Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Book review: Social media for trainers
I'm developing a 3 months course for trainers and coaches to become bilangual in the sense that they may facilitate online and face-to-face; we call it 'E-vaardig trainen and coachen'. Hence I was thrilled to find Jane Bozarth's book: Social media for Trainers. I'm following a lot of social media buzz, a lot is by marketeers. And I can't really find my way in some of the e-learning content, when it is discussing LMS/CMS issues for instance. Hence I'm really happy that there is a book specifically written for trainers- and about use of social media, a very clear focus (our upcoming Dutch book about social media for professionals, organisations and facilitators might have benefitted from a clearer focus in hindsight?).
Anyhow, the book is very practical and has lots of good tips. It explains the tools like Facebook and Twitter to the level where trainers with little social media experience may be able to apply the suggestions and may start experimenting. Unfortunately, Jane Bozarth has chosen to discuss the options tool by tool (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Wikis and other tools) which leads to some repetition in how it can be used in an online course or in addition to a traditional face-to-face course (hate the word traditional because it makes you feel like it is something outdated!). The techniques are very inspiring like setting up a twitter debate or role play, or assigning each learner a different model to research, discuss and share via twitter. I learned picked up some new interesting tools like SocialOomph, Twaitter and Brizzly that allow you to create tweets ahead of time. This may be counter to the idea of real time conversation but may come in handy for the context of a more structured course.
The most interesting chapter for me was chapter 7 on 'the bigger picture'. Here, she defines learning and social learning and links social learning to personal learning networks and communities of practice. The opportunities to expand community conversations and personal learning networks are huge with social media.
So it is definitely a great book for trainers new to using social media!