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SoMe for Learning Managers – Practical Case no1: Formal International Social Learning

As you may have seen, I’ve already posted 2 practical SoMe usage cases for Trainers (1) (2)- these will continue soon … This one is for the Learning and Development Managers out there wondering how they can formally use SoMe solutions to support a social-learning initiative. The options are endless, but some of the people I meet are “startless”, so here’s 1 concrete idea…


First things first: Set specific learning objectives to work with

The following example is from a company wide Project Management learning initiative that incorporates several social learning moments and draws upon usage of some free Web 2.0 tools.

Several specific learning objectives were set for the whole group and sub-groups were asked to work on one or other specific objective, reporting back to the bigger group. An example objective is :

  • “Be able to identify, analyse and measure common human-risk factors in international projects”


Then get your L+D guys to stimulate some social learning action!

  • Communication using email to all learning participants outlining the desired learning objectives, working sub-groups and sub-group missions
  • Sub-groups are defined with a mix of participants from different business groups and countries in order to maximise connectivity and intercultural collaboration
  • LinkedIn or Yammer group set-up for all participants
  • Internal learning consultant named as contact point for additional questions and support
  • Initial basic knowledge/content on how to run risk assessments delivered via Wikipedia and YouTube (example video)
  • Individual group participants invited to use their personal internal  + external networks / groups to gather information and intelligence on potential human risk factors in international projects – this is done using any means, but could also include Yammer or LinkedIn, for example
  • Sub-group works together online at distance to create a Prezi presentation to bring together their findings and reflections and create together a 30 minute presentation on their topic
  • This process is run by several sub-groups during a given time-frame, each with its own specific learning objective, like the one noted above
  • Following completion of the task, all sub-groups convene in a Skype/Net-Meeting environment to share their findings and present to each other
  • An internal expert mentor and/or coach is present in order to give feedback and stimulate further reflection
  • Following the presentation/meeting day, all participants (from the larger group) are knowledge-tested using SurveyMonkey on the different objectives presented
  • Other follow-up activities are planned as usual to assess competence and implementation of learning


The possibilities really are endless. I hope this blog will help someone to get started with their own reflection and take one or two small steps toward social learning with social media.


Your comments are welcome,

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SoMe for Trainers – Practical Example no.2

Nothing annoys me more as a trainee than sitting in training listening to everyone say what THEY think of something before the trainer gives the “right answer” or whatever answer will be used as a common framework for the next 2 hours…

Why do trainers do that? If there ISN’T a right answer, then I can agree its worth sharing people’s attitudes. But if there IS, please just get to the point!


If you are interested in the Authentic Learning principle that we shouldn’t get things in the classroom that can be found OUT of the classroom, then this simple SoMe proposal might interest you:

  • Prior to training, make a survey using a tool like *
  • Ask future participants to share in advance their ideas on a given topic. For example: What do you understand by the word “motivation”? or “What are the key elements of effective teamwork?”
  • Prior to training, merge these answers into your training materials (PPT, workbook, whatever you have…)
  • In training, show (quickly) the answers you already got and move onto what will be used as your framework in training


* As advice, I would note that if you are doing this a lot, upgrading your surveymonkey account is well worth the investment in saved admin time…


Another better more social option

  • Use LinkedIn, Facebook, Yammer or some other platform to ask the same questions.
  • Invite future participants to join a group and discuss a point in advance
  • That way people will already see the answers from other trainees before getting to the room…


This SoMe solution is good for time-saving in training and to allow you to focus on more ROI-yeilding activities. I don’t say discussion is bad, but sitting listening to others for NO reason IS bad.


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Social Media for Trainers – Practical Example no.1

This blog-post outlines a practical example of how social media tools could be used during and after training. If you have questions, send me an email…

What is the added-value of using social media for training?

