Yesterday, I presented a workshop called "A Crash Course in Social Media for Arts People" hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. The workshop was part of a professional development series organized by the very capable Kendra Lawton, with help from Melissa Cooper. I also got a chance to spend some time with Thomas Taylor, the Alliance's nonprofit technology in-house guru and social media whiz who turned me to twitpic.
This workshop was advertised as a crash course and I think packed enough content in there for 3 full days. Immersion for a day is a good thing, although people will naturally feel a little overwhelmed by the end of the day. That's why I incorporated a number of reflection techniques throughout the day - to help with the digestion and application. I also tested out a couple of instructional techniques for the first time and learned something myself. I have also fully integrated the use of a wiki as "electronic flip chart," and leave behind resource as well as use of networked learning (Skype and twitter open to shoot out questions to people I could get richer answers to)
The morning agenda was the full group - presentation and demonstration with lots of opportunity for discussion. The first half hour was spent in introduction and teasing out burning questions. Right away, I introduce them to Twitter as a resource - the collaborative brain. Then I tell the essence of using twitter is to learn the art of being succinct. Next, I asked them to work in pairs to come up with their burning questions in 140 characters or less. You have to emphasize to people not to get hung up on the 140 character limit, but to more to boil down their learning question.
Then, I asked people to report out the burning questions and add them to the wiki page set up for this. This gives the you -as the trainer an idea of how well the content matches people's questions and to let people know. With using a wiki, you can add resources or answers to the questions throughout the day - so people feel like they got their question answered without taking up too much time in the whole room discussion or getting to far off track in the agenda.
The topics covered included:
• Should Your Organization Embrace Social Media or Not?
• Why It is Important
• Cute Dog Theory: Thinking Strategically about Social Media
I do the interactive lecture technique - and invite other voices into the mix as much as possible and encourage questions. Also, don't answer all the questions and ask for others to answer it.
In between sections, I asked people to do a standing poll. First you ask people to stand up. Then ask people to sit down if they got an answer to their burning question. Next, ask them to sit down if they learned something new that will be useful. Then you ask them to write it down. I also encouraged people to tell me during the break if the pace was too fast or too slow - or level was too advanced or basic. (I would have addressed this with some differentiated instruction in the small groups in the afternoon.)
I did a full-room reflection exercise before the break in the morning called "Let's Walk the Line." I used a ribbon asked for a volunteer to hold it at one end of the room who felt their organization was ready for social media - no question about it. Then asked for another volunteer felt their organization was not ready for social media - and also told that if they know that it was a good thing - not a bad thing. Each volunteer held the ribbon at opposites end of the room. Then I asked people to line up according to how ready they felt their organization was to implement a social media project. Then I asked people to share why -- first from the extremes and then from the middle.
After a break, we had a full-room session looking at the tools in the context of strategy and amount of time. This is time slot before when the energy starts to drop, but you have get through some content. There were about 40 cultural organizations from Philadelphia that participated, from large established institutions to smaller groups and all with different levels of experience using social media. So, I made the audience a part of the curriculum. Here's how.
I spent quite a bit of preparation time visiting each organization's web presence and searching for any social media presence. Here's the research I did. Next, I added screen captures of their social media presence or tactic in the slide show. I told them before I started that I done this and hope that if the person was in the room they would share a little bit about their work. When I got to an example where the person was in the room or if I asked how many of you use google alerts, I let them share. I also asked them questions to get at experiential learning.
While it required a significant amount of preparation work, I think it worked out. The workshop participants with experience shared a lot of valuable wisdom.
The afternoon was spent playing the social media game. I need to scaffold the process better and have it connect to different groups of cards. I tried to incorporate the concept of POST - but need to use the same labels on the cards. I also need written instructions for the steps. I got some ideas while observing the groups at work and try to implement for next time I use the cards. During the report out, I showed some additional resources or techniques and asked for advice in the room.
At the end of the day, I had participants quietly fill out a reflection form:
- One thing I learned
- One thing I will put into practice
- Questions I still have
- What still isn't clear
I also handed out 3x5 cards and asked people to give email address and one thing they make a habit in the next month. I also asked for ideas for future blog posts.
I have some tweaking to do - and of course this helps inform the WeAreMedia face workshop syllabus.