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Using IT to be Forever Educated

Posted on 17 May 2016 by Tiffany Gierke

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tiffany_forever_educated.jpgLast week a colleague came to my desk for assistance with a video editing tool. While showing him how to produce a video, I commented on his busy Desktop and that he should tidy it up for demonstrations. “Oh that’s easy,” he said, “Check this out” and took control of the mouse right-clicked on the Desktop and disabled the Show Desktop Icons option. Boom. It was like shoving all your toys under the bed when your mom told you to clean your room.

In a matter of a few minutes, my colleague learnt how to produce the video in the required format and I learnt a tip for hiding my Desktop icons. This is informal learning in action. There are numerous definitions of what informal learning really is but to quote Jay Cross, an expert in Informal Learning, “Informal learning is like riding a bicycle: the rider chooses the destination and the route. The cyclist can take a detour at a moment’s notice to admire the scenery or help a fellow rider.” From his analogy you can see that informal learning is self-directed, incidental and social. It takes place outside a classroom setting and curriculum.

So why am I writing about this? Informal learning means that learning can take place without the constraints of formal learning such as an available instructor and a classroom which takes you out of the working environment. It can assist employees with staying up-to-date in the fast changing environment and keep them relevant. At SYSPRO we have a number of ways we foster informal learning which you could apply to your organization, these include:

  • Open access to the internet we encourage employees to research and learn by watching videos in YouTube or subscribing to Lynda.com courses (which are free)
  • Forums – probably the most valuable area for informal learning, we have set up both internal and external forums
  • Yammer provides a social network in the workplace whereby you can follow subject matter experts, share files and knowledge
  • Microsoft Lync Instant Messaging – this is often used for quick questions and answers and allows video-conferencing, so you don’t even need to be in the same room.

Companies should be encouraging this form of learning, not only for an employee’s personal and professional development, but also to ensure a workforce that is forever educated.

 

Topics: Education, Training and Certification


Tiffany Gierke

Tiffany Gierke is the Head of Education at SYSPRO, and has been at the company since 2005. Together with her team, she produces education material in the form of training guides, feature demonstrations and interactive e-Learning modules.

Being responsible for getting the latest product information out to the territory offices means that she is constantly learning about the latest and greatest SYSPRO has to offer. Tiffany feels that SYSPRO’s customization and personalization capabilities make the product exciting and ahead of the ERP game.

Tiffany is an avid globetrotter and when she’s not running around the office take notes, she’s running around other countries taking photos.

 

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