7 Free Ways to Incorporate “Social Media” Into Your Training Program

1. Foursquare   https://foursquare.com/

What is it? A geographical locator for an individual to let others know where he/she is currently located.

How can it be used? An instructor can use Foursquare as a means to monitor student attendance when students are meeting outside the traditional classroom. Students who are forming a study group can use Foursquare to meet with fellow group members. Using Foursquare will ensure everyone knows where to meet. Students will help business owners and the economy by frequenting places that offer incentives such as free merchandize or food for frequent visitors.

 2. DropBox   http://www.dropbox.com/

What is it? An online storage facility for documents, videos, images, graphics, or other file types.

How can it be used? Instructors as well as students can upload large files for assignments. Students working in team collaboration can store files the team is working on in one centralized location. No need to email files or use the same computer to work on a document. Access to important documents can take place from anywhere there is a computer with internet access.

 3. Wikipedia   http://www.wikipedia.org/

What is it? A free online encyclopedia of knowledge, used to research a plethora of interesting facts about people, places, things, and ideas.

How can it be used? Instructors and students can use Wikipedia in conjunction with various library and websites to perform research on a variety of topics.

4. EHow   http://www.ehow.com/

What is it? Free website devoted to showing people how to perform tasks. The site contains videos and articles about topics ranging from arts & crafts to weight management.

How can it be used? Instructors can use this site to generate ideas on how to introduce new topics to students. Students can use this site for additional guidance on tasks taught in class.  

 5. WordPress    http://wordpress.com/

What is it? A weblog “blog” site that contains an ongoing chronological list of articles on a variety of subjects. Blogs are specialized based on a topic of interest to the person who creates or maintains the blog.

How can it be used? An instructor can create a blog to provide up to the minute and relevant information about student assignment and supplemental information to assist students in completing assignments. Students can create blogs to share the information they are learning from a course with fellow students, instructors, friends, and the world.

6. Twitter   http://twitter.com/

What is it? A 140 words or less mini blog to share real-time information with followers.

How can it be used? Instructors can use Twitter to tweet changes such as test dates, facility closing for inclement weather, etc as soon as they occur. Students will always be in the loop for real time changes to their course. Students can also use Twitter to “tweet” progress on projects, giving instructors an opportunity to monitor student progress as they complete assignments.

 7. Facebook   http://www.facebook.com/

What is it? A social networking website dedicated to connecting people together to share photos, post updates, etc.

How can it be used? Instructors can generate a group for their classes where students can share ideas and post information related to the course. The Facebook Docs feature can be used to store course documents such as the course syllabus. Test, assignment due dates, and holidays can be added to Facebook events. Facebook Chat can be used as means for students to connect with each other as well as the instructor for immediate responses to questions and comments.