Curious. When I made my first steps into Computer Based Training, we learned to parrot the benefits. One was ‘no more learning by sitting next to Nellie’ – misinformation would no longer passed on informally , there would be a standardised, approved version of the truth promulgated to everyone. ‘Nellie-learning’ was cited again and again as a Bad Thing.
If there was an unseen presence hovering throughout last week’s Learning Technologies 2010 conference it was Nellie. Informal learning means Nellie can pass on her tips, her wisdom and her experience; Nellies can be found Just In Time across the enterprise; Nellie can even create learning material specific to whatever audience she wishes to address – no corporate standardisation.
I guess the big differences are that in a good social learning scheme Nellie may not be right next to you in the office – she may be in Hong Kong, and, for compliance and audit purposes, every word she says carries ‘Nellie said this’ on it somewhere!