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Anna Macwilliam What does social learning mean to you?

Let’s start at the beginning, what is social learning? We’ve all heard the term but what does it actually mean?

Wikipedia says “Social learning is learning that takes place at a wider scale than individual or group learning, up to a societal scale, through social interaction between peers.”

I think we often confuse social learning with social media, and whilst social media is a great way to access social learning it doesn’t have to be accessed through technology, it could be brainstorming sessions, networking events or action learning sets.


Having said that I’ve learnt so much from reading people’s twitter feeds, blogs and the discussions within LinkedIn groups. Yes, you have to filter out a lot of self-promotion and repetition but you can find some really good nuggets.

For me, social learning is all about recognising the need to change and evolve, and to do this we need to keep up to date with the latest thinking as well as finding smarter ways to work and let’s face it; if we didn’t do that we’d still be writing on slates!

Social learning is a great way of learning continuously and not limiting our learning to our organisation or even our country. It appeals to differing learning styles and skills sets; it enables us to learn on-demand using a variety of devices, from our laptop, to our smart phone or tablet; and one of the biggest advantages of social learning is that it also gives us access to Subject Matter Experts that we’d never have the chance to meet.

Anna Macwilliam

Anna Macwilliam, Digital Project Manager, Bray Leino Learning

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