May 2, 2011
social learning

How did you learn about #OBL? A series of questions.

The folks over at Mashable are running a poll entitled “How Did You Find Out About Osama Bin Laden’s Death?”

I equate this to how you might have ‘learned’ about the incident.

At least 54% of respondents used one of Twitter, Facebook and/or instant messaging social media tools. The other 46% learned the news through television, telephone, texting and ‘other source’ which I presume concerns outlets such as face-to-face, radio, morse code, etc.

For those that learned the news through social media, how many of you went on to research and ultimately learn about other topics such as:

  • Abbottabad
  • Navy SEALS
  • 9/11
  • Al-Qaeda

How did you learn?

Was it a combination of purposeful AND serendipitous learning? Once somebody shared some form of knowledge, did it quench your thirst? Did it answer a question? Did it send you off on a trail to seek out more knowledge?

Did you engage with others after you found out the initial news? Whether on Twitter, Facebook, Quora, or a host of other external Web 2.0 applications, did you participate? Did you lurk? Did you learn?

Did you discuss face-to-face with people afterwards? Did you broaden your perspective by tapping into sources you might not otherwise have visited in the past?

However the news reached you, however you learned, and whatever steps you’re taking now to arm yourself with new knowledge regarding Osama Bin Laden … I’m very curious to know how this experience might become a starting point, a tipping point, an inflection point for organizations when it comes to accepting the fact that learning happens formally, informally and socially. Period.

There may be the need for formal organizational learning plans, sure; but if we accept that learning happens in both linear and non-linear modes, and we use #OBL (the Twitter hashtag) as a reference point, perhaps this may be the point in history whereby we’re actually progressing towards a formal, informal and social state of organizational competence rather than the notion that ‘knowledge gains only happen in a classroom’.

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