Thursday, October 18, 2007

Traditional Learning Paradigms Don't Have to Die

Mobile log, LAX, delayed Southwest
I just presented to the ASTD LA External Consultant group on Social Networking and its impacts on learning.
My impressions:
1. The training practice is accustomed to formulaic ways of implementing ideas and solving problems. Ideas that have steps, procedures and clarity are well favored. 2. In Social Networking and Enterprise 2.0, fluidity and informality supersede structure and procedures.
Is there a conflict? How are they reconciled? 1. The success of Web 2.0 is based on personal experiences and personal expressions. On the other hand, the training activity is a structured method for groups. Trainers in formal learning conditions can use Social Networking. However, trainers need to know they can not use Social Networking methods as a way to mass produce learning and personal experiences. Mass producing or mimicking mass experiences of Social Networking is like being in a cocktail party and all the small conversations are broadcasted through a loud speaker. It does not work.
2. The value of knowledge and learning shifts from the trainer (in formal training structure) to the learner or contributor (participant or learner). Many trainers become helpless when they cease to be the center of the knowledge and learning. Many of us, trainers, need to re-examine ourselves on this issue.
3. Traditional learning paradigms don't need to die. We just need to realize that the value of traditional methods, which is trainer-centered, must be refined to serve the learner -- not the master. Whether it is traditional or technology-driven learning, like Web 2.0, does not really matter. What matters is if we use the method to help learners learn.

Ray Jimenez, PhD 3-Minute e-Learning

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