E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Informal Learning by Jay Cross – Part Deux

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No, that is right. This is not the second take from Jay Cross on Informal Learning. Actually, this is a follow up to a previous weblog post that I have shared over here not long ago where I actually included the links to three video clips stored in YouTube by Jay Cross himself in which he gets to talk about Informal Learning. Quite some interesting stuff! Well, it gets better. Much better. Not long ago, I discovered another video clip that Jay has put together. I found it through the Learning Technologies 2008 weblog that Don Taylor currently maintains and if the first three were really good ones this other take is just as good. If not better.

It lasts for a bit under 10 minutes and for those folks who are interested in finding out some more about what Informal Learning is all about, and how to get a good and descriptive overview, this is certainly one of the best options out there. In it you would be able to find out how Informal Learning is "everything that is not Formal Learning". Yes, I know that is going to sound pretty much like common sense, but Jay has got a good point actually. Informal Learning is something that we are all going to be making use of all the time, as opposed to formal learning where it has got a much stricter set of rules that would need to be followed. One of which is a specific and fixed period of time for that type of learning. It is not necessarily a continuous process, like informal learning is.

One of the things though that I have enjoyed quite a bit from the video Jay has put together is the fact that he establishes a very close connection between Informal Learning and social networks, the latter becoming really key and paramount for the success of the former. Because after all, "The most powerful instruction technology ever invented is human conversation". Does that ring a bell? Anyone? Yes, indeed, social networking at its best! Who would have ever thought about that, right? Something so relatively simple, yet so powerful, and underutilised. Get involved with your own social networks and pimp up your own informal learning while at work. I doubt it would ever get better than that!

Check out as well his recommendations on how different businesses can adopt informal learning techniques by improving the way conversations flow with some real and concrete examples of what businesses could make use of. With some really good quotes as this one: "Learning is an act that you do yourself [..] People can train you but they cannot learn you".

Finally, the last part of the video tries to address the mix of Informal Learning with Web 2.0, i.e. "the participatory Web" and how they are actually coming together quite nicely by helping address growing issues like when the baby boomers generation starts making its way out of the workforce. Certainly, making use of social computing and Informal Learning you have got a pretty good chance of being able of retaining most of, if not all, of the knowledge from those baby boomers before it is too late. So what are you doing to retain that knowledge? Are you making use of social networks and Informal Learning to address some of those different issues? Here is the embedded video from Jay so that you can get to check it out for yourself. Totally worth it the 10 minutes he has put together. Thanks much, Jay! Lots of great stuff in there! Thanks for sharing it with us all!

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