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Peer learning is becoming more popular and technologies can be used to make this process much more effective, especially in remote fields of work. Businesses should therefore embrace peer learning as a way to boost employee performance and improve communication within their remote teams. In order to facilitate this, companies can make use of various tools and platforms.
Technologies are growing and developing each day and with these fast advancements the world is becoming more and more globalized. This globalization has changed the way we live our everyday lives and one of the biggest changes it has brought is the way we work and do different tasks. Nowadays a very big number of people are working from home on remote positions, and some don’t even have standard jobs and make money through different means, all thanks to these technological advancements.
But this new trend of staying home has brought a problem of communication between people, especially ones who work in the same companies. Because of this new technologies and tools have been invented to help solve this problem and make communication and learning easier while being online.
Before we take a look at using technology to facilitate peer learning, let’s first take a look at the importance of peer learning and benefits brought by it. Peer learning has been gaining more and more popularity in both educational and professional environments. It focuses on the sharing of knowledge and teaching between two or more people. It increases engagement in the learning process and makes it much more entertaining to learn different topics.
One of the biggest benefits of peer learning when using technologies is the retention of information. You can read through hundreds of pages to learn a certain topic but in most cases you would not remember most of the information in just a few days. But this peer learning, the information absorbed stays for longer because of discussions and analysis that are happening during this process.
Another form of learning that is similar to peer learning is providing information in a smaller and more compact manner. For example, looking at the financial sector, it is hard to learn everything that you need to know as everything is very complex and learning it from peers can also be challenging as it still requires you to have some basic knowledge in order to understand most of the information. In order to address these challenges, many companies started to offer small educational materials to the users who can quickly learn about small details regarding the specific information they need, rather than reading through very complex educational materials, such as books and course materials.
In companies, peer education also boosts employee performance and makes companies more competitive on the market. Since peer education requires constant communication between employees, on top of helping each other learn, these employees create stronger bonds and work as a team rather than individually. In today's market, especially in remote positions, this high level of communication is rarely present, meaning that the company which achieves it will gain a significant advantage over the competition.
There are many different tools and platforms available online that can be used to help peer learning and make this process much easier. When mentioning these tools, it is important to know that these are not only tools for purely educational purposes, as there are tools that increase communication between remote workers that can be used for peer learning as well.
Slack is a messaging app that is used by a big number of companies, especially ones that employ remote workers. With Slack employees can be informed about everything that they need to know and can communicate with each other if there are any questions. Using Slack employees can easily communicate with each other through different channels that are present on the platforms. With this, it becomes much easier for people to ask questions and get necessary answers from their peers with very minimal effort and no time wasted at all.
Slack also gives every employee access to the same information and resources. What this means is that there are no restrictions in place and if you want to access a certain channel or information, you can do it quickly and efficiently.
When a company employs remote workers, managing these workers is very difficult and one of the best ways to do so is using different project management tools. But other than simple management, these tools can be used to increase peer learning and communication. PM tools such as Freedcamp, Jira, and ClickUp all provide tools that make it easier for employees to share information and help each other learn certain topics.
These Project Management tools have inbuilt Wikis and Whiteboards that can be used for the peer learning. In Wiki sections, employees can create certain guides on different topics that are important to know and then other employees can read up on those guides, leave comments, and if they have any more questions they can easily see who wrote the guide and contact that employee directly. In the case of whiteboards, these are live collaborative spaces where multiple employees can share different thoughts and ideas through text, images, and other necessary information. Imagine standing in one room next to an actual whiteboard and teaching each other certain topics, these are what these PM whiteboards are for. With these tools employees can quickly gain the knowledge that they need and it also boosts productivity as information flows much faster across the company and there are less instances where employees are unfamiliar with the work they are doing.
Another good platform to use when trying to increase peer learning are online meeting platforms. The likes of Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and so on, all can be used to facilitate peer learning. Holding weekly meetings can be a great way to increase communication between employees and make it easier to share certain information. When using these online meeting platforms, it is important to have a good system in place and every meeting should have a certain goal to achieve. These should not be about just catching up on certain work related tasks, but it should be encouraged to ask questions, share ideas, and make suggestions. All this will help employees learn new things, look at certain topics from different points of views, and in general make the work process much more efficient, as employees will have a much better understanding of the work they and their co-workers are doing.
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