How The Social Age Has Transformed How We Learn


The way we learn has been transformed and the social age is driving this change or making it possible, depending on how you look at it. Most significantly learning has gone way beyond institutions and organisations. Universities, colleges and school are still here providing education but learning now has a life of its own that transcends the education norms of the industrial age.

How Learning Has Changed

  • Learning is now on-demand in real-time. Thanks to the Internet, education is instantly available anywhere and it comes mostly free or for a nominal fee. Internet search has eliminated the need to remember things.
  • Learning has transcended the classroom. Learning can happen on a mobile phone, a tablet and even an iPod Touch.
  • Learning is no longer an entitlement. Everyone can learn no matter what.
  • Lessons are shared experiences - think SlideShare, Wikipedia, YouTube, blogs, podcasts and more.
  • Learning is personal. Your unique experience provides an additional teaching element that creates a richer learning experience.
  • We are teaching ourselves and each other. Everyday people are creating a democratised education system that has no barrier and almost always is at no cost. We are all teachers, or at least we all have the potential to be, but not in the traditional sense. If you have experience you can teach.
  • Learning is a constant. It’s something we do every day. With masses of information being imposed on us we are more aware of learning on-the-go in small increments.
  • Information is optimised for increased absorption and our waning attention spans. Shorter books, blog posts, audio snippets, video clips, whitepapers, slide presentations, and eBooks are all geared to faster consumption of information.

7 Education Delivery Mega Machines

  • We Google everything. Whatever we want to know we use the search giant and go from there.
  • The eReader has streamlined access to niche content. Despite the decline of the book store, accessibility to books is at its peak. It’s never been easier to find books. Amazon, along with its Kindle platform, has revolutionised reading in terms of ease, price and discovery. Digital reading has transformed how we consume books and publications. Additionally, now anyone can publish a book.

    Here's a tip. Read 10 pages a day and you'll quite easily read 12 books a year.

  • Social media platforms are in effect serving as education platforms. When a specialist you follow shares handpicked articles based on her niche you're getting tailored content. Podcasts have truly come of age. They can transform your daily commute into a classroom. If you don’t do podcasts check it out. Search a niche topic on iTunes, subscribe and be amazed what you can learn. I am amazed at the sheer mass of free information passionate people generate through podcasts. Video blogs and blogs are another stellar form of learning from people who are learning things through first-hand experience way beyond theory.
  • YouTube is simply amazing. Whatever you want to learn, there is a video you can learn from.
  • Webinars are now mega business. It’s a modern day classroom. For a small fee and often for free you can attend an online live lesson on almost anything.
  • Meetups/Events - it seems these days the world has gone conference crazy. When the digitally connected world converges conferences happen. is now a favourite career development facilitator where you can connect in person with your preferred focus group.
  • The Smartphone/Tablet has transformed accessibility to information and learning. In Australia, where I live, many schools are making the iPad a mandatory learning requirement for students.
So how are you capitalising on what the social age has done to education? Go on, let me know what you think. Pop a comment in the box and if you like this please share on your favourite social sites. Alternatively email it to a few friends.

I'm a big fan of connecting. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat - feel free to drop me an email at karl [at] or on Twitter at @krohde

Thanks to Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) at Human Business Works, who mentioned me on his killer podcast, I got a few new followers this week. If you are one of them I heartily welcome you and thank you for giving WorkLikeAnArtist a try.