  • Improve understanding and retention of what was discussed in training
  • Keep the learning process alive by creating longevity
  • Provide additional references to your participants, this concentrating on Authentic Learning whilst in the training room
  • Drive traffic to your blog site/Twitter account, thus improving your network reach
  • Learn more stuff yourself (as a trainer)


How this idea started

  • Following the @KluwerOpleiding #KluSome Trainer’s Lounge there was some discussion on our LinkedIn group about how to best profit from social media in training
  • A discussion group member posted this film from @Tedtalks
  • Another group member (trainer) used that film in training as an icebreaker to discussion on eNetworking
  • I was asked for advice on how to best integrate more social media in the training…


What I suggested to the trainer in question…

Write a blog page outlining the discussion held during training

  • This could be interesting for other people online who want to hear opinions about eNetworking
  • An example of such a blog post can be found here (not about eNetworking)
  • On that blog page, embed the original movie …or better yet, link it to a personal YouTube channel like this one
  • Add some additional references that you have found that might add to what was already said (as on the blog noted above)


Create a group on LinkedIn

  • This could be about eNetworking or about the overall training topic you were training on…
  • Connect to training participants on LinkedIn
  • Invite them to join the LinkedIn group


Start a conversation on the LinkedIn group

  • Put in the link to your blog-post, inviting people to comment either on the blog or the LinkedIn group …this could be done immediately or for better longevity X weeks after training is completed


Add-On options

  • Tweet something about your blog-page
  • Email participants to let them know about the blog-page/LinkedIn group, rather than using direct LinkedIn invitations
  • Add your blog-post as a comment on another page about networking


I hope this helps. I will add other practical examples of using SoMe to add-value to training.

Thanks for reading


Please feel free to add a comment

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Is Social Media making me Anti-Social?

Proof number 1 … or am I just a lousy networker?

  • I was so busy trying to QR scan a conference member’s badge at VOV that I didn’t even look her in the eye when I said hello… this lasted a very long and afterwards-embarrassing 2 minutes or so.


Proof number 2 … or do I just spend too much time on Facebook?

  • I see less important people on Facebook more often than I see more important people in real life. Like?


Proof number 3 … or am I just a bad brother?

  • I get more status updates about my sister from a friend-of-a-friend on FB than I do from her herself.

Proof number 4 … or am just a sad iPhone freak?

  • I rarely experience real life without at some point pulling out my iPhone to watch it through a lens. See also Proof number 1 and this short film clip on why Louis C.K hates Twitter.


Proof number 5 … or am I heading for divorce?

  • My wife went to bed ages ago and I’m still playing on WordPress !


Don’t follow me on Twitter. Please, it won’t help!

Just leave a comment…


3 Twitter stories to convince you to get on the train

If you have a company brand to protect and grow and you are not already active on social media sites, read on. These 3 stories pretty much seal the deal for me. It’s time to get social!


When I looked out the window, I saw that she was right…

In Barcelona last week I was discussing the corporate use of social media with one of my clients. He told me about why the global CEO was now considering getting on the train. Apparently, some months before GreenPeace had chained themselves to parts of the corporate head-quarters. The CEO was busy working in one of the HQ offices, unaware of what was going on in the same building. He received a call from his daughter asking “Dad, what’s going on? I saw on Twitter that GreenPeace are protesting at your offices”. When he looked out the window, he saw what she was talking about. Twitter brought the news faster than getting up and looking out the window!


OOOoh, we’re on Twitter!!!

One of my clients told me on Monday that she never really cared about “all this social media stuff” until the other day. She had just organized a conference with other similar organisations. The next day, one of her colleagues (active on Twitter) stood up excitedly in the office and said “We’ve been mentioned* on Twitter!”. Everyone was very all of a sudden very excited …. …later that day, they asked themselves if it wouldn’t be a better idea to be driving what was said on social media sites, rather than passively being informed about their own brand.


*by name only, not @name, since they were not “on Twitter” at this time


I’ve seen what you are up to. Can you come and see me to discuss more?

Personally, I’ve been blogging, tweeting, posting walls and YouTubing for a little over a year. It’s fair to say I’m addicted, but it’s also fair to say that I have learnt a HUGE amount from social media in this short time. Last August, I got the first real confirmation that my activity was also useful for brand-reinforcement. Since I link my tweets to linkedin, someone from my extended network of contacts had been watching everything I’d been up via that site. She was once an HR consultant at my previous employer and is now Training Manager for a large telecoms company. I had been sharing and posting ideas as usual …she had been following. In August, she sent me an email for the first time in 6 years, saying “Dan, I see all the things you are doing and it looks interesting. Can you come and meet with me?”. Free marketing, reinforcing my brand via social media. Like 🙂



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