Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Social Technology Enabled Professional (STEP) lessons allow students to learn essential social media skills

Our Social Technology Enabled Professional (STEP) lessons allow students to learn essential social media skills by immersing them in real life workplace problems.  Here’s an example: 

STEP Lesson Two-Establish a Social Media Network within Your Field
Your team has been working at your company for five years. Rumor has it that team layoffs are imminent. To prepare for a change, you and your colleagues want to extend your professional networks and strengthen your reputations in the field. You consult with other colleagues who have made successful transitions to new workplaces. You learn that there is great value in participating in communities of professionals who have similar interests; and that these communities can help extend your professional network and that engaging well in these networks can raise the visibility of a company you work for, or your own company. You and your colleagues have also learned that networking with other experts in your discipline or field is an excellent way to stay abreast of new techniques, float your ideas and questions, develop partnerships, generate business leads, and explore employment opportunities. It sounds like a great strategy. Your team has decided that each of you will create your own online community to build your professional reputation by establishing a social media network in your field. But how do you get started? First, you and your team need to answer the following questions: What do we already know about doing this? What do we need to know? How will we get the information to develop our own network and move it forward? 

You go back to talk with your colleagues who have done this effectively and they share the steps they have taken to learn about using social media to develop a business brand, a network, and some of the tools and resources they used to implement their plan. You and the members of your team each agree to research online communities used to develop a business network and also agree to create an online community that will become a platform for sharing your expertise. You also agree to share your online community with the other members of your team and to share with them the process you use to design and implement it (e.g. how you evaluated similar communities in order to plan your own, which platform you decided to use and why, how you built participation in your communities and managed its size, how you planned the content and scheduled the publishing of that content online, etc.). You will meet with your colleagues in six weeks to compare your network building experiences. 

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