In a couple of years, microblogging tools have become very popular. Twitter has become the number 1 tool for learning in just three years – voted by hundreds of learning professionals in this survey at Jane Hart’s site. Microblogging platforms are a great tool to keep you updated with latest trends & get real time support or answers to questions. You could even search for information on these tools themselves and get some good links to follow.
As a personal learning tool, Twitter is great but it’s a public platform and what you share on it is available to everyone, some organizations may need tools which can be installed behind their firewalls (Laconica, Yonkly) or that is available as a secure private service (Yammer). All these tools have functionality that’s similar to Twitter.
Organizations are using these tools for workplace learning and performance support. Here’s what for:
1. Broadcasting information – with microblogging information sharing can happen in the real time and anyone make contribution unlike discussion boards or emails. To make all this simple the organizations are integrating these tools into their eLearning courses/LMS.
2. Performance support – using microblogging organizations can provide real-time performance support with quick tips and links to resources [like pdf files, quizzes, YouTube videos, flickr/picasa photos etc.]. Microblogging is great for just-in-time support.
3. Expert Guidance – by using microblogging tools employees can follow SMEs or tutors after the training to explore more about that topic. Lists of all such experts can be created and integrated within the learning portal. Learners can follow lists or some individuals.
4. Live Discussion Forums – microblogging is also useful for live discussions. You can schedule it at a particular time and decide on a unique hashtag for the session. People can share their ideas/thoughts and get to know differing points of views. It usually generates a large repository of ideas, opinions and links. One can take time to reflect on them later. In the learning community #lrnchat is one such example of a Twitter discussion forum.
5. Knowledge Repository – the search feature of microblogging tools can be used to extract information anytime. You can refer back to your own updates/messages, search on a topic and get pointed information. If you know of an expert on that subject/topic, you can use that too in your search.
6. Back Channel - the workplace can also use microblogging as a back channel for live training webcasts to track the user’s responses, ask questions or to share any related information. These tools can also be integrated within live webcasts too.
Who is using it?
Qualcomm – here is a case study on how Qualcomm has used Micro-blogging for learning –
Océ – Here is another example explaining how Océ has used microblogging in performance support and knowledge sharing.
If you are interested in using Twitter in classroom here’s a great video on how to do it: