Collaboration and Virtual Environments: A Powerful Combination to Drive Effective Learning

Lance DublinLearning is one of our big themes this year. In addition to posts by Emma King, Janet Clarey, and Mark Jankowski, Lance Dublin, CEO and Creative Abrasionist with Dublin Consulting, highlights how collaboration and virtual environments can drive effective learning. Lance will also be speaking on ”Why You Need a Collaborative Learning Environment and What You’ll Be Missing If You Don’t Have One” on January 13, 2011 from 11:00 – 11:50 am.

Briefly, Lance is an independent management consultant, speaker and author based in San Francisco. He specializes in strategy development, program design and implementation to revitalize learning, implement change and transform organizations. He brings to his work more than 30 years’ experience in adult education and training, communication and change management, and organizational design and development

Statistics don’t lie. Today we live, work and play in a highly connected and collaborative world – unlike any we have ever known before.  There are 500 million people worldwide connected through Facebook; 50% of those active users log in every day and 35 million of those users update their status daily.  Twitter now has over 106 million registered users; 180 million unique visitors come to the site every month and Twitter users are, in total, tweeting an average of 55 million tweets a day. The mobile industry has now 4.6 Billion active subscriptions (there are only 6.8Billion people on the planet); 5 billion text messages are sent each day in the USA.

But, what does this have to do with learning?

Learning is by its nature a social experience.  And, learning from and with other people is a more effective way to learn.  We have always learned in this way – group discussions in class, study groups, group projects, passing notes in class, asking a friend or teacher for help.  But what is different today is that the new collaborative technologies – text and instant messages, blogs and wikis, and social networks – enable, extend, and enhance learning in ways never possible before.  I call it the new ‘e-learning’.

The combination of this new e-learning with the unique characteristics of virtual environments makes for highly effective learning.  In support of both real-time and recorded learning activities and events, learners are able to actively collaborate with other learners, experts and teachers – without leaving the environment itself.  And it is through this collaboration they can share the insights and information, tips and tricks, and experiences and examples that make their learning more effective – and I feel more enjoyable.

About Donna Sanford

Donna Sanford | Founder and former Publisher of EXPO Magazine and Program Consultant for the Virtual Edge Summit