Paul Signorelli's Reviews > The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media

The New Social Learning by Marcia Conner
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's review
Apr 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: social-learning, training, workplace-learning-and-performance

When American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) President and CEO Tony Bingham teams up with Fast Company magazine columnist Marcia Conner for a book on social learning and all that the term implies about building collaborative communities of learning, we might expect tremendous results. We're not disappointed. They dive right in by telling us that the book "is for people who are specifically interested in how social media helps people in organizations learn quickly; innovate fast; share knowledge; and engage with peers, business partners, and the customers they serve" (p. xviii). They provide us with "playground rules" for the new social learning (p. 1), and they give us little opportunity to put the book down before we have finished it. Social learning "leverages online communities," they assure us (p. 11), and is centered on "information sharing, collaboration, and co-creation" (p. 21). They repeatedly bolster their arguments by citing studies, including one showing that people who study in small groups do better than those "who worked on their own" (p. 39), and offering creative examples of how social media tools such as Twitter are being used effectively in online learning by educators who "post tips of the day, answers to questions from students, writing assignments, and other prompts and reminders about key points to keep learning going" (p. 95). "Collaboration is something we've known how to do our entire lives. Working together to produce something more significant than one person can do alone is timeless," they write halfway through their book (p. 107), and the remainder of their work is a contemporary paean to and example of the power of that belief."
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