As part of my work as Visiting Scholar for Social Media and Nonprofits, I’ve been working with grantees on a variety of capacity building projects – from coaching to workshops to peer trainings. One of the grantees I’m working with is The National Summer Learning Association and I will be doing trainings at their national conference in November. I did a TwitterChat with them to help promote the conference, but in the process discovered it was even more valuable to help design instruction.
As an instructor, one of the most important things I do to prepare is understand the learner – their context, their questions, their skill level, and their world. I do an online pre-survey if possible and browse their social media outposts, ask questions about the audience to the host, etc. But one thing I’ve always wanted to try is a Twitter Chat before the session and use it as a focus group.
So rather than just do the expert q/a – that is have participants cue up their questions for me to answer, I asked them lot of questions . I learned a lot!
- Tips and experiences from them about summer learning programs
- Some of their challenges – working with affiliates or showing ROI
- A list of active Twitter users who do summer learning programs and their members.
- Specific examples of social media best practices from organizations with Summer Learning Programs
- Great questions that help plan my content for the workshop
- Their favorite social media resources
I even got to ask some questions about summer learning from the view point of a parent and share my experience.
The most valuable insight from the chat was this comment about leads to success in summer learning: relationships. Now that’s a great connect to the principles of effective social media practice.
I’m using this post as part of my preparation and will encourage participants to share some additional insights in the comments. All in all, a pleasant way to prepare for instruction.