Social Media, let’s face it, you either love it or hate it. It’s everywhere these days from Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp to LinkedIn, and Google+. The list is endless! There is just no escaping it. But how can these sites help you in supporting the training effort?
Gone are the days that you have to sit for hours in a classroom listening to a trainer and trying desperately to make as many notes as you can for fear of forgetting it all later! Now comes the age of ‘social learning’. Social media gives you access to learning from anywhere at any time and allows you to share your knowledge with everyone.
Social Media Opportunities:
Social media gives you some great opportunities to gain information and share knowledge and problems. Facebook and LinkedIn for example gives the opportunity to set up learning networks, to give you the opportunity to connect with others going through the same training, a great source of help, problem solving and brain storming. This can be an especially useful tool for those following a distance learning platform. It allows you to connect socially with others on the same course without the need to leave your home. Some online courses are even using the social media platform as part of their assignments which go towards their final marks. Tutors are setting up topics for discussion based on the course curriculum and students are marked on both the content and contribution.
Sharing information through Social Media:
More and more trainers and students are choosing to use social media as a book-marking tool. Not the book-marking as you or I know – the one on your tool bar in your web browser. This is social book-marking, using sites such as Delicious which allows you to collect and bookmark online. You can use it in a variety of ways such as searching for keywords or topics of interest, subscribing to RSS Feeds and much more. You can choose to keep your bookmarks private or allow public sharing.
Sense of Community:
One of the most appealing aspects of social media is the ease of communication with like-minded individuals through chat, comments, pictures and video. This is a powerful learning tool that training organisations are now exploring to keep the learning buzz alive long after the motivational aspect of attending a training programme has ended, by setting up a training community through Facebook or Twitter linked to a particular course, participants are able to support each other when applying practices in the workplace and trainers can interact and continue to keep the learning messages alive.
Another fantastic social media support tool for both trainers and students is social file sharing. It allows you to share presentations, videos, blogs, slides and test papers online. This means that through different social media you can allow students and trainers access to photo’s, training course videos, blogs and much more. This cuts out the need for endless papers and gives remote access to students at a time to suit them. It also means you can go back to them time and time again for reference.
To quote Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is Power” and today’s social networks certainly do give us all the knowledge and power we need. The more knowledge we have the more we’ll succeed, whether it’s as a trainer or as a student.
Social Media is here to stay and growing by the day, so make sure you are using it, even if you feel you may not need it, you do. Make it work for you. Set up your own sites if one doesn’t exist already. The possibilities are endless. So don’t be afraid to use it.