Social Computing Reshapes eLearning

A whirlwind September follows a relaxing summer blogging hiatus. It was nice to lay off blogging for a bit in favor of other things that were competing for my time.

I’m likely to continue to be a sporadic blogger, posting occasionally and dumping links here regularly, but that’s OK with me. You get what you pay for when you spend time reading this blog.

But back to Forrester… I’m always interested in the reports Forrester regularly generates, particularly when they deal with social computing, elearning, and things near and dear to my heart.

Social Computing Reshapes eLearning [subscription access only], announced today, is interesting in as much as it shows the again the impact that social computing is having on both enterprise business practices and more humble endeavors such as eLearning.

Highlighting blogs, wikis and podcasts among the more influential new mediums, the report stresses that centralized learning (formal classroom instruction alone) “doesn’t fly today.”

To summarize, the future of eLearning will reflect: short learning modules (”bite-size” vs burden size), on-the-go access (wherever, whenever, however), self-service, informality (think social computing meets workflow and daily life), and network support (who you know in your network and how you share it).

I will repeat at conferences the three words that describe the value of social computing: Cheaper, Richer (in terms of experience), Scalable (and a large scale, at that). Much more to the report and certainly worth a look if your institution is a subscriber.

Also fascinating is the report “Teens + Social Computing = Social Shopping.” If you think marketers aren’t keenly aware of the social computing phenomenon, think again. As PT Barnum might say, (particularly if he worked for Gap or Abercrombie), “There’s a blogger born every minute… and a MySpace page to take ‘em”.

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