Trainer’s Outline:
The Trainer's Social Media Tool Box: Sharing My Best Practices and Tips

This are the points I will cover during the session. After the session, will add points made by participants or link to a chat transcript or photos/video if face-to-face.

Learning Goals:
· Understand why it is important to incorporate social media tools in your instructional practice for trainings
· Introduction to six different social media tools and techniques for a planning, delivering, and evaluating a training session

What I'm Not Going To Cover:
Use of social media tools to promote the training session or coordinate logistics. I'm going to focus on instructional planning, delivery, and evaluation/documentation. That's because we only have 1 hour!

Why Bother Integrating Social Media?

There are benefits to the learner as well as you for you as the instructor.

For the Learner:
What happens when training fails? It doesn't stick

Why does this happen? Trainer does a boring presentation or lecture and doesn't engage participants. The instructor does most of the talking and the learners, for the most part, sites quietly listening and watching the speaker. Online, they start at slides and listen to the instructor. If they get bored, they'll daydream, tune out, draw stick figures on their notepad or if they a laptop may check email.

Using social media to encourage the audience to participate or when they're part of the curriculum they will inspire them to pay more attention and it may even improve retention (see here)

There's debate. Some instructors have found that Web access can enrich classroom discussions. A recent survey of 29,000 students at 85 law schools supports this notion. The idea is that the individual learner needs to find what helps and what hurts them in a learning situation.

At any rate, social media can be an opportunity to engage with your learners before, during, and after the session.

For the Instructor:

Using social media and the various techniques like the back channel gives you, as the instructor, a way to take the temperature in the room and switch gears if necessary.

Tools like Twitter and Delicious help you harness the wisdom of the crowds for case studies, examples, and resources. It beats hours of googling.

Helps you extend the learning before, during, and after. While there's debate about the during part, being able to have a continued conversation about the topic with participants can help them put what they learned into practice. That makes your instruction more effective! And, of course, there are marketing benefits.

How Think Like An Instructional Designer and Teacher

If you are designing a training, you have to think about logistics (registration, materials, room layout, food, and AV equipment) as well as promotion. But the instruction is the heart of training and I usually think about it like this:

Instructional Planning

  • Understanding the audience/research
  • Designing the session: Content/Process
  • Research: Resources
  • Materials Development


  • Instructional techniques/facilitation
  • Responding to your learners needs - reading the room


  • Post survey/evaluation
  • Leave behind materials

Social media tools can be used to enhance all aspects of training. Here's a couple of tools and examples

Trainer’s Social Media Tool Box

(1) Use Google Forms

What: Google Forms is an online survey that populates a google spreadsheet
Trainer Use: Pre/Post Surveys
-Makes it easy to gather information from people and have go right into a spreadsheet
-No email overload or busy work transcribing from emails
-Easy to create a private browsing page if you want to review participant web sites urls/before
-Easy to create a public web page with participant information that you want to share

Need a google account
Look in documents, select form
Follow instructions

(2) Delicious

What: Delicious is a social bookmarking site
Trainer Use: Research and materials development
-Research for resources, easy to harness wisdom of the crowds
-Build "living" resource link lists that can be updated
-Collaborative resource links/resources
-Share link lists easily with others or have them republish on your wiki automatically

Set up a free account, need Yahoo account
Add the bookmark button to your browser
Search words or tags related to your topic, look at popular tags
Use a unique tag for your workshop and share the delicious URL
Use a unique tag and ask participants to share their links with you

(3) Wiki

What: Wikis are editable web pages where you can determine who can add or edit the materials
Trainer Use: Electronic Handouts, Electronic Flip Chart
-Easy way to create a web site for your session if you don't have HTML skills
-Can be a hub for your handouts electronically, have your workshops be more green
-Can be an electronic flip chart during the session to take notes
-Easy to add resources on the fly when questions come up during the session
-Creates a simple leave behind: all you need to share on paper is the url!

Use one of the free hosted wikis - wikispaces, pbwiki, or wetpaint
As you can see, I love wikispaces because it is easy to set up, make it look pretty, and use. You have a choice for permissions - only you can edit, people can join and edit, anyone can edit. Also, if you want a private wikispace, you can pay a little extra and make it a password protected space.

A Hub For Workshops

Self-Service Tutorials As Follow Up

(4) Slideshare
What: Think of slideshare as "the youtube of powerpoint" - it is a social network where people can share their powerpoint presentations.

Trainers Use: Distribute slides, research

Why Use:
Connects you with other people are thinking about the topic in real time or have recently presented
Saves you time - don't have to start from scratch - can download the slides
Makes it easy to embed your slides into a wiki or for participants to download - saves paper

Free account - set it up.
Upload your PowerPoint
Fill out the descriptions, include a link to your wiki
Use tags
Send your deck to different groups
Build up a network on SlideShare
You can search by user, group, or tag/keyword

(5) Twitter

What: Popular social networking site that lets you send brief messages (140 characters) to your "friends" or followers.
Trainer Use:
-Easy to way to tap into wisdom of the crowds when researching a training, especially to identify case studies


Quick research
Was giving a training for arts organizations and needed to update curriculum. So asked on Twitter for examples and pointed me point over to the wiki to fill out

Materials Development
-As you plan your presentation or material, think about your key points as "tweets" - good exercise

Back Channel During Your Session
Some people find it hard to present and monitor a back channel - here are some techniques
-Include information about Twitter when you tell people where the bathrooms are and find out if anyone is uses it. You may discover your audience doesn't, but increasingly workshops, presentations, and conferences are becoming more social.
-If you have a Twitter savvy audience, you may want to appoint someone as the "Twitter Advocate" and ask them to monitor the stream and ask them to report out
-Set up a hashtag for workshop. I set up a "What the Hashtag" for it and add to the wiki
-Take Twitter breaks
-Listen to what is being said and make adjustments
-Incorporate the use of Twitter (if participants use it) in an exercise

Example SXSW panel from last year

More in BackChannel Book - and we have three copies to give away! Quick type in the chat - why you want the book! We will pick the best three answers and send you the book.

(6) Photos/Videos

Flip Video, iPhone
Flickr, Qik, YouTube

What: Still and video digital cameras and photo/video sharing sites.

Trainers use:
-Easy way to document your workshop, products or evidence of learning
-Use in promotional or materials

-Don't try to document everything so you don't have too much to deal with
-Document process or ah ha moments
-Video interviews about how people will apply the information
-Hand the camera to an eager student, but don't forget to give them some guidances


Social media tools can be really useful in the trainer's tool kit, but it also changes your practice:

-Fully researching and planning for your audience
-Make your instructional concepts more social media friendly (brief, to the point, small chunks, shareable)
-Engaging your audience - it isn't about lectures, it is about interacting.
-Improvising your delivery - need to be flexible enough to tweak your delivery in real time.