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Home > News > November 2006 > 15 November 2006

World of Learning Conference

Speaking today at the World of Learning Conference, Clive Shepherd, director of e-learning at The Training Foundation, will call for the rise of informal learning through new social networking technologies to be harnessed within formal learning contexts.

Shepherd will be speaking alongside an international panel at the event's Future of Learning Forum.

"These technologies - particularly the use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, forums and instant messaging - offer an enticing prospect for new forms of informal learning in organisations, challenging the top-down flow of content and enfranchising all employees as both teachers and learners," said Shepherd.

But he points out that there is nothing new about informal learning, neither is it a panacea: formal learning is still vital.

"Trainers should familiarise learners with these new techniques within the relatively safe environment of traditional, certified courses. By overcoming whatever barriers they may have to becoming active contributors and collaborators in a facilitated setting, they will not only enjoy their courses much more, but they will also be ready to take full advantage of informal learning technologies as they become more prevalent."

The Training Foundation provides a range of certified e-learning and blended learning programmes for trainers.

"New technologies and methodologies defining today's e-learning space can present training managers with real challenges," says Training Foundation deputy chief executive Adrian Snook.

"The skills required are neither commonplace, nor a matter of simple commonsense. Our courses aim to address the skills gap so that trainers can fully exploit the new world of e-learning."

The World of Learning Conference and Exhibition is taking place today at the NEC, Birmingham.

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