Friday, January 20, 2012

Social media for trainers: think differently!

I did a workshop last Friday on the conference 'Trends voor Trainers'. The topic was: social media as learning instrument. Amazing that I don't have to translate the title of the conference for you, I'm sure you can make sense of it in English! I forgot my adaptor (really stupid of me) and felt very disorganised working on various different laptops and computers. Skype for instance looks so differently on a Windows computer. Fortunately I have my new adaptor now. The workshop was quite successful as measured by the people who contacted me afterwards for more information, to buy my book or to ask whether they could share our test Yammer and test Ning with their colleagues.

I started with a line up: from no engagement with social media to intensive engagement. Some trainers were still at zero, a few were halfway, being a member of a few Linkedin groups and maybe on Facebook. Only a few were using social media intensively and only one had followed the hashtag #tvt12 before the conference. Then we did a second line up between zero use of social media to intensive use of social media in the context of their trainings. Many trainers moved towards zero. Some had LinkedIn groep started by their participants after the training, but then would not facilitate but follow.

Here's the presentation that followed. The key is my vision that facilitators and trainers should be amphibian facilitator, comfortable moving and facilitating online as well as offline. In that way, they can choose the right mix. However, we are not there yet, as shown by the laughter when I stated that starting a Yammer group is not more difficult than using the beamer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Coining the right term

I used the Tedtalk of Joris Luyendijk 'Share your learning curve' (also here on my blog) for my work with a team in higher education. They are learning about 'facilitation of value chains', networking, reading and interviewing. We had already discussed that it would be interesting for their team to start a blog (to share their learning curve- though we didn't call it like that). In the Tedtalk Joris explains that he will start to explore the financial sector starting from zero knowledge. He would like to take other interested readers along in his search via the banking blog of the Guardian. Share your learning curve is a brilliant term for this. The Tedtalk supported what we had already discussed, and gave the blog a clear focus by coining the term 'share your learning curve'. I noticed it also inspired the testing blog.

What really surprises me in a way that I actually started 'sharing my learning curve' since 2005 on this blog (it was originally called communities of practice for development). I remember we had to capture blogging in three words during a teleconference and I chose 'very public learning'. So it surprises me that you can draw attention with something which is not new, by coining a right term. Probably having a good reputation is crucial too...

The same happened with our webinar with Jane Hart. She coined it the 'flipped webinar' flipping the presentation to a blog beforehand and working with the questions of the participants. It was a great webinar by the way, and it worked very well. However, I have a background in development cooperation and since 1990 I've been busy working on participation and participatory methods. So in a way it is not very new to  me. Again coining the right term which is an attractive one and maybe easy to remember works to draw attention.

I think I'm going to try and do some coining myself in 2012 though it seems like an art in itself. I think a good term can help clients in an advisory trajectory to see something very clearly. And if my own coining is not easy, I can still borrow terms from others that have inspired me like 'the networked non-profit' by Beth Kanter, 'filter failure' from Clay Shirky and 'ambient awareness'.