5.1 Reasons How and Why to Build Learning with Social Media

Using social media (SM) to prepare material for instructional design, courseware and webinars and such is the flip side of the same coin that encourages social media as intake media.  We read a lot about using SM to learn, but how about to build?

Here are 5.1 reasons to build learning via SM.

1. A Social Collective

People learn best in a social context and are self-directed, particularly when focused on a specific task. Leveraging the collective intelligence of the group as they start producing information has never been easier with the portability, low threshold of technical savvy, and interconnectedness of these devices.

Therefore: Use small groups within the larger cohort to decide which content they should tackle and how to share their results.

2. Information for All on Demand

Build a place where information can be shared and critiqued – focusing on warehousing findings. This could be in the cloud, on a server or a Facebook page.  Point…since social media is an online ecology shouldn’t its construction be too?  The nature of this media also permits first person interview, audio, and video together with images that are as emotionally rich as cognitively necessary.

Therefore: Encourage saving and sharing discoveries, research and learning elements via Facebook by example, and tweet to instigate more ideas, even from outside the workgroup

3. Think Like a Designer  

When brainstorming their next auto, designers and engineers built huge concept boards on which anything related to the target audience for the vehicle is on public display.Everything of potential value, in any medium, should be posted in the project space even if it might bear the thinnest of relativities – someone might be tweaked into thinking differently.

Therefore: Practicing creativity and its principles must be part of course builders, and webinar maker’s toolsets.  Social media by its nature is a low key, playful environment providing the opportunities to express emotions to spur on a panoramic view of the problem/project easily refocusing as needed.

4. Communicate, then Synthesize Ideas

Communicate frequently with the group to help them synthesize information.  Stir the mix to change perspectives.  Use social media tools to communicate and report; and the leader can check the group’s progress by looking at metrics with tools (Social Oomph, etc.)

Therefore: Leadership/management plays a mentoring role – rather than command and control – social media is totally holistic.  A manager plays dual roles: to inspire and encourage, seeing the connections, guiding the research while attending to milestones and deadlines as an outcome, on deadline is expected.

5. Content Grows from Stories

Learn to build conversations that can morph into a big story.  This narrative, acquired from group work sourced far away from the cube farm must be organized to bridge the gap between the problem or project to be addressed and a method of delivering the required knowledge, skills, and behaviors.  At this point, anything not directly zeroed in on objectives is pushed off the side.

Therefore: The end result of the building phase is to generate the kind of accuracy that hits the objectives.  Learners will be guided through the course using all the opportunities brought about by social media for course production and learning involvement must be two sides of the same coin.

5.1 We are now capitalizing on the great enthusiasm for this wave of an ecology that could reinvent learning.

The hardware, software, connectivity already exists.  Already most people are up to or nearly up to speed and participating casually—and frequently.  No longer cut off from their colleagues with learners sequestered like monks, the potential for course builders is staggering.

Therefore we close the distance between those who make learning from those who take learning.

Whoever can exploit SM to build learning first will own the processes and methods to release education from a dark, complex, unrealistic environment into the sunshine of real life work.

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One thought on “5.1 Reasons How and Why to Build Learning with Social Media

  1. Pingback: Things of interest « ilearnatwork

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