Good day folks! Our next update on what the SOBCon attendees are up since the conference this past May is from Sheila Scarborough. She is getting a lot done with newcomers to the world of Web 2.0:
We want to reach people who are new to social media/Web 2.0 – they understand that they need to understand it, but they “don’t have time” to understand it! With the Every Dot Connects consortium of communications experts, Sheila Scarborough is teaching a series of entry-level, practical Web 2.0 Tools workshops in the Austin and San Antonio area. We cover the basics of using LinkedIn and Twitter, we talk about Creative Commons on Flickr, we demonstrate shooting video with a Flip camera and uploading it to YouTube, and we are planning a big one-day workshop on blogging.
Lessons learned so far, for others who may wish to parlay their social media knowledge into similar workshops, is that it is easy to be so comfortable with the technology that you forget that your students are not (I confused one student by using the term “widget,” which was new to her.) In the classic teaching conundrum, it is hard to not overshoot some students while simultaneously boring others. We use a brief survey when students register on Eventbrite, to find out what they already know, and then work very hard to calibrate our presentations. Other lessons:
- Learning about LinkedIn is more popular than we thought – it’s seen as the most useful, professional Web 2.0 app.
- People CAN be convinced that Twitter is worth trying if you can explain exactly why you follow certain people and give specific examples of how it’s helped your business or personal life
- Teaching RSS is harder than we thought – there are so many readers available, people often don’t use the orange RSS button on their blogs and there isn’t nearly as much standardization of this feature as you’d think. Our students love Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop, which we present as an alternative to RSS.
- Many people have never heard of Creative Commons and excited to know that you CAN find good free photography for blogs and other online content, if you follow some simple CC rules on Flickr
- Students are amazed at the ease of the Flip camera, and the quality of the videos.
Fellow SOBCon-ers are welcome to contact either Sheila [sheila at sheilascarborough dot com]or Connie Reece for more details about how we set up and run these workshops.