Social learning solutions can strongly support formal learning structures by accelerating change and innovation and building a knowledge-sharing culture within an organisation. It is not about Twitter-like status updates or the dumping of content on a learning portal. Social learning is not social media and using social media doesn’t make learning “social”. Social learning is the way most of us learn most things, e.g. we learned to talk through interaction with others. Social learning is about interacting with others.

Social learning is not and should not be about the tools. Many a learning and development practitioner has told us that they have setup the community but no one uses it or they update the blogs but no one reads it.

It’s probably because we often think of social learning as providing tools and processes and not always considering how human beings learns socially. When social learning happens people will often express it as solving a problem. It becomes part of the way they go about work in any way. Social learning should allow people to make their own connections and to make contextual meaning based on their current and desired future activities rather than an end point defined by someone else within the organisation.