People are increasingly engaged in profession-related learning via social networks supported by Web 2.0 tools. Some of these informal online learners are already actively engaged in a profession, whereas others are preparing to enter a profession. Their online interactions enhance their formal education and face-to-face professional experiences
Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning via Social Networks will examine how individuals and organizations are using Web 2.0 tools to create informal learning and professional development opportunities. Informal learning is learning which occurs outside of a formal educational context, typically driven by a personal question or an immediate need. In other instances, informal learning may occur as a by-product of other social interactions. In this context, we focus on informal learning that occurs through online social networks on a voluntary basis. Professional development, then, is defined as learning that will enhance one's job-related knowledge or career growth. This book is perfectly suited for academics and practitioners as it is written in a manner that is clearly accessible and includes implications for practice.