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Talk background A talk on social learning and social networks given by Bryce Biggs at a Public Service Trainer’s Learning Network workshop held at the.

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Presentation on theme: "Talk background A talk on social learning and social networks given by Bryce Biggs at a Public Service Trainer’s Learning Network workshop held at the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Talk background A talk on social learning and social networks given by Bryce Biggs at a Public Service Trainer’s Learning Network workshop held at the Elangeni Hotel, Durban on 26 and 27 September 2012. Bryce can be contacted on: or Skype: Every effort has been taken to acknowledge all intellectual property and sources. If there are any omissions please feel free to let me know. Backgrounds, themes, slides mainly from Great value and great materials. Check slide 17 to see the reason for the goldfish theme.

2 An interaction with Bryce Biggs Use of social networking and other electronic media: its influence on learning in the 21 st century

3 What we will talk about A brief visit to learning theory ( groan here ) A provocation to return to at the end of our session “ All learning should be/must be/is social ” The scale of social networks in South Africa Moving to social learning Some of the (many) tools to facilitate [social] learning A key facilitated social learning outcome (engagement, engagement, engagement) COPs (communities of practice)

4 Teaching/ learning models or theories

5 Yesterday? Tremendous feats of memorisation (“Some scholars it is said could memorise 300 000 traditions.” from “Ideas: A history from Fire to Freud” by Peter Watson)

6 Some responses to yesterday –Does Education teach us to memorise information, instead of understanding it, or is memorising important for future use? –No more memorising in schools – Yes, Really! –Never memorise something that you can look up in a book The first two quotes were found in an Internet search (23.09.2012) the third is from Albert Einstein (letter to Josh Winteler, 1901)

7 Today?

8 Tomorrow?

9 Learning models/theories Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful. Box & Draper, 1987

10 A brief (partial) visit to learning theory (1) ArgyrisDouble loop learning BanduraSocial learning theory BrunerConstructivist theory GardnerMultiple intelligences KnowlesAndragogy LaveSituated learning PiagetCognitive development RogersExperiential learning RotterSocial learning theory Sch Ö nTheories of action Siemens Connectivism SkinnerOperant conditioning WertheimerGestalt theory

11 Putting it all together

12 Some call it connectivism ….

13 Transition and evolution http://projects.coe.uga.edu Diagram ex Ireland, 2007: Connectivism, George Siemens

14 Some call it 21 st century learning …


16 What if we just call it social learning?

17 All learning should be/must be/is social? Traditional teaching Social learning

18 What is social learning? Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation. bandura.html bandura.html

19 And again …. The main idea in Julian Rotter's social learning theory is that personality represents an interaction of the individual with his or her environment. One cannot speak of a personality, internal to the individual, that is independent of the environment. Neither can one focus on behavior as being an automatic response to an objective set of environmental stimuli. Rather, to understand behavior, one must take both the individual (i.e., his or her life history of learning and experiences) and the environment (i.e., those stimuli that the person is aware of and responding to) into account.

20 One perspective ….

21 Heart, head, hands: turning learning around We see here another form of education emerging – one that we are often too fearful to embark upon as it requires so much letting go, so much trust in the child. In effect, the model we are accustomed to is turned on its head as learning begins by capturing the heart. Through experiencing and having the opportunity to have a sensory experience with a topic or subject, a child will develop an affiliation and personal connection for the topic. However it happens, its captures the heart. From an article in the Natal Witness by Joanne Madgwick, September 2012 (edited extract from her book Learning Through the Senses) Emphasis added

22 And a story ….

23 Story of a burned 3-year old child Anice (her mother) said Pippie had formed an amazing attachment to Dr Ridwan Mia, the surgeon who led the operation to replace her skin. “Her favourite [moment] is still to see Dr Mia. She loves him to bits and, when I can’t get her to fall asleep, I play her a voice-mail message from him and she is out.” Article in the Sunday Times, 23 September 2012

24 So … if we are going to do social learning … what do we draw on?


26 At the heart of social learning are two of the greatest disruptions in human history – from atoms to bits; and, from local to global: at least in part through the medium of social networks

27 Atoms to bits As more and more of what we “consume” becomes virtual or digital we are moving or transforming atoms to bits. Some “stuff” may never become digital or virtual. But much/most of the added value in a product/service will. Education is the next frontier where the atoms of most products e.g. books, lecture materials, lecture presentations will become bits. (Nicholas Negroponte was the person – in the 1990’s – who coined the phrase “ Move bits, not atoms.”)

28 Local to global Much has been written about globalisation. And that’s not our topic for today. But social networks are helping us globalise and are increasingly a key element of the social learning process. So let’s look at them next (largely through a South African lens).

