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The need for informal learning

Emphasis on lifelong learning has increased primarily because people must continue to learn to stay abreast of constant change. [1] It is essential workers keep up through informal learning or they shall be replaced. [2] Learners must deal with unknown situations, find solutions, and implement the situations. [3] Additionally, adults must be continuously learning in order to fulfill their social responsibilities. [4]

Information required for job competency has a shorter and shorter lifespan. [5] The usefulness of information decreases rapidly due to technology. [6] Information or knowledge in fields becomes obsolete in a matter of years rather than lifetimes; each field has a different half-life of information.. [7] As a result, information and communication technology requires users to continuously learn to stay abreast of ever changing technology. [8], [9]

Knowles points out adults want to learn; they are constantly working to improve themselves. [10] Individuals are motivated by personal interests and problem-solving needs. [11] An important variable which makes something learnable is that it must be meaningful to the individual. [12] In many cases, learners are motivated by a problem that they must solve. A trigger sets in motion the need for learning, and learners in turn reflect on the results. [13] Learners search until they find the right node to help them solve the problem they are working on. [14]

Education and learning help to increase the value of the workforce. [15] There are three trends pushing corporations towards adoption of informal learning: information overload, need for immediate access to information, and desire for learners to take charge of learning. [16] Unfortunately, in many cases, individuals are required to maintain their own learning; companies are not inclined to provide training. [17] Individuals are increasingly using computers to carry out informal learning. [18] In most cases, individuals can find better information online through Google than what is typically developed by department trainers. [19]

References

  1. Attwell, G. (2010, April 6). Web 2.0 and the changing ways we are using computers for learning: what are the implications for pedagogy and curriculum? Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.122.6064&rep=rep1&t
  2. Cross, J. (2007). Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  3. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  4. Garrison, D. (1989). Understanding distance education: A framework for the future. New York, NY: Routledge.
  5. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  6. Bell, C. R. (1977). Informal learning in organizations. Personnel J, (6), 280.
  7. Knowles, M. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy (Rev. and Updated.). Chicago: Association Press.
  8. Attwell, G. (n.d.). Web 2.0, personal learning environments and the future of schooling. Retrieved from http://www.pontydysgu.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/web2andfutureofschooling.pdf
  9. Korpelainen, E., & Kira, M. (2010). Employees’ choices in learning how to use information and communication technology systems at work: strategies and approaches. International Journal of Training and Development, 14(1), 32–53. doi:10.1111/j.
  10. Knowles, M. S. (1950). Informal adult education: A guide for administrators, leaders, and teachers. New York, NY: Associate Presse.
  11. Attwell, G. (2010, April 6). Web 2.0 and the changing ways we are using computers for learning: what are the implications for pedagogy and curriculum? Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.122.6064&rep=rep1&t
  12. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  13. Watkins, K. E., & Marsick, V. J. (1992). Towards a theory of informal and incidental learning in organizations. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 11(4), 287 – 300.
  14. Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing knowledge. Lexington, KY. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/KnowingKnowledge_LowRes.pdf
  15. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  16. Galagan, P. (2010). Unformal, the new normal? T+D, 64(9), 29 – 31.
  17. Attwell, G. (2010, April 6). Web 2.0 and the changing ways we are using computers for learning: what are the implications for pedagogy and curriculum? Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.122.6064&rep=rep1&t
  18. Attwell, G. (2010, April 6). Web 2.0 and the changing ways we are using computers for learning: what are the implications for pedagogy and curriculum? Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.122.6064&rep=rep1&t
  19. Shackleton-Jones, N. (2008). Informal learning and the future. Training Journal, 38 – 41.

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