Saturday, 4 August 2007

Social Networking Boom Reaches The Workplace

Social Networking boom reaches the workplace - article - The Age 03/08/07 I have long believed that social networking tools, would not only reach the workforce, they would become another item that has the potential, for businesses, NFP, Sole Traders, Self Employed and Multinationals, along with those in the trades. In 2007, we have seen an increase in the business/charity/trade/health and other sectors, employing social networking tools. some for marketing and PR purposes, some as a part of training initiatives and others for collaborative research in the science areas and I am sure many others. Politicians, globally are seeing the power or myspace and the potential it has to increase their audience, get across their policies and raise campaign funds. My contention all along has been that, the workplace, industry, NFP, politics and more, are more open minded, fear less the dangers, see the benefits and are adopting, adapting, embracing and employing, and integrating social networking tools, into their daily practice. The fear for me is that, in many of our learning institutions today, primary - tertiary, many such tools and related technologies are being blocked both from learner and teacher/trainer/facilitator/lecturer, on campus. If is this is allowed to continue, are we not disadvantaging our learners, are we not providing for them an unreal world, one removed from the reality of what is happening now, in workplaces where one day they may wish to be a part of. How can I or anyone, teach subjects in the business sector without working with the learners in various online tools and technologies, is I can not access them. How can they learn to use them safely, productively and strategically, when there is no ability to access the sites required. How can I fulfill my duty of care, to provide a learning experience that is current, relevant and of the highest quality, if I am blocked from the ability to engage them in the worlds ahead of them. How can I provide them with the skills they will require to survive and succeed, no matter what the future brings. So many questions, some ideas forming (thanks to many thought provoking comments and emails for which I thank you), no solution yet, but hope is never lost. Jacinta

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