What Spooks Us and Others about Social Learning

As Halloween approaches, we’re thinking about what spooks us and others about social learning.    Often, we’re scared of the unknown as we’re thinking about creating social learning.  Getting social learning set up properly and then gaining traction can be a real challenge.  And, what if launching and marketing isn’t your problem – what if your social learning efforts are wildly successful and then you lose control – is that OK?

Well, don’t be too frightened since social learning can come to the rescue for many of these questions.  As we support each other in our learning network during #Chat2Lrn, we’ll help each other think about these challenges and the best ways to overcome these fears and make social learning work for all of us.  We’ll be thinking about:

  • What scares you about getting social learning started and keeping it going?
  • Who and what needs to be at the social learning party in order for it to be successful?
  •  What makes social learning fail?
  • What is your scariest social learning (mini) story and what did you learn from it?  
  • What scares participants, lurkers and non-participants about social learning? Can you make them feel safe?
  • What spooks stakeholders about social learning? How can we reassure them?
  • What keeps SMEs from participating?  What can we do to do encourage them?
  • What is the secret sauce in a successful social learning brew?     
  •  How do you measure the effectiveness of your SoMe effort?

Whether you’ve never considered social learning, if you’re hearing stirs of social learning on the horizon, you’re in the middle of trying to set up social learning or if you’re an experienced coordinator – join us for #Chat2lrn this Thursday, October 30th (the day before Halloween) 9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT/4:00pm GMT to share your fears, ideas and learned solutions.

Personal and Organizational Benefits of “Learning Out Loud”

Learning out loud

To some, the three words above represent a personal learning philosophy of sharing what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. To others, it’s more reflective, sharing what you’ve done and how you did it. Both interpretations have tremendous value, but, for the moment, let’s focus on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

Sharing what you do as you do it invites commentary, suggestions, and even criticism. The open-minded sharer can then evaluate that feedback and incorporate it into the work, improving the work product. Criticism can be debated, and perhaps new ideas get generated. That’s learning, hence the phrase, “Learning out loud.” It’s not a stretch of the imagination to see how the final work product can be better than if not shared, and that benefits both the worker and his or her organization in many ways.

To others, however, the title above represents a source of intense fear. Beads of sweat break out. Cold shoulders are turned. Reasons for not sharing work spew forward, often citing confidentiality or that, “It’s just not ready to share.” While there are many good reasons to not share some aspects of work, such as personnel-related tasks or proprietary content, many times the reasons given are really nothing more than excuses. For these people, sharing work as it’s performed is an invitation for criticism and commentary of an unfinished product, and they just don’t want to hear it. Then the end product is disseminated to an unprepared audience, accompanied by even greater fears of criticism.

While we could continue to discuss the advantages of sharing work in progress and the dangers of not doing so, let’s instead discuss these and other questions related to learning out loud at our next online gathering of #chat2lrn, Thursday 16 October at 16:00 BST / 11:00 EDT / 08:00 PDT. Come prepared, we look forward to seeing you!