Is social media learning?

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If you spend time looking at what your friends and family are doing on Facebook it’ll be hard to call that a defined learning event and the same goes for reviewing updates on Twitter or Instagram.
However, if you use a platform such as ‘Tweetdeck’, or the like, you can organise your Twitter Followers into specific lists and then you can use this to look up specific trends. If you are reading any attached papers or blogs that could perhaps be perceived as a real learning event.
This goes for Facebook too. I’d struggle to suggest the same for Instagram due to the fact that it is generally just a series of photos.
However, there are some interesting new platforms such as ‘Periscope’ which we’ve been using here at the BILD for a few months now, by holding a weekly periscope session on Wednesdays. This allows us to talk a group of people to communicate ideas etc., and there is a limited amount of text-based interaction. If you are engaging the right people you can get a huge amount of learning from this.
The other platform that we have discovered is ‘BLAB’. Although BILD has not hosted a Blab session yet I’ve been taking a close look at it to get a feel for the way it works and its usefulness in terms of learning. BLAB allows you, like periscope, to speak directly to your audience. It has some better features, in so far as you can invite others to video/audio with you, and can schedule these in advance so that people can subscribe to them.
I believe that by carefully choosing who you follow, you can use Social Media as a Learning event, but can you class it as formal CPD? I don’t think so, not yet. In the same way you can’t class a watercooler chat as a CPD session.
What do you think?
Rich Wootten (MBILD, TAP.Cert)
Business Manager
British Institute for Learning & Development
info@theBILD.org

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