Social media isn't for everyone, or is it?

I'm here at the 2015 Association for Talent Development international conference. This conference is presenting information for professionals in the instructional design and professional development space. Dan Steer believes social media is an important subject nearly everyone should be versed in. Steer shared a few reasons why someone would want to be active on social media, even if she or he isn't interested in participating in inherently self-promotional content. Social media can help people in the instructional design space:

  • Improve learning
  • Increase their professional longevity
  • Encourage more sociability
  • Enhance their student reach
  • Create engagement

Formal learning

Anything that is structured and intentional can be classified as formal learning. Dan encouraged people (instructors and content developers) to consider how we can use social media before, during, and after instruction. Here are a few of the ideas Dan and others came up with:


  • Create a pre-instruction video preparing students for instruction and setting expectations
    • Review learning objectives
  • Send out links to "pre-reading" videos
  • Consider LinkedIn groups
  • Consider YouTube playlists
  • Take a look at implementing inklewriter to combine many forms of content together


  • In-lecture instructional videos
    • Be sure to make sure private content is kept private. Check privacy settings to verify that they are appropriate for the content being shared
  • GinkoApp – group note taking
  • Socrative - class real-time feedback
  • GoogleDrive - file sharing
  • ChatterPix - an iOS application that allows you to combine short soundbites with a talking image. Dan suggests prompting students to record what they learned and then pairing it with a relevant photo. He then suggests sharing the created videos with students at a later time. 


  • Video summary of training for review (keep it short)
    • Space out the delivery of followup content over time
  • Utilize Aramsma. The technology allows you to overlay virtual reality on pictures of reality. 

Notes on tools

The conference session had several hundred attendees. Dan used a useful, free tool called Socrative and encouraged people to respond to prompts during the session. The tool was seamless, easy for participants to access, and required no annoying username and password combo.  

Other tips

  • When sharing content on multiple platforms, ensure each platform has links to related and important content on all other platforms. 
  • Padlet – collecting content