Decided the approach to take to include social computing in a learning program

Okay, so the title is somewhat long and certainly not “sexy” … but it’s clear as to what this post is about. I’ve been working through how to incorporate social computing into learning programs … I’ve mused about this in two prior posts:

Now, we have a decision to use social media tech for a learning program. There are some challenges, though … Some are technical challenges; still others are akin to cultural challenges (organizational culture, that is); while others are learning challenges – or more specifically, an individual mindset, and collective mindset, around how learning can occur within the scope of a particular training program.

The decision is this …

We will be using a tool that provides an activity stream (think Twitter), where learners (current and past), facilitators, coaches can post quick thoughts and ideas to the group. Their posts can include ideas on how to implement the concepts they’ve learned, thoughts on how to overcome obstacles as they apply what they’ve learned, and questions on how to accomplish things in their daily workflow as it pertains to what they’ve learned.

Now, this training program we’ve selected as the first out of the starting block is already in pilot deployment. So we already have a group of learners and facilitators taking the training program – this program spans almost five months and includes classroom, virtual classroom, and self-study activities.

We’re going to be introducing the social platform at some point soon during this pilot – I’m hoping that we can do this within the next month. We’ll begin with the pilot group … and we’ll create some formal introduction by way of communication and some tutorials on how best to use the platform. The key, I think, to these tutorials is that they should focus more on WHY use it – that is, the benefits to them in using this tool – more so than on HOW to use it. Sure, we’ll have to touch upon the how’s … but the bigger challenge will be to give the learners and facilitators a compelling reason to use this thing in the first place.

And it has to be super easy to access and use. Therein lies some of our technical challenges … still working to solve those.

But I do think that we’re headed in the right direction with introducing social media into learning programs.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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