Social Networking-the New Elearning Training Solutions
Numerous IT corporations and organizations are talking about the possibility of using social networking as elearning training solutions to encourage informal learning and possibly extend it towards formal learning. Instead of mainly using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for socializing, posting photos and videos and other time wasting activities, they can be the newest medium for education and training. In a way, it would be a means of channeling the popularity of these networks towards something more productive and beneficial to individual companies.
Both suppliers and training companies are seriously considering this type of informal network to extend towards the more formal delivery of knowledge and skills, transforming it into a key component for IT training. There has been a lot of experimentation going on in the industry and a good example would be the software firm SAS Institute’s use of social networking for the support of certification. It will be encouraging the candidates for the exams leading to its qualifications to log in to a network during the UK Professionals Convention last year. According to SAS, the network has had significant results in the improvement of student performance.
There are some speculations regarding the impact of this trend on classroom training and even genuine Elearning training solutions. Some say that the use of social media and networking for training will be the end for both classroom and Elearning training. However, this remains uncertain, especially since the trend promises many advantages over disadvantages, but it is wiser to not overestimate or ignore such revolutionary trends.
According to Matt Lea, Customer Contact Manager at Eleco, more channels are required to keep up with the changes and address the needs of all the customers. Social networking may possess the potential and the capacity to replace traditional product training, but it seems most likely that it will serve to exponentially extend and magnify it instead. As added by Allan Pettman, the Managing Director at Global Knowledge, such developments should be welcomed considering the importance of IT training. Experience teaches everyone that training methods can turn into significantly richer learning experiences with flexible delivery mechanisms, tools and adequate and appropriate support.
Some suggested best practice for the utilization or integration of social media into training is to avoid too much control from the center because it can be stifling for the learners. Looser control is therefore more ideally suitable, but a degree of control should still be present. The basis of these ideas is various arguments regarding how the structure of this development should be. It may be more effective if people get to use the new training the same way they used social networks in their lives in the past.
Ignoring social networking both as a communication and as training tool will close countless of potentially stable doors of opportunity. These simply are not just newly developed sets of tools. Experts encourage organizations to integrate them into their training process as soon as possible for no other reason that the people entering the workforce today are culturally adapted or wired up to learn in this new advanced manner and will expect it.
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