We live in the era of social media and professionals of any level should not make the mistake to underestimate their power. We can easily understand why social media can be useful from a marketing point of view. What’s more interesting, however, is to see how social can be effectively used in formal learning.

Learning In A Social Orbit

Social media are getting quite popular in eLearning, as well as in traditional classrooms and workshops. The advantages are many and instructors cannot afford to ignore them: multiple-level interaction, reduce or elimination of classroom time, boost participation and collaboration, new job opportunities, opportunities for the development of online communities consisting of people with common training experiences, and so many more. And these are only few of the reasons why members of the learning community hop on board the social media train.

So, let’s see how we can increase the effectiveness and longevity of formal learning, stimulate the engagement of learners, and enhance the social aspects of learning through the use of social media.

How To Effective Use Social Media In Formal Learning

  1. Design and implementation of a solid instructional plan, aligning social media to learning objectives.
  2. Social media include a variety of tools, applications and platforms that can provide a wealth of resources and materials to support any course. Choose the ones that will back up your course’s content.
  3. Before the beginning of the course, find out about the likes and interests of your students, as well as which social media they are already using. Build your course around them.
  4. Use all the resources social media offer to fire up discussions, fora, conversations, comparisons, collaborations, opinion-sharing and networking. You can also use them for broadcasting (Skype, YouTube) and then share with an even wider public.
  5. Use social media not only to share links and resources, but also to stimulate your audience’s interest and participation. If your crowd is young, tech-savvy and interested in new trends, then benefits are endless.
  6. Find those social media applications that will generate the desirable content in minimum time and reduce time spent in traditional classrooms.
  7. Use social media to encourage your audience to attend discussions, webinars, and groups and ask them to provide feedback and generate new ideas.
  8. The social media platforms can be used for an introduction to the course, for pre and after class activities, as well as for questionnaires, where mood, style and methods can be determined by the instructor.
  9. Blogging is one of the most powerful social media. Start a blog for your course, module or domain and encourage people to post, respond, share and critique.
  10. Last but not least, since not all audiences are technology and social media enthusiasts, make sure that all the resources you use are easy to share, like or re-tweet, convert your content into appealing graphic visual representations, upload your lectures or presentations in YouTube and generally facilitate those who are more reserved, uncommunicative and reluctant. You ‘d be surprised with the results once you get people to open up and engage.

You may also find useful:

Highly recommended resources on How To Use Social Media In Formal Learning:

I highly recommend you to see the following presentation How to Improve Formal Learning with Social Media by Dan Steer