Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top 8 ways trainers can use Twitter

Social media and networking sites expand daily, connecting users of every age group from across the globe and in every professional industry. Corporate trainers are also harnessing the power of social media to connect with those they instruct, and aid in their own personal learning and development.

Twitter is one social network connecting millions of people by asking one simple question: “What are you doing?”

In 2008, Twitter recorded over two million unique visitors, marking a 422% increase from the year before. There are Twitter users from every age group, nationality and profession using the tool to answer one simple question: “What are you doing?”

If you’re still unfamiliar - Twitter is the free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (or tweets), which are text messages of a maximum of 140 characters.

When you first sign up for a Twitter account, you may be asking yourself some questions - Why did I sign up for this? What am I doing here? How is this thing supposed to be useful?

Before you get frustrated and quit, just stop and take a deep breath. Not everyone uses Twitter for the same purpose and it may take some experimenting to find what works for you. Try it out for about a month and then ask yourself again if you still think it is useful.

If you’re still struggling to find meaning in the social networking site, read over these 8 ways trainers can use Twitter:

  1. Connect with experts. Twitter gives you the ability to connect in a conversational way with top experts in your industry from around the world. Through those conversations you can learn new processes, training tips and advice on how to improve your courses and seminars.

  2. Discover new information. As you start following more people on Twitter, you’ll find that it’s a great place to find new studies, data and interesting articles to expand your knowledge.

  3. Research new ideas. Having trouble finding information on a certain topic? Ask your Twitter followers to help. Whatever your question may be, Twitter users are generally happy to help. It’s a great platform for brainstorming that leaves a trail of every shared idea.

  4. Connect with trainees. In the past, trainers would finish their course and send trainees on their way, rarely hearing from them again. Today, trainers can give trainees their Twitter username to follow to stay in contact after the course is complete. Trainers can share extra information, upcoming events and helpful tips on how to utilize information from the course.

  5. Keep the discussion going. After you have connected with attendees, you can keep the conversations from the classroom going on Twitter. Attendees who may have felt uncomfortable speaking up in the classroom can get their point across online.

  6. Get feedback. Students from your training course or seminar can give you helpful and almost immediate feedback on what they thought of the course. You can use their comments and critiques to improve your next course.

  7. Facilitate collaborative learning. By connecting with you, trainees will also be able to connect with each other on Twitter and learn together. Attendees can send direct messages to find out if other classmates are experiencing the same hardships and share advice with one another on how to work through it.

  8. Monitor the learning process. As trainees put what they learned in the classroom into action, they’ll probably have some questions for you along the way. Students can tweet and retweet about new things they learned, difficulties implementing new techniques, personal tips and new resources they found that help facilitation.

How do you use Twitter to add value to your training? Have any more ideas to add to our list on how trainers can use Twitter? Please leave a comment and let us know.

1 comment:

violet said...

nice post guys

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