list these people/ organisations/tools. This list constitutes your current personal professional learning network. You could use social media to create and stay connected with this network.

What is social media? Watch the video Social Media in Plain English

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpIOClX1jPE]

“Social learning” refers to the use of social media for both formal and informal learning/training. If you use social media to enhance your professional competence you would include that social network in your Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Learning more informally requires a certain mindset and adopting such an approach may require you to change your current mindset to some extent. Table 1 shows eight key features of how a “Smart Worker” works and learns. How smart a worker are you? Print or take a snapshot of the page and use the table to tick off the column which most applies to your current practice.

A Smart Worker…

I do this

I would like to do this

This is not important to me


recognises that s/he learns continuously as s/he does his/her job.


wants immediate access to solutions to his/her performance problems.


is happy to share what s/he knows.


relies on a trusted network of friends and colleagues.


learns best with and from others.


keeps up-to-date with what is happening in his/her industry or profession.


constantly strives to improve his/her productivity.


thrives on autonomy.


Can you identify areas in which you would like to grow professionally with social learning?

In the next activity we will find answers to the question: “How can social media help me create a better personal learning network and be a smart worker?”

When you are ready to continue to the next activity, click on the Mark Complete button below (first time) and Next Activity on subsequent visits to this page.

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