The Need for Social Learning in the Workplace

Technological advancements are constantly changing the way we work. Teams are increasingly spread across time zones. They conduct their daily business without regular face-to-face interaction with peers. As a result, many organizations are finding it challenging to maintain and expand genuine communication and community among employees.

In her eLearning Industry article, “Why Your Workplace Needs Social and Collaborative Learning Technologies," Kali Blunt references a study conducted by the Association for Talent Development. “In high-performance organizations, employees share knowledge with their colleagues at a rate four times greater than that of workers in lower-performing firms. That communication is supported by rewarding workers for learning, providing tools and resources for creating and sharing learning content, and making knowledge sharing a performance expectation at all organizational levels.” 

Becoming a high-performance organization, Blunt notes, is primarily accomplished through social, interactive learning, which benefits the organization by:

  • connecting employees across space and time
  • growing a central, readily-accessible repository of learning content
  • balancing the formality of engagement
  • building community

Paramount to building a high performing workplace, she explains, is sharing. “Sharing is at the heart of learning. The people we work with are best supported when engaged in a community where profiles, teams, groups, forums, and activity streams can be harnessed through the power of social platform communities.”

Blunt's sentiment and call for active, social learning reflects the value of Flipgrid. Our primary objective is to foster community and collective learning in classrooms and corporations around the world while maintaining simplicity and ease of use. We overwhelmingly echo Blunt’s conclusion that “in the long run, we want people to feel connected, informed, and supported in the workplace. And that’s exactly what social and collaborative learning technologies can do through enterprise social networks.” 

Karen Johnson Charges Us To Innovate the Classroom AND Professional Development

While #studentvoice is important, students shouldn’t be the only ones reaping the benefits of fun, engaging, active social learning. Fortunately, by our definition, everyone can be a student!

Karen Johnson, edtech aficionado and Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, considers that exact point in her edSurge piece. Titled, “5 Things Teachers Want from PD, and How Coaching and Collaboration Can Deliver Them - If Implementation Improves,” Karen explains why educators should use the same awesome approach and tools they’re introducing in their classrooms, in their professional development.

Johnson laments, “even though educators acknowledge the weaknesses of presentation-based professional development, 80 percent of teachers still participate in a sit and get each year.” She lists, specifically, in professional learning opportunities, teachers seek:

  1. Relevance and personalized learning (two features celebrated in a Flipgrid discussion)
  2. Engagement (a cornerstone of Flipgrid’s being)
  3. Guidance from their peers (embodied in Flipgrid's peer-to-peer, social learning nature)
  4. Conversation that extends beyond a specific date and time (encapsulated by Flipgrid’s asynchronous nature)
  5. To be treated as a professional (Flipgrid gives everyone an equal voice - educators, coaches, and students alike)

Expanding on this list, Johnson discusses the issues with current professional development, challenges faced by educators, and a charge to make learning better for everyone. She summarizes that “we owe it to [educators] to find new ways to ensure that PD is relevant, interactive, and sustained over time.”

Well said, Karen. Join the growing community of educators using Flipgrid, the collaborative, active video platform, with Professional Development!