Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

3 September 2008

Facebook Apprenticeship

Clark @ 9:13 AM

Jay Cross has an interesting post about using Facebook in the organization, and makes a connectionCognitive Apprenticeship I hadn’t seen (and wish I had :).  He’s citing another post on FaceBook and the Enterprise, where JP Rangaswami posits that Facebook can be used to allow individuals to track what their bosses are doing, as role models.  Jay connects this to Cognitive Apprenticeship (my favorite model of learning), where the boss is modeling his thinking processes, and the employee can use that model as a guide to performance.  Modeled performance is one of the components.

This is a great idea, making individuals thought processes visible for others to see, though whether it has to be the boss specifically, or others employees worth tracking (the more experienced practitioner, the expert in a particular area of interest) is an open question.  Likewise, the employee’s actions might be made visible as a basis for coaching/mentoring.

I’m not sure Facebook is the right tool, but a combination of tools might make sense and Facebook’s APIs might make it possible.  As I commented on Jay’s blog:

I’m reminded of an interview I heard (wish I knew where; time for Evernote?) where this guy talked about how he kept his team on track: his del.ico.us tags, using basecamp, IM, etc left a trail of what he was paying attention to, where everyone was at, letting them work in tight synchrony.

That sort of open process can be quick, informative, and how Web 2.0 might really transform the ways people work, making personal learning a process of looking in the window of other’s working, and vice versa.  Of course, there are other issues, like privacy, and having a culture where sharing is the basis for improvement, not chastisement.

This actually might fit in with Tony Karrer’s post over at the Learning Circuit’s blog about to-learn lists: could we couple learning goals with semantic web to track relevant actions/posts/tags/etc to auto-support to-learn lists?  And this may be one of the answers to Brent Schlenker’s question about what is eLearning 2.0.

JP’s message recalls how his employees actually wanted to see not how he handled the incoming mail, but how he responded; his outgoing mail.  Very interesting.  Somewhere between seeing what someone’s paying attention to, and seeing how they actually communicate, is a very interesting opportunity.  Blogs provide some insight, tweets another.  So do del.ico.us tags (which I don’t use yet, and perhaps should). You can follow the people blazing the paths, at least. I’m happy following blogs and tweets so far, and learning from it.  Are many of you doing that?  And finding it valuable?

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Clark! I think LinkedIn has a better model for this. It may sound silly but I think simple working makes a difference. On Facebook we update our “status” and on TWITTER we answer the question “what are you doing”. Well, on LinkedIn we answer the question “What are you working on”. Sure, its all semantics but perception is important and already the majority of people view LinkedIn as a more “professional” social network. So I could see LinkedIn being a better testing ground for this type of mentorship following.

    Comment by brent schlenker — 3 September 2008 @ 2:50 PM

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