Do companies TRULY embrace social learning – yes and no

@jentolbert tweeted, “curious, do you think companies are TRULY embracing social learning?”
I don’t think I can limit my reply to 140 characters … except to brusquely say “yes and no” or “perhaps, it depends.”
So, let the blogging begin.
I would imagine that there are, frankly, quite a few companies that use social media in some way for learning … most likely for informal learning. (Interesting! Elliott Masie just launched a survey on this very topic – perhaps we’ll get a good dataset if enough company reps respond.)

Part of the problem is how one may define social media in the first place. I’ve had conversations where folks assert it as just social networks, like of the Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace ilk. Other folks include other web2.0 things like blogs, wikis, podcasting, etc.
Then I can see several individuals talking ad-infinitum about what is meant by “TRULY embracing” … Does it mean adopting the technology to enable social learning? Or perhaps it means that a group in the organization has taken on the mantle of “social learning champions” who promote it every chance they can. Or maybe it means that the organization’s culture has been transformed in some way.

So, one can answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question of whether a company truly embraces social learning depending on how one defines things.

What is your take?


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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One Response to Do companies TRULY embrace social learning – yes and no

  1. Jen Tolbert says:

    Thanks for the thoughts. I agree with your yes and no response. My thoughts?

    I think many companies love talking about it and some early adopters are recognizing the value, but truly understanding the power of using Web 2.0 technology and embracing that technology by implementing social learning is a stretch.

    I think other companies have already begun the adoption process and don’t even realize they are doing it.

    But for the most part, I don’t think there are many companies that understand what social medial, social learning or 2.0 technology is and are more afraid to adopt it because it may take people away from ‘working’. I see the mentality of it being a distraction instead of a benefit or the fear of legal ramifications being more the norm.

    Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

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