Twitter for Learning: Presentation at LINGOs 2011 Member Meeting
This presentation provides a quick introduction to using twitter - and shares example of how twitter (and social media in general) can be used for learning and professional development, especially in the context of international NGOs.
My name is Kelly Meeker, and I’m the community manager at OpenSesame, a LINGOs partner and an elearning startup based in Portland.I’m a social media for learning enthusiast, and I’ve been working with Marian to build, find and share resources with you all about using social media for learning. Finally, I’m also a former Peace Corps volunteer who spent 2 years in Mali – while my experience pales in comparison to many of yours, I do have some experience with the challenges facing people working in the developing world.
That’s what I’m going to talk about! How to use twitter, how to network, find conversations that matter, and find learning opportunities. I hope that in turn you will find ways to share that information with your colleaguesTo be
We’re here today to talk about how social media can play a role in your organization’s learning and development practice. Let’s start by defining our terms. Social learning is learning that occurs between people. A BLS study estimates that employees learn 70% of their new skills on the job socially, rather than through planned learning and development activities. Social media and social learning are not interchangeable. Social media are the technology platforms that connect people socially, replicating real-life interactions.For folks like you, who work with people distributed throughout the world, social media provides an opportunity to replicate the water cooler conversation –through technology tools.
Jane Bozarth tells the story of an ethnographer, Julian Orr, who studied a group of Xerox repairmen in the 80s. Every day the repairmen had lunch together – talking about the problems they encountered and sharing solutions. Orr discovered that the mentorship and development of creative solutions occurred when the employees were on break – not when they were participating in formal training.We know this intuitively, right? The question is, with your globally distributed staffs or with people who are separated or isolated from other people with the same job function, how do you replicate that dynamic online
Dr. Conrad Gottfredson identified five moments within our work life where we need learning opportunities. In Dr. Gottfredson’s hierarchy, different types of learning experiences fit into different moments. But since social media is a platform, and not the content itself, it really fits anywhereSo let’s dive into the nitty gritty
Twitter is a messaging service, in which people send messages - “Tweets” - of fewer than 140 characters, like this one. You can use Twitter on its website as I’m doing here, or through mobile applications or text messages on your phone. Here’s my company’s homepage, where you can see tweets from all the people we follow, as well as all the tweets I send out. This is your Twitter feed, and it will constantly update with new tweets from the people and accounts that you follow.
Learning more about other twitter usersYou can learn more about other twitter users by clickingon their user names and viewing their profiles. If you find Twitter users you’re interested in, you can “follow” them, which means their tweets appear in your Twitter feed.You can still see other users’ tweets, even if you aren’t following them. Likewise, they can see your tweets, even if they aren’t following you.
This is what I call a Basic tweet - a general outbound message, directed at all of my followers. In this case, I include a link to click on for more information.This is an @mention, or a reply to another person’s tweet. @mentions are signified by the @ symbol before the other user’s twitter handle. The person you mention will be notified if you use the “@” symbol before their twitter handle. Note that if you start a tweet with the @ symbol, it will only appear in the tweet stream of the person named and that of anyone who follows both of you.Retweets - These are re-broadcasts of other people’s tweets, signified by the letters “RT”Direct Messages - These are like 140 character emails. Only the person to whom your direct message is directed can read it. Note that you can only send a DM to someone who is following you. This prevents spammers from abusing the DM system
From your twitter stream, you’ll see this text field under the “What’s Happening” at the top of your page. You can type your message here, and you’ll notice that the number in the bottom right corner drops to reflect the number of remaining characters for your tweet.
When you’re communicating through twitter, you’ll find that it’s not who you know that counts - it’s who you follow and who you talk to. To make the most out of the twitter conversation, you need to start finding some people tweeting about the issues of interest to you. At this point, in order to make the most of Twitter for creating your personal network, you need to build an interesting network of people to talk with and learn from. I’ve got some ideas on how you can get started. Let’s take a look. AlaskaSpecifically, the Alaska Volcano Observatory uses Twitter to update the status of volcanoes that may be erupting. https://twitter.com/#!/alaska_avoI used to live in Alaska, and I can assure you that there were times when this twitter feed was incredibly useful.#socentchat@Acarvin
Keyword SearchesAs you build your twitter network, start by searching for keywords that interest you.For example, if you’re interested in learning more about elearning development, search “elearning” and browse through the people who are tweeting about this topic. Follow people or organizations who look interesting.
