Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2010

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 62 of 129

SOCIAL MEDIA AS LEARNING TOOLS: Learning to Dance by Natalie Huha A ccording to, “Americans now spend a third of their time online communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal e-mail and instant messaging.” Over the last 10 years, training and learning has truly undergone a paradigm shift. The myriad technologies that can now be leveraged have transformed the avenues by which we can communicate, train and learn. To obtain training in the past, you may have attended college courses, seminars, classes or live conference events and received handouts as reference materials. More recently, you might have also rented a video on a particular topic, signed up for an online webinar, or read research books, manuals and articles online. These methods for training and learning are still widely utilized today but could be considered “traditional” compared to new technologies that have emerged. 64 Peer to Peer New Technologies Now, because Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies have invaded every aspect of our lives, the question of how one learns takes on a whole new meaning. Andrew McAfee, in his book Enterprise 2.0 New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges, talks about three trends that have yielded better collaborative tools. These trends are: • Free and easy platforms for communication and interaction • A lack of imposed structure • Mechanisms to let structure emerge These days learning takes place anywhere, at any time. You can learn in a group, by yourself, in a rush, when relaxing, on the road, in your office, on your front porch, on your mobile device, reading an e-mail or while surfing the Web.

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