Learning technologies are playing a huge part in helping social care professionals make the most of workplace development by utilising e-learning and online training courses.

For social care workers, the majority of their time is spent in physical contact with others, supporting the needs of individuals, families and the wider community and helping those with mental and physical health problems. Typically, technology and digital devices don’t play a huge part in a social worker’s role.

However, working and supporting vulnerable members of the community means that social workers have a duty to protect their clients. This means they must to be up to date on the latest legislation and training, which is increasingly shifting from traditional classroom based learning to e-learning and other technologies.

What are learning technologies?

Learning technologies are basically the use of digital technology in any part of a person’s learning process, whether this be in the early years, workplace training or individual learning. This type of technology includes online training courses, modules, general learning support and management.

Learning in this way has many benefits, namely making the process more accessible and fun while also improving the retention of information, engagement and personal development. It is important, however, to remember that learning technologies work better in some circumstances that others and are most effective when they are integrated into a learning strategy that is bespoke to a particular organisation.

How will this help social workers?

When it comes to social care, values and beliefs are at the core of operations as they help ensure that clients are receiving the best possible service and are protected from any harm. Social care workers apply these values on a daily basis, considering them when they find themselves in challenging situations.

A bespoke e-learning package can be designed to meet unique training requirements, while being created to align with specific policies, processes, branding and tone. Learning technologies can help social care staff develop the knowledge that underpins their judgement and decision-making skills.

In a job role that is physical, it is also crucial that this is paired with personal guidance, supervision, feedback and discussion. This will help managers understand the ability of staff to apply these values in practice.

What is a LMS?

A learning management system (LMS) is software that helps track, report, document and deliver training courses and programs. Many organisations and businesses use LMS’s to cut down costs and eliminate disruptions associated with traditional learning because workers are able to study the e-learning content at a time and place that suits them, as long as they have internet connection. LMS also make it easier for managers to monitor their employee’s progression, while saving the time, money and effort that would otherwise be spent organising classroom-based lessons and catch-up meetings.

This type of content is crucial in social care because of the diversity of the market, with different learners having different needs. For example, those working in foster care will access training outside of school holidays, whereas those working night shifts have the flexibility to complete online training when it suits them.

Will learning technology allow me to work collaboratively?
Just because e-learning systems are usually completed in private, it doesn’t mean users can’t work in a collaborative way. Social media platforms and online forums integrated into learning programmes allow users to collaborate with other learners and their trainers.

Many e-learning courses incorporate various types of content. Websites help users learn from sources such as online articles from multiplenews outlets, videos on YouTube and messaging groups on Facebook. The connection with others that social media provides means that learners can work remotely and still be connected with users across the globe.