Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.
I recently attended the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) annual conference where 15,000 HR professionals gathered to share best practices, learn new skills, and improve the HR profession.
The experience served as a good reminder that professional development is important for all of us, especially if we’re responsible for creating content used to develop other employees. The truth is, while eLearning designers are busy creating learning experiences for others, it’s easy to forget the importance of professional development for ourselves. If you’re looking for ways to increase your skills, I challenge you to use one of the ideas below to focus on your own professional development.
If you don’t have an unlimited professional development budget, don’t worry. Thanks to social media we have some great suggestions for how you can continue to develop your skills for free!
The first platform we’re going to explore is Twitter. You might wonder what you can learn in 140 characters or less, but it turns out you can learn a lot. The discussions and resources on Twitter provide the eLearning community with information, connections, and inspiration.
Who to follow?
The eLearning community on Twitter is an active one. Deciding who to follow is based on your personal needs and preferences. If you want to engage in conversations with other corporate elearning designers, look fort Twitter profiles of others who meet those criteria. Likewise, if you primarily develop elearning in the university environment, look for Twitter profiles within those parameters.
Here are a few handles that will get you involved in the broader elearning discussion on Twitter:
These Twitter connections will lead to shared resources, introductions to other Twitter users, and eLearning conversations you can use to further develop your skills.
People use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase no spaces in a Tweet to categorize and help a tweet show up more easily in a Twitter search. When you click on a hashtagged word in a tweet, it will display all other Tweets marked with that keyword.
Hashtags appear at the beginning, middle, or end of a tweet. Check out these popular #elearning hashtags to see what resources your search produces:
A tweet chat is a chat that happens via Twitter tweets identified with a predefined hashtag, and generally take place at a specific time to bring people together in a virtual conversation. Participating in a Twitter chat is another way to network with and learn from eLearning professionals around the globe. Here are some eLearning tweet chats that might be of interest:
- #HallCoChat (hosted by Hall County eLearning this chat takes place only during the school year)
Curious what we’ve been learning on Twitter? Here’s a sample:
— eLearning Brothers (@eLearningBros) August 14, 2015
Looking for help with Lectora? IconLogic has 5 brand new courses to help you out! The first one starts September 22! http://t.co/zyRTuPu3cO
— eLearning Brothers (@eLearningBros) August 13, 2015
Thanks to a strategic use of Twitter, you can get great insight and engage in some professional development without leaving the comfort of your desk or putting down your smartphone. Let us know how you use Twitter, and if you’re new to this social media platform – ask your questions in the comments section. We’re happy to help get you on board!
Next up in our series about social media and your professional development: LinkedIn