Social Media Surgeries – A Mutual Learning Experience

I’ve mentioned before how people often tell me they’d like to be a “Surgeon” at a Social Media Surgery, but they are scared about being asked questions they can’t answer. My response to that is always that it doesn’t matter. You can probably find the answer and it will be a mutual learning experience as you find your way to the answer together.

First Doncaster Social Media Surgery

Last night, I had personal experience of this, and it was just as challenging and rewarding as I had predicted. It was the First Doncaster Social Media Surgery, which now means we have nine regular Surgeries in Yorkshire & the Humber (with more in the planning stages). This one was a bit different from some of the others as, with the help of Rob Wilmot, who is chair of Governors at Doncaster College, as well as George Trow, the Principal, and Charlotte Hill, the Marketing Manager (who is a former colleague of mine), we held it at the College, and invited college tutors to join us, as well as the usual audience of voluntary and community organisations.

I sat down with a group of college tutors and asked them what they wanted to learn about. They said they had heard about wikis and wanted to see if they could help them in their work. At this point, I had to admit that, although I have used plenty of wikis, I have never actually set one up. So, we spent five minutes exploring other tools I am more familiar with, to see if they would meet their needs. None of them did, however, so we concluded that wikis were where it was at.

First Doncaster Social Media Surgery - 2

So, we embarked on a mutual learning process. I googled “wikis in education”, found a site that was crammed full of relevant wikis, spent some time with the tutors looking at examples to make sure they met the needs they had identified, found they did, and plunged into setting one up from scratch and populating it with some early content.

It was a genuine mutual learning process. I learned a lot out of it, the tutors involved all agreed they had found the process both informative and enjoyable, they took copious notes so they could pick up from where we left off when they got back to their own computers.

So, I now have very direct and personal experience of what I have been telling people who are nervous of becoming a “Social Media Surgeon”. I very much enjoyed it, we are all learning all the time, and I, for one, never want to fall into the trap of thinking I am “expert” at anything.