Contrary to what most people believe, social media is not just a mode or method of connection, commerce, and entertainment. In a time when youth are hooked to social media and understand the dynamics of the online world better than the offline one, education and training through social media makes double sense nowadays.
For one thing, it allows people to learn safely and socially distanced. And for another, it makes learning more accessible. People with mobility, communication, sensory, or temporary pathological issues; people from financially deficient backgrounds; people in places without access to appropriate educational resources, etc., greatly benefit from social media training.
How to Use Social Media for Training?
Social media management tools can replace pretty much every aspect of a traditional learning setting. The link above lists some of the ways—from the most obvious to the most innovative— that you can adopt social media to replace conventional training.
Pre-Recorded or Live Video Classes
By now, probably every person reading this will have used Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, Google Classrooms, and/or Microsoft Teams. The pandemic resulted in an explosion in the use of these collaboration tools.
Educational institutes also are using them to conduct classes. People who are not comfortable with taking live online classes can pre-record videos and distribute them among students. Live online instruction is also prevalent as an onboarding method in the corporate world.
If opportunity and budget allow, you can even take it a step further and use project and resource management tools to leverage extra features all in one place. If it is a bare-bones class, you can use one of the many free group video calling apps available online.
Live Streams for SME Lectures and Demonstrations
One of the best ways to expose learners to the real world of their subject and prepare them for current questions being asked on various topics is to host lectures and seminars given by subject matter experts (SMEs) in that field. When it comes to using social media, live streams appear to be the most effective way to hold such talks.
Instagram Live and Facebook Live are the most popular ways to connect learners to specialists in a field. Another way to leverage live streams is to give demonstrations and virtual tours of relevant locations, processes, or objects. Questions and opinions can be raised through the comment section to be answered by the host.
Social Media Groups for Discussions
Learners often have a lot of discussions and conversations outside the classroom, too. Group studies, doubt-solving, peer tuition, etc., are some of the most common needs learners have when taking a class. For this purpose, groups on messaging apps and platforms seem like the wisest choice. Learners can converse freely, ask questions, share small files and resources, and overall, freely discuss the things on their minds.
If an instructor’s opinion is needed, one can temporarily add the instructor to the group, or one person can simply convey the instructors feedback through personal messaging. Messaging groups are a great place to converse freely without getting talked over.
Messaging Apps for One-on-One Discourse
Millennials and Gen Zers have all but stopped believing in the merits of phone calls. They feel calls can disrupt a person’s routine and interrupt a critical task. Moreover, calls often require immediate action or attention.
Messaging seems far more convenient and comfortable. Learners can message each other and instructors for questions, cross-questions, clarifications, or just straightforward explanations.
Instructors can message learners to remind them of classes, assignments, or other tasks. If a person is too embarrassed to ask a question upfront, personally messaging the instructor solves the problem. Moreover, if something escapes your mind at the moment, it is more expedient to text than to call again after a minute.
AMAs for End-of-Class Doubt-Clearing
AMA refers to “Ask Me Anything.” It is a popular system on social media apps such as Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, etc. In this mode of conversation, the AMA person is available to answer any question their audience wishes to ask. People send in these questions, and the person anonymously reads and answers them. It can be done for education and training, too.
An instructor or SME can open the forum for questions, which learners can send in without worrying about being embarrassed because it is a stupid question. AMAs also allow learners to find out about alternate views and explore more in-depth information about a topic. AMAs also can be hosted like a Socratic seminar if the platform has the necessary features to allow it.
Blogs for Composition Assignments
It is not unusual in composition programs to have students come to the front of the class and share what they wrote with the other students. The same can be done through social media. Each student might be asked to open a blog and submit their essay by creating a blog post. It allows the teacher and other students to benefit from their peers’ knowledge and ways of thinking.
This is not just the case for text compositions. Podcasts can be used for verbal pieces, Spotify for musical ones, Pinterest for visual art, etc. Even an instructor can create a textual version of their lesson to publish in a blog for students who find it easier to learn that way.
Resource Management and File Hosting Apps
When you learn or train for something, it is necessary to receive the lesson, but you also should note and store it somewhere for future study and reference. Taking notes often can result in missing out on certain parts. This problem can be solved by using a file hosting app such as Dropbox or Google Drive. The instructor can send all the essential lessons and study material to a joint account that every learner can access.
An instructor may maintain a shared folder to collect assignments from learners. The class can use a bookmarking and tagging software application to instantly save any essential and relevant information or material they find. You might be wondering why social media groups cannot be used for this. Unfortunately, not all file types can be shared there, and the resources are not organized on such groups in the same way they are on these apps.
Forecast: The Rise of Social Media
Learning is no longer a matter of showing up in the classroom, taking notes throughout the program, completing assignments, and taking an exam. Indeed, most of these practices have become nearly obsolete due to the pandemic.
Now that the world is discovering that most of these activities are possible via various social media sites and learning platforms, the forecast seems to lean heavily toward a social media-oriented learning environment even after the current COVID-19 crisis hopefully subsides.