Intro to Hashtags The next piece of Twitter shorthand that you should understand is HashTags.A hashtag is a keyword beginning with the # sign, like this, used to tag conversations around certain topics or events. For example, at a conference like SXSW, attendees use the hashtag #SXSW so that it’s easy to search for all the tweets related to the conference. Specific sessions at conferences or other special events will often use specific hashtags to organize the conversation among strangers at the same event. This is a fantastic opportunity to get even more out of the sessions you attend, meet more people and deepen your understanding of things you’re interested in.Twitter chats (either synchronous or asynchronous) use hashtags so that participants can find each other.For example, as an elearning professional, I participate in the weekly #lrnchat, a scheduled chat among learning and development professionals. This chat is an opportunity to meet peers, exchange ideas and get advice. As a side benefit, when I go to professional events, I already know some of the people there! As you start finding people talking about the topic you’re interested in, you’ll find hashtags and chats about the subjects you’re following. This will help you deepen your connections.
Twitter ListsSo now that you’re starting to follow hashtags, participate in chats and have conversations with diverse people, you’re probably starting to notice that your twitter feed is getting pretty full. Twitter offers “lists” as a feature that you can use to create groups of accounts that you will follow in subsets of your overall twitter stream. It can be confusing to read tweets on different topics in one stream. To make it more manageable, you can create different lists based on each topic you discuss. You can also add people you don’t follow to a list, so you can subtly keep track of people you may not wish to advertise. You can also make your Lists either public or private, depending on your goals. If they’re private, you’re the only one who will know that the list exists and who’s on it. If it’s public, people will be able to see the list and even begin following it. Sharing lists that you curate on a specific topic can be a great way of building relationships and expertise on that topic.
Create your profiles and introduce yourself. Whether it’s any of the Quora, LinkedIn forums or hashtag-based chats mentioned above or something you find or found, use your profiles as an introduction to who you are, what your affiliations are and what your experience is. Use the same keywords to describe yourself that you would when searching for people to communicate with. Don’t make it hard for people to understand why they would want to network with you. Provide links to your sites and other profiles to make your network connected and multi-faceted.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people learn 70% of what they know about their jobs informally, through social interactions. So what could the Xerox repairmen’s lunch break look like in today’s workplace? In a distributed network of employees worldwide, that in-person collaboration becomes more complicated. This is where social media tools can facilitate those old-fashioned water cooler conversations. The first step is to figure out where your peers are hanging out. This doesn’t just mean “on Twitter” or on “LinkedIn”. It’s the next level of analysis from there. Is there a hashtag chat on a topic of interest to you? If you’re a training/learning professional, how about #lrnchat? If you work with social entrepreneurs, how about #socent? If you’re seeking advice on using social media, how about the LinkedIn forum on social media for nonprofits? Still new to technology altogether? Try liking “Gettin’ Geeky” on Facebook, where Gina Schreck shares great tips and how-tos on getting social.Ask your peers, coworkers and friends. Next time you attend a conference, find out what the hashtag is and take part in the conference backchannel. Form online relationships through your preferred social networks to reinforce and extend the relationships you have offline.
. Curate and share. Once you’ve started building your networks and engaging in conversations, think about how you can make the network richer and more effective. Can you create Storify records of useful Twitter conversations? Can you introduce new voices? Do you have internal resources from your organization that you could share? Do you have a blog where you could feature new ideas and the leaders in your PLN?Storify
On Facebook, you can use your personal account through apage without exposing activity from your personal feed. On FB, I recommend using groups - Alternatively if some of your customers are friending you on FB, you can set up some privacy groups - and limit who can see certain postsOn Twitter, everything you do is public (and don’t you forget it!) You have a few options – create a personal account if you want, but be very aware that even in your personal account people can search for you and find you (and track down what you are saying)I have two accounts – the OpenSesameNow account and then a private account – because I like to talk about politics.
Good to haveMost of problems from social media come from PR firms
Other websites with practical and strategic tips on using social media for sales & marketing
Twitter for Learning: Presentation at LINGOs 2011 Member Meeting
Social Media for Learning<br />Kelly Meeker<br />LINGOs Member Meeting<br />October 2011<br />@OpenSesameNow | #LINGOS<br />
Learning Objectives<br />What We’re Talking About: <br />Using Twitter<br />Building a network<br />Finding the conversations that matter<br />Leading the way<br />What We’re Not Talking About: <br />Communications<br />Fundraising<br />
Definitions<br />Social Media are communication technologies enabling social interaction and the exchange of user-generated content.<br />Social learning is the acquisition of knowledge, skills or competencies that occurs as the result of social interactions. <br />Adapted from Wikipedia<br />
Moments of Learning Need<br />Trying to remember<br />Things change<br />Something goes wrong<br />Wanting to learn more<br />Learning for the first time<br />Dr. Conrad GottFredson’s “5 Moments of Learning Need”<br />