Social Media for Trainers

Monday night, I attended two back-to-back meetings on the topic “Social Media for Trainers”. I was delighted with everything I learned. Here’s a quick summary of the meetings:

Learning Leaders only meeting:

The early meeting at 3:30 was for Learning Leaders only. During this meeting, a panel discussed what is involved with getting Social Media for learning up and running at your workplace. The group invited to the meeting was Director-level leaders and above to ensure that the discussion was focused around the issues that are a concern for leaders. The panel consisted of Jane Bozarth – a noted author and Sherry Heyl – the CEO of Concept Hub. The discussion was facilitated by Tina Busch, the Director of Learning and Development at Kimberly-Clark.  It was a small meeting of about 20 or so participants but that was by design.

Atlanta Learning Leaders

 Some basic advice for leaders hoping to incorporate social media into learning was:

  1. Start small. Don’t try everything at once.
  2. Hold people’s hands. Don’t assume that everyone knows how to do everything on the web.
  3. Find out why you want to use social media before you select the tool.

Some answers to common roadblocks for social media were:

  • Roadblock:  IT blocks access to things like Facebook.
  • Answer:  IT is only making employees spend time getting around their blocks. Employees can use their smartphones to get to Facebook/Twitter or find other ways around blocks.
  • Roadblock: Our older employees won’t like using Facebook.
  • Answer: Show them how to post pictures of their grandchildren or get their kids on their feed. They’ll be all over it.

 General Learning Community Meeting:

The next meeting began at 6:00. The meeting was held at Southern Company downtown so the location was great. Because of this, every seat was sold in advance. At this meeting, several things were on the agenda:

  • Recognition for companies that were celebrating Employee Learning Week. (December 6th – 10th if you haven’t been reading my blog.)
  • A fun talk on how to incorporate Social Media into classroom training.
  • Awards for volunteers from the year.

The speaker for this session was Jane Bozarth. She is a funny woman that made the topic fun, interactive, and very engaging. Everyone walked out of the meeting with a lot of ideas on how to use Social Media in training. If you want to know more, please get her book:  Social Media for Trainers available on Amazon or Kindle.

I won’t go into all the details from the book in this blog, but I can assure you I’ll be buying the book. Her ideas were fantastic and I can’t wait to start designing learning that utilizes Social Media.

I definitely already use Social Media both socially and for work. But after this meeting, I’m going to find other ways to use Social Media in my Instructional Design. I’ll be blogging about my experiments as a I try them. I’d love to hear more about how each of you use Social Media in your departments / design.
– Leigh Anne Lankford

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