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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



An Effective Tool in Informal Learning: Technology

by Esra Telli
Language: EN

       Informal learning has gained an important place in professional life as an effective adult education method and has even become an integral part of it. As informal learning became a part of professional and individual life, individuals wishing to meet their learning needs turned to using tools or technologies appropriate to their needs. Today, the easiest way to access information is to use internet technology. Although search engines (Google, Yandex, Bing) come to mind in accessing information, many people use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter as informal learning environments. The tools such as forums, blogs, wikis, which enable all users to produce their own content without the need of infrastructure related to these technologies, both facilitate access to information and increase social interaction among users. These tools are among the most important examples of online informal learning environments.

     It is also possible to say that social media can be an effective tool in informal learning by increasing cooperation among users of all ages. The video sharing site Youtube, which has entered our lives with Web 2.0 and has become an almost integral part, also has a great potential in terms of online informal learning. Youtube, where many different content videos such as entertainment, music or news are shared, includes learning videos from all topics, and especially for informal learning, as these videos are “how to" vide videos that tell you how to do a small task instead of covering a long topic. It can be said to be the largest multimedia source on the internet.

     Studies investigating the informal learning activities of adults using any technology in their spare time reveal that the vast majority use technology for informal learning. Adults use a variety of Web 2.0 tools (blogs, micro blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.), including computers and the internet, television, radio, games and mobile devices, digital cameras, music players and PDAs for informal learning. The opportunities provided by the use of technology for informal learning are also of great importance for workplace learning and professional development. Social media, which has become a common part of the social interaction of individuals in daily life, also affects the ways in which employees can access information in order to do their jobs. Some companies even benefit from the positive impact of social media on employees' informal learning by creating social networking environments for the organization due to security and privacy concerns.

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