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

Employee Engagement

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Earlier this month we help a CPD seminar on the topic ‘Employee Engagement’ at the Training Foundation’s offices in Coventry. This month I am going to use this blog to discuss the main themes and points.
Our First speaker was Wendy Dean from Strategi HR.
She discussed some important points such as “Give your Employee Engagement Programme a name” – this allows employees to get behind the programme to believe in it and to take ownership of the programme.
She also introduced the idea that an Employee Engagement programme was a ‘one person at a time’ process. This doesn’t mean that it requires lots of individual meetings but that each person has to engage in their own time. She also stated that an engagement programme can take up to 5 years to be successful.
During the afternoon Neil Anderson, Senior Management Trainer, from The Training Foundation was our second speaker. He asked us to define Employee Engagement in groups. What I found fascinating was it that it was actually very hard to define. All of the definitions were vastly different. This is because everyone’s perceptions of the drivers for Employee Engagement are different. Neil introduced the group to the Training Foundation’s research on Employee Engagement and their 6 Key Driver’s, represented by the ‘CHOICE’ model. He went on to demonstrate the differences in individual perceptions of the most important drivers quite graphically by getting us to rank our personal top six from the ‘CHOICE’ model. Again, everyone in the room had different priorities. This demonstrates that if, as the line manager, you were to use your own personal drivers to motive and engage your team, you may well isolate some of your team.
The manager’s job is therefore to understand their employee’s engagement individual drivers.
What is your definition of Employee Engagement – What success have you had? Can you share any tips?


Bloggers Sought.
The British Institute for Learning & Development are seeking guest L&D Bloggers on the blogsite HERE. If you are a leading light in your industry or looking to become a thought leader, please contact Liz Wheat lwheat@thebild.org . We’ll need you to verify that the piece is your own work and as long as they are L&D focused and not overly self-promotional you stand a strong chance of being published.

BILD CPD Events 2016

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Your CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is important as an L&D professional.

Which is why the British Institute for Learning & Development hold 6 affordable CPD events per year. Alongside that we also hold CPD webinars.

Our next CPD event is 25th April in Woking – The subject matter is Mindfulness.

Our full Programme is listed below, click the links to book your place.

25th April 2016 – Mindfulness – Woking – BOOK HERE

17th May 2016 – Employee Engagement – Coventry – BOOK HERE

1st June 2016 – Gamification – Southampton – BOOK HERE

October 2016 – Neuroscience – London.

November 2016 – Wearable Technology – Chippenham

December 2016 – Learning Transfer – Milton Keynes

Investment in Learning & Development

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Investing in learning and development is a sore subject for many. When the question is posed it’s often related to how much is spent on learning and development (or training) of employees.

But how much invested in the L&D team?

As L&D professionals we ensure that others are encouraged to develop and are also encouraged to keep up to date with CPD. However, how much CPD or L&D have L&D professionals undertaken in the last year? How many L&D professionals have, and maintain, a training portfolio etc.

Isn’t it equally important to ensure that, as an L&D professional, you:

  • have your own L&D planned for the year
  • have your CPD in your diary
  • have the right blogs, magazines and online resources coming into your inbox
  • are at the top of your game!

At the British Institute for Learning & Development we encourage all of our members to attend CPD events. To that end we facilitate 6 per year, along with online CPD sessions. We also encourage ongoing professional development. We recommend The Training Foundation’s TAP qualifications to ensure that you are up to date with your skills and the latest trends in learning & development.

As a responsible L&D professional you can easily be designing you own personal L&D programme. The way to become successful is to not only develop your personal plan but find a way to ensure that you can make sure that it happens!

So when is your next learning event?

Rich Wootten (TAP.Cert, MBILD)

Business Manager

The British Institute for Learning & Development

Shiny new object

We’re all familiar with the shiny object, something that people tell you about to get you to stop doing what you are doing and pick up something else. Often its worse in business as there are no shortage of critics telling you that you should look at this shiny new object or this one. The modern world is full of shiny new objects and learning and development sees its fair share of them. Sometimes if you have been in L&D long enough you see the same objects float past a few times.

At the British Institute for Learning & Development we’re not ones for picking up shiny new objects, we have a plan or a goal and we stick to it.

However, a few days ago we stumbled across Periscope which seems to part of or attached to Twitter.

Periscope allows people to broadcast videos to their twitter feed. Which is a great marketing and content tool.

But we can see a great opportunity for the learning and development community too, particularly at CPD events and seminars (with permission) at our CPD events we actively encourage tweeting and don’t ask people to put their phones/tablets away.

We’re going to be using this at World Of Learning on 29th and 30th Sept.

Also we’ve just started (just done our first) a weekly Periscope session, we see this a great way to reach out to the L&D community.

So do yourself a favour and download Periscope to your phone or tablet and make sure you connect with the British Institute for Learning & Development @BILDdev “Up Periscope!”

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Blended Learning

Blended Learning for the sake of Blending 

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I was recently lucky enough to attend the BILD’s Blended Learning CPD day in London. I should be lucky enough, as I organised the day.

Two great speakers were there Ian Luxford from Grassroots group and Clive Shepherd from More than Blended Learning.

Firstly what is blended learning?  Here is Wikipedia’s definition “Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace.[1][2][3] While still attending a “brick-and-mortar” school structure, face-to-face classroom methods are combined with computer-mediated activities.[4] A lack of consensus on a definition of blended learning has led to difficulties in research about its effectiveness in the classroom”

So already we can see that there isn’t even a consensus of opinion on the definition of Blended Learning. So there will always be lots of academic discussion about what blended learning should or shouldn’t be. Which is best? What sort of Blend? Should Blended Learning replace classroom learning? There is no answer only opinion!

However,I wanted to share some things that I picked up from the day.

1 – Don’t blend for the sake of blending

Blended learning cannot be decided on an ad hoc basis, just picking things from a list of learning tools and throwing them all together is doomed to failure. From the outset a structure must be put into place.

It is important that one doesn’t just view blended learning as an opportunity to use new technology. One thing I learnt from the event is that designing a blended learning course isn’t about “touching” all of the learning styles (if you subscribe to the learning style theory). Designing a Blended learning course it is important that you know why you are going down a blended learning path. Once you know why, then you can decide on what blended techniques you are going to use.

2 – Be a consultant

Often as L&D professionals we’re told by HR/Management/Directors to “sort out a course on XYZ”. We’re not sought for an opinion of whether that training or course is necessary or if there is something different that can be done.

Imagine that situation with the Finance or Legal dept of a firm, it wouldn’t happen that way, the Finance Manger or Legal teams would ask questions look at the whole picture and then give professional advice.

Become a professional adviser, as a freelancer that may be more difficult in the interim, but in the long run you maintain your professional integrity and as a result are likely to become more sought after.