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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Web 2.0 Learning

I've read a bit from (here, here, and here) about Jet Blue's use of web 2.0 / social media tools to communicate between their staff of learning professionals. This is another great example of eLearning 2.0.

Jet Blue University (their internal corporate university that I recently heard being discussed on Knowledge @ Wharton) is using Awareness Networks' platform to work collaboratively on projects between employees in disparate locations and programs and to share best practices on how to train JetBlue crew members. The Awareness platform includes tools such as blogs, wikis and social bookmarking / tagging.

Jeanne Meister tells us that the software is being used to allow JetBlue faculty to share around broader topics that just improvements in learning & development such as sharing photos from family vacations, weddings and birthdays. This allows faculty to get to know each other socially in order to be more effective sharing and working together later. They also use the technique of posting provocative topics in order to engage people in discussions.

Overall, a big part of the intent here is for the faculty to become used to using these tools and methods in order to put them in position to use them with other parts of the organization. Something I talk about all the time.


Anonymous said...


Great post. One comment though, imagin the power of integrating all that social media technology into an existing learning system like your LMS? Then you could connect people to people and people to content that is applicable to their jobs as well.

To my knowledge, Mzinga is the only vendor in the space that provides anything like this. But, Element K might have some solution set. Thoughts?

Tony Karrer said...

Matt - that's an interesting point. Yes, an LMS with something like competency models or learning history should indicate what content is known, interesting, applicable to that person. And, yes, there will be cases where having social media integrated into an LMS will be quite useful. I agree that connecting people to people and people to content is really the goal of all of this.

However, most of the focus needs to be on day-to-day work and learning outside of formal learning settings. Thus, the LMS could feed into that, but it's unlikely that the LMS would itself become the central hub.

Mzinga is definitely going in an interesting direction. They will be presenting at the upcoming free online conference for good reason. I'm not familiar with what ElementK is doing.

It's certainly not clear how all of this will shake out and I appreciate discussing it with you like this.

BTW, did you notice that JetBlue U didn't use something tied to an LMS?

Unknown said...

Interesting post. I like the fact that JET BLUE values knowledge and given their corporate profile this seems to be a key part are their mission.

That said why no LMS? I mean even if it's build your own, it's still an LMS.

Tony Karrer said...

Why no LMS? I don't think Jet Blue set out not to have an LMS. Rather, they looked at what they were trying to do and that didn't really map onto an LMS functionality. My guess is that JetBlue does have an LMS somewhere - but it's not related to this initiative.

I think there may be a tendency for all of us learning folks to try to figure out how an LMS can do more to include these things. That may not be the best route. Jet Blue obviously looked outside that box.