The tools and methodologies for social media led training.

There are plenty of tools available these days to satiate the growing demand in training. Here are some useful categorical tools for training purposes.

Social Media tools are plenty but choosing the right tool for the correct audience and the right end objective in mind is most important. Before we begin, think of the ways you plan a training session, the strategies you use and the methodology you adopt for training. How many times do you actually run out of ideas to train employees innovatively?

Microsoft Word - web 2.0 logos.doc

Largely the tools we are talking about here are free to use. Most social tools are about communications social sharing and even information based. So how do you distinguish them and use them?

The tools can be used under the following categories, based on which the trainer can adopt tools into the training strategies. Below mentioned are only a few chosen tools, there are many more tools which can be used.

Communications/knowledge sharing tools

  • Facebook: is a platform which everyone knows how to navigate, but did you know that you can create gated communities and interact with trainees in real-time, any given time of the day. It is free of cost, accessible and known to everyone. Facebook can be used to create discussion, chat or meeting groups
  • Twitter: is great for internal marketing, helping in creating lists, staying connected within groups, microblogging, since it doesn’t leave scope for larger texts beyond 140 characters but snippets of information delivered through such a platform is supposed to have high impact learning.
  • Whatsapp: creating small whatsapp communities allows for greater coachability, assigned subject matter experts speak with cross functional teams or groups, departments.
  • LinkedIn: it is great to connect professionally on LinkedIn and even better to start discussion threads and create communities for communications, internal or external.
  • Engrade: is a popular online classroom community, which provides a free set of web-based tools for teachers/trainers, who want to integrate web 2.0 into the classroom. Tools include an online assignment calendar, an online grade-book/feedback, an online attendance book, secure online messaging, and instant progress reports. It is most effective for those inclined towards long-term and continuous training solutions

Brainstorming/Problem solving tools

  • Socrative: can be used for engaging exercises and games that are monitored by the trainers, it is available across platforms using smartphones, laptops and tablets.
  • Writeboard: is a free web-based tool that allows students to easily collaborate on a single document online. Different versions of the document are automatically tracked. The tool also allows for work to be saved, tagged and monitored, such that it is never lost. Writeboards are always private and can only be accessed by people with the password.
  • Audionote: is a tool which allows a unique combination of a voice recording and note taking, which can help trainees take notes and audio, in collaboration. It is also a great tool, which can be used for creating podcasts.
  • AnswerGarden: is a tool for online brainstorming or polling, educators can use this real time tool to see student feedback on questions.
  • Conceptboard: is a software that facilitates team collaboration in a visual format, it is similar to mind mapping, but it uses visual and textual inputs on the system. It can be used to present the information in an innovative manner. It’s Compatible on tablets and PCs. It can work from multiple devices.
  • Coggle: is a mind mapping tool designed to understand and assess student thinking, it can serve as an outside of class tool for either before class or after class brainstorming and even continued learning.

Resources tools

  • WordPress(blogging): is a renowned blogging and website building tool, which can be used by trainers and organizations to provide “handout” information in a non-linear and interactive manner.
  • Tumblr: can be used as microblogging tool as well as a blogging tool which allows for extensive use of photographs, which is visually appealing tool for providing information to trainees.
  • Flickr: is another good resource to share visual content. It is a photo sharing platform, where, trainers can innovate the resources they provide by adding pictorial process flows, reading materials etc.
  • Slideshare: as the name suggests can be used as a free tool to share slides, training slides or other learning materials can be shared through this tool.
  • Wikis: are informative, interactive and editable tool, which allow trainees to share information on subject relevant to the training
  • Vocaroo: Is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need for software. You can easily embed the recording into slide shows, presentations, or websites. It is great for collaborative group work and presentation and aslo podcasts.

Assessment tools

  • Lino: it is a virtual cork-board of sticky-notes so students can provide questions or comments on their learning. These can be used like exit tickets or during the course of a lesson.
  • Poll everywhere: helps Teachers can create a feedback poll or ask questions. Students respond in various ways and teachers see the results in real-time. As Steven indicates, with open-ended questions you can capture data and spin up tag clouds to aggregate response. However, Poll Everywhere has a limit to the number of users.
  • Bubblesheet: is an app for trainees to complete assignments and common assessments using an iPhone or iPad Quizzes. It allows up to 10 questions free.
  • Google forms: is a Google Drive app that allows you to create documents that anyone can use to assess or collaborate with in real time using smartphones, tablets and laptops.While there all the tools and technology available, it correct usage is very important. It not only allows learning and development professionals to use free resources for greater investment on time but also is effective in getting more trainees to perform better.

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