Trading Post at CSTD 2012 Toronto

“Trading post” is akin to speed dating for experts in the field of training and development. At least that’s how it was explained to me when I was asked to speak about social learning. I enjoyed today’s session. Participants choose a starting point table then they go to two other speakers after 30 minute blocks. So for the span of 1.5 hours the participant gets to learn from three experts. We, the speakers, effectively had 20  minutes to speak about our topics as the 10 minutes was all about logistics, moving to other tables, and announcements.

I decided to speak about the topic of Budget Conscious Social Learning.

Here’s my thinking for practitioners starting to integrate social learning into their training strategies for 2013 onwards..

First, learn as much as you can about social learning and social media technologies. They are not the same. Together, they’re powerful.

Second, determine what dialogues happen in your organization. Ask people what technologies they use (facebook? twitter? pinterest?….)

Third, use that knowledge to create your social learning strategy.

Fourth, determine which technologies to use.

Fifth, proof of concept this strategy by using free or reasonably priced open sourced social media technologies already available and accessible to your pilot audience. [This is where my session today falls under]

Sixth, measure your social dialogues and since you had a strategy in the first place, make sure that you are reaching your goals or have a plan to determine how to reach your goals. [This is where my session with Joost Robben falls under tomorrow at 130p – it is streamed live – check my Twitter feed for the link]

Seventh, create a proposal so you can move from your proof of concept to a funded social learning technology program.

And finally… make sure you continue to participate incessantly in  the dialogue.


Below is the presentation I created for the trading post session. On the last page of the preso, Skillsoft allowed me to republish their infographic on the definition of social learning. I did a bit of research on the popular sites clients have been using to start off your proof of concept. There’s more to this list do post your favourite sites  in the comments section below.



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