Take “on-the-job” training and learning combine with the exchange of ideas, insights, and wisdom that only comes from living in a community of fellow learners, add some expert teaching and instruction, then a dash of social media, and you have the ingredients for a social learning environment. And that is just what Saddleback Church aims to achieve with a new school for church leadership.
"Resident Interns" will live in a campus community, attend focused practical classes together, get hands on learning in the context of a church planting, ministry, and personal leadership development, and use their social media networks to share and extend the learning with their personal networks.
This is social learning.
Social learning helps us gain perspective and it helps us make better decisions because it expands our perspectives. “…learning happens with and through other people, as a matter of participating in a community, not just by acquiring knowledge.”
While to book focuses on the role of using social media true social learning is more. It’s not just adding social media, but the blend of social media and personal or group interaction that develops a learning community. Community brings collaboration. In our fast paced, ever-changing world, we need to collaborate to meet the challenges of fast moving quick developing problems. As the authors point out, “Training gives people solutions to problems that have already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.” Church planters and ministry leaders can benefit from the blend of both.
When we share a workplace, when we share a living space, when we share a virtual space, we collaborate and learn at a much higher level. That is benefit of an environment like the Saddleback Church School of Church Leadership. Resident Interns receiving hands-on learning in context during the day and then return each evening to share, empathize, and collaborate. They share not only with their fellow residents, but with their virtual networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). This enables each learner to become a teacher and the campus to become a community learning laboratory. To harness the lateral wisdom available to them.
The blending of contextual real-time learning, with the personal and group proximity of living on a campus together, combined with sharing through their social media networks, creates a rich learning tapestry.
On our social media networks, there is no copyright on personal learning. Learners are free to share it, repurpose it, borrow it, copy it, remix it, use it, reinvent it, and give it. This makes us all teacher and learner.
Bingham and Conner describe the 70/20/10 learning concept. “In what is known as the 70/20/10 learning concept, Robert Eichinger and Michael Lombrado, in collaboration with Morgan McCall of the Center for Creative Leadership, explain that 70 percent of learning and development takes place from real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem solving; 20 percent of the time development comes from other people through informal or formal feedback, mentoring, or coaching; and 10 percent of learning and development comes from formal training.”
Most settings allows for either on-the-job training (learning in context) or formal training (learning, but without context). The Saddleback model will provide both with the added benefit of the social learning that comes from interns sharing and receiving feedback from their fellow interns with whom they share a community living setting, and encouraging residents to share on their social media networks. 70/20/10 at work each day.
In an interview with the authors, learning industry analyst Ellen Wagner is quoted as explaining that, “Today we assess personal learning mastery of knowledge and skills with how well people can leverage their interconnected networks of connections to resources, information, and subject matter specialists. Workplace success has shifted from individual accomplishment to teams, communities of practice, and collaboration.”
Saddleback Church’s School of Leadership is leveraging these facts by connecting resident interns to other resident interns, to knowledgeable and wise leaders, and to their virtual social media networks; all in the context of the learning---getting the learner closer to the doing.
It’s not just about training...it’s about learning…it’s about community…it’s about extending the learning to our community and our social networks. Harnessing the lateral wisdom all around us.
This is the social learning model of church planting/ministry..and it's on its way to Saddleback Church.