Social media learning, which is a significant component of the e-learning industry, is gradually being adopted in the Indian academia and corporate in a big way. 2012 will only see more inclusion of social media in e-learning systems across India. As Mint reports, about a quarter of business proposals approved by one of the largest organized angel networks in India, have been e-learning projects.
Here are the 5 big trends of social learning or e-learning in India in 2012.
Cost cutting in the education and training market
Cost cutting is always in vogue and 2012 is going to be no different. Gone are the days when Indian SMEs and corporate will invest in hiring expensive trainers and experts for conducting repeated training sessions for the company. By adding the element of social learning in its training packages, corporate are going to reap the benefits of cost cutting through e-learning. As Business Review India reports, the advantage of doing this is that social learning training modules can be paced according to the needs of the trainee according to his / her speed and capability and the form and method of e-learning content can be selected according to the degree of interactivity and multimedia that the trainee wants.
Social Learning for Innovation
Indian companies and academia will exploit and leverage the power of social learning for incubating think tanks and innovation in 2012. In addition to investing the millions that innovations usually require, social learning will enable a more inexpensive way of coming up with the Big Idea. Social learning in India in 2012 will create benefits of utilizing people’s undocumented knowledge, the ability to work across time and space, making informed real time decisions and solving complex IT issues through collaborative strategies. If you have been a student of Knowledge Management, then you will understand that social learning will enable the archiving of knowledge in educational institutes and corporates which can be reused later on.
State sponsored Social Learning
2011 saw the Rajasthan State Government investing in a social learning platform similar to Facebook, in order to provide access of education to all possible corners of the state. As ET reported, this education social network would include all the standard features of a social networking platform with its central focus on educational collaboration and real time learning.
How much of a success such state sponsored efforts would be is a different story, but 2012 will only see more of government social learning initiatives being out into practice. It’s time we realized that social media learning is only going to save the state’s resources in education. In an ideal situation, arm students with internet and computer literacy and you need no large building infrastructures or teachers.
More Gaming / Interactive Applications
On one hand, while India struggles to bring all its learning and training initiatives on the electronic medium, on the other hand, social learning trends in India in 2012 will be veering towards making learning and training fun. While social learning through gaming add fun to the whole academic process, it can also be used to add rewards, points and bonuses to the regular learning system. The value addition the social media will bring to e-learning gamification will be real time, collaborative and competitive learning.
Although there are many players of e-learning in the Indian market such as Tata Interactive Services, Thomson Digital, Cognizant, Zensar Technologies, Patni Computer Systems, Reality Information Systems and many more who are at the top of their game, chalking out strategic implementation of social learning in the current e-learning infrastructure in India will be a challenge. Social learning is not a copy paste module which can be seen reaping benefits in India as it did in the West. The learning modes, adaption capabilities and behaviors of Indian content consumers are different. As aptly put by Ambarish Datta, previously Head – Technology Aided Learning at Reliance Retail,
"India is not America. Our learners are different. We’re behind on technology, and incorporating live virtual classrooms are not a reality for sectors such as retail. The Japanese have a ‘guru concept’ where they must have an instructor to be able to learn – India is similar in learning philosophies. Trends such as Web 2.0 applications for learning… we’re actually light years away from that! Providers have to understand and innovatively cater to buyers’ needs in India. It isn’t the electronic platform/medium that’s important, but the overall blended learning that enriches learners’ experiences."
What are your thoughts on Social Learning Trends in India…?