29 Mxit (South Africa) Total Mxit Users:9 350 000 Penetration of population:19% (estimated) Source: World Wide Worx and Fuseware, August 2012

30 Facebook (South Africa) Total Facebook Users:5 356 800 Position in the list:31 Penetration of population:11% Penetration of online population101% The largest age group is currently 25 - 34 with total of 1 607 040 users, followed by the users in the age of 18 - 24. N.B. Because Facebook does not measure mobile-only usage among those who have registered via their cellphones, the full extent of its penetration is significantly understated: primary research by World Wide Worx shows that 6.8- million people access Facebook on their phones. Source: socialbakers, September 2012: percentages rounded off

31 LinkedIn (South Africa) Total LinkedIn Users:1 837 150 Penetration of population:3.8% (estimated) Penetration of online population:35% (estimated) Source of total users: socialbakers, September 2012

32 Twitter (South Africa) Total Twitter Users:2 430 000 Penetration of population:5% (estimated) Source: World Wide Worx and Fuseware, August 2012

33 YouTube (?) South African statistics not available? Fifth most visited site by South Africans after Facebook, Google, Mxit, Wikipedia Source: Mapping Digital Media: South Africa, March 2012 A R E P O R T B Y T H E O P E N S O C I E T Y F O U N D AT I O N S

34 From

35 Of course ….. social learning delivery is not just about social networks

36 Social Bookmarks Comment & Reputation Pictures Live Casting- Video and Audio Wiki Music Events Documents Video Aggregation Video Location Customers Service Networks Niche Networks Social Networks SMS/Voice Specific to Twitter Life streams Micro media Blog communities Crowdsourced content Blogs/Conversations Blog Platforms Pick your social media platform

37 A short – and incomplete – tour of some of the many platforms/opportunities for social learning

38 Social networks

39 Social networks – and groups

40 Learning platforms A South African Moodle site

41 Resource websites

42 Guides on websites

43 More resources (for COPs)

44 Yammer – a free enterprise social network

45 Platforms

46 Your own platform page

47 Platform tools

48 Platform guides

49 More platform guides

50 And then …. A final question …. Can social learning help us tackle one of our biggest challenges in any [South African] organisation today?

51 Engagement … today’s number one organisational challenge. And how social learning could help

52 What is engagement? The individual’s investment of energy, skill, ability, and eagerness in the work performed. Engagement includes “involvement” and “commitment” yet goes beyond to include observable behaviors such as: Attention to task detail Commitment to assignment completion Involvement in special projects Communication willingly, effectively with others Demonstration of personal/professional improvement Initiation of problem-solving and/or conflict resolution Innovation regarding processes and procedures Tim Wright as quoted in Bold emphasis added

53 Some factors impacting engagement and some measures of it

54 Analysis across the UK Civil Service shows that the three themes with the strongest relationship with engagement are: leadership and managing change, my work, and my manager. Leadership & managing change My work My manager Pay and benefits Learning & development Resources & workload Organisational objectives & purpose My team Inclusion & fair treatment csps: 2011: horizontal yellow lines show relative strength of theme Employee engagement

55 Level of engagement: United Kingdom civil service: 97 organisations: dotted red line shows median percentage (56%) 10% 90% 50% Range of scores for each organisation 70% 30% Civil Service People Survey 2011 (UK)

56 “Leadership and managing change” is the strongest driver of engagement (csps) Change in leadership and managing change score between 2010 and 2011 (%) Change in engagement between 2010 and 2011 (%) 10 12 6 8 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 -10 0 10 20 -10-20

57 Engagement levels in Sub-Saharan Africa Gallup Inc., 2010

58 Extract from Gallup engagement survey Feedback, recognition, and positive relationships – these kind of workplace conditions are fundamental enough that they can serve as focal points for leaders in a broad range of contexts and cultures. The positive outcomes consistently associated with employee engagement – for organizations and individuals – suggest it is one yardstick by which we can measure progress toward greater productivity and personal fulfilment for workers worldwide.

59 So where does social learning come in? Opportunity/challenge Involvement in special projects Demonstration of personal/professional improvement Innovation regarding processes and procedures Leadership development Change management skills development Effective onboarding Etc. Social learning response Wiki Enterprise social network Shared online creativity/change management course Course management site with appropriate courses, blogs, wikis, videos, etc., etc.(Moodle?) Newbie wiki/astonishment Etc.

60 How we as trainers can help, and go on helping

61 COPs

62 What is a community of practice? The third form of learning, Communities of Practice (CoPs), was coined in the 90's by Lave and Wenger (1998). "Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly" (Wenger, 1998). While there are other definitions, communities of practice (CoPs), so defined, are tied intrinsically to social learning theory. They self organize; cut across organizations, time zones, countries, and disciplines; and exhibit engaged co-learning. This compelling description links the CoP structure of to social learning capacity. A community of practice is not just a Web site, a database, or a collection of best practices. It is a group of people who interact, learn together, build relationships, and in the process develop a sense of belonging and mutual commitment. Having others who share your overall view of the domain and yet bring their individual perspectives on any given problem creates a social learning system that goes beyond the sum of its parts (Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002, p. 34). Emphasis added

63 A closing thought As trainer’s in the Public Service (and in the service of the public) we need perhaps to be focusing a lot of our efforts at the top and at the bottom of the employee pyramid. At the top we need to be helping public service leaders to implement existing frameworks that enhance their leadership qualities and help to buffer them from political interference and temptation; at the base we need to be recruiting, selecting, and inducting people so the Public Service becomes increasingly an employee of choice and not of last resort. Social learning mechanisms can help us at both these levels

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