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Twitter & Co. for Social Reporting?

November 06, 2013 | Blog-Admin1 | Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences |

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How can you enhance reflection and learning in workshops by using social media? Hook Touravanh from the Swiss Cooperation Office in Lao was animating a social reporting process during a training workshop in Thailand. Social reporting is a tool to help people digest what they learned.

Hook Touravanh, SCO Lao

Remark: This post is summarizing Hook Touravanh’s key points what it means to do social reporting. You can read the full length of his story on the Mekong blog.

hashtag pcm

Social reporting was somewhat new to me and naturally, I was nervous about the assignment because I did not know how I would convince a room of development professionals that technology can help them learn. What real value could it add to the learning experience? What do I do? And how do I start?

Social reporting is a tool to help people digest what they learned. Some people prefer to do it over coffee, others a drink or smoke and some like to take the conversation on a walk.

Mix, mash, digest and expect the unexpected

My mind started to run wild with ideas on how to add value to the workshop and ways to make the learning process more dynamic. I looked at what I knew and what I can bring to the table.

Photography, video, and socializing are things I enjoy and felt comfortable using, so I decided to use social media as a tool for learning.

I planned to start off to teaching the group how to use twitter and the hashtag #2013pcm to group and track our discussions.

We started off with short 140 character text on comment cards, then posting them to twitter.

We were posting photos, video and cross platform posting of links from other sources like Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

To keep people engaged we created discussion from posts and tweets of the participants.We also used the questions from tweets as topics for our video interviews.

sdcmekong pcm

Photo: Hook Touravanh

Some tips how to organize the social reporting process

Hashtag: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr all use the hashtag function. You can use any of them to draw your participants in the conversation through a platform they are familiar with or feel comfortable using.

Space for social reporting: You have to make sure to give the social reporting space for it to work. Plan for it. Reintroduce it back to the group throughout the day and use it as inspiration or use it to get a pulse on what are the questions of the group are, what are they understanding and what might not be so clear to them.

Twitter, an inclusive tool: Twitter turned out to be a very helpful tool. For those that would not have the courage or opportunity to speak out in a public forum or during group sessions, encouraged them to bring their concerns on the topics through the social reporting tools, and make sure those questions of comments are not passed over. Once they see that how it works and that a simple tweet or post is given consideration, others catch on and it provided a different element of interaction that adds and improves the participation within the workshop.

Social reporting has caught on in the Mekong Region and I look forward to using it again and again in future events.

How do you organize and animate social reporting?

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Comments to“Twitter & Co. for Social Reporting?”


  1. Social reporting as a tool to digest what you have learned! I totally agree with this. It is a way to appropriate the knowledge you have just taken in. You put it into your own words for the others to hear/read. And you engage in the discussion that might follow…

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