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WOLCE: Technology ‘Vital’ for Informal Learning

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Training professionals should familiarise learners with using podcasts, blogs and forums for informal learning, Clive Shepherd, director of e-learning at The Training Foundation, told delegates at this week’s World of Learning Conference.

Speaking alongside an international panel at the event's Future of Learning Forum, Shepherd said that technologies such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, forums and instant messaging could provide vital informal learning.

However, while described as “enfranchising employees as both teachers and learners" Shepherd pointed out that this did not make formal learning redundant.

"Trainers should familiarise learners with these new techniques within the relatively safe environment of traditional, certified courses,” Shepherd said.

“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."

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