Putting social media to work for trainers
The following text is part of the rough draft of what I said at presentation I gave on Social Media and Social Learning. My speech most likely deviated from this due to memory failings and last-minute editing.
I believe I promised you some savings. So let’s see if we can use these tools to save money on things such as travel costs and classroom space. We just might be able to reach more trainees with fewer trainers.
Research & Discovery
Whether you need information to develop a training program or recruit someone to teach your people, here are some tools you can use:
- Quora: I’ve mentioned this Q&A site already. You also might want to check out Focus – which has more concentration on small business and a longer history.
- LinkedIn: I’ve talked about Answers but the Skills section helps you find experts too. You can try the Groups for areas of expertise but I think there is too much noise to signal ratio.
- AllTop.com: This isn’t really social media. But it’s a directory of blogs grouped by subject. You might find some resources here.
Now let’s take this show on the road. Or the Internet. Here are some tools that can help you train someone in a remote location.
- Troubleshooter: You should have a second person on hand to help answer questions from your trainees and help them with any problems. Recruit someone from tech services or someone who has used the application before.
- Chat: I want to talk about this as a communication tool for any real-time remote learning. You need some way to interact, not just broadcast your presentation.
- Webinars: Who has used webinars? There are a lot of applications out there that allow you to broadcast your slides and audio. Be sure to use in conjunction with some sort of chat to allow trainees to ask questions.
- AnyMeeting: Free service that’s ad supported. I’m recommending this as a way to get your feet wet. Learn what you can do before paying for a service. But be careful about relying on free services. They don’t have any accountability when it comes to reliability. If they are down when your class is scheduled, what can you do about it?
- Video conferencing: Again, there are solutions that allow you to connect remote rooms. Make sure you have some sort of feedback system that doesn’t require people to yell over the line.
- Virtual Classrooms: These are new sites that allow trainers to package video, slides, text and forums online. These sites also boast communities that rate and check the content:
- Sophia.org: Peer-to-peer lesson packets made of any content you can upload.
- Learnable: Lets you create a course from text, video, and/or file downloads. Plus charge a fee.
- Knoodle: Combine video with your presentation for training. But it costs money to use.
- Mindflash: Invite trainees to live training sessions based upon your presentations. You can add quizzes.
- Udemy: You can upload presentations, videos, host live classroom sessions and write articles. It also mashes up video and presentations. It also lets you charge fees for courses.
- Online video: Not very interactive by itself but very useful for training hands-on kind of tasks. You can simply post the videos to an archive for trainees to learn at their own pace or combine a video with a chat to allow questions during a viewing.
Training is like journalism. No story or lesson is complete. Something is always missing no matter how good the teacher or reporter. Use tools that allow you to add more content to the lesson and let trainees ask questions.
- Blogs: Post course materials into a blog and encourage trainees to ask questions in the comments.
- Email: Create an email group that lets everyone communicate and ask questions.
- Slideshare.net: Share your slides on this site or email them to trainees. Slideshare also lets you conduct free, online meetings & sync audio for webinar.
- Microblogging: Basically, Twitter. Short messages to small groups or entire network.