Social learning as learning-to-be

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to do a podcast with Jim Storer and Shannon Abram of The Community Roundtable  as part of their “Conversations with Community Managers” series.

One of the topics we cover is what I see as a missed opportunity for learning professionals who see “social learning” as equal to “having people share online.”

The missed opportunity is that the sharing is limited to learning about or learning what. Few look seriously at learning to be – to become a particular type of practitioner.

In the podcast, I reference The Community Roundtable as getting it right. No one who takes a course about community management or gets a new job role of “community manager” will tell you, if they are honest, that they feel like a community manager. The same goes for any new professional role or professional identity we take on.

You become that new type of practitioner once you start to engage with your peers in the same practice around issues that require a level of deeper experience, tacit knowledge and understanding of the belief systems that define the profession or practice.

And it takes time to get there.

The Community Roundtable gets it right by having created an environment where community managers of all levels of experience have a space to “become,” to test and develop their abilities to engage in the tacit elements and shared belief systems of the practice of community management. It is critically important to those individuals who are relatively new to the profession. It gives them space to learn to be.

Have a listen. I also touch base on another topic of interest to me – things that give me hope about leaders and leading in the digital era.


Original “Conversations with Community Managers” post at The Community Roundtable