Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn… How many times a day do you check all of your social media accounts in the US? Now imagine life before a smart phone. Can you do it?
In Peru the custom of using social media is just starting to catch fire. In my town specifically they got accessible internet less than four years ago. Now what does this mean for professional development and Internet use? Well it means that now is the time that Peruvians are in need of education on proper social media etiquette in workplace, and as a modern day Peace Corps Business Volunteer that has become a part of my work duties!
During a four-week teacher training, hosted by a third year volunteer in the big city of Trujillo, I was invited to participate in the technology hour and give a presentation on LinkedIn and how teachers can use it to make professional connections and find new ideas for the classroom.
The training was hosted on Saturday mornings and each week the turnout was amazing, so when I heard this I was extra excited to work with the group. Not many teachers will give up their Saturday mornings during summer vacation!
The Saturday of my workshop I was also able to co-teach the first three hours of a project design and management charla where we talked about getting to the root of community problems and using that information to better design successful projects. The organizing volunteer, Cheyenne, is a super star and even incorporated several dinamicas that could be replicated by the teachers in their own classrooms.
When it came time to talk LinkedIn we started with the basics… I would compare it to trying to teach your grandma, or in my case my mom. (Love you mom!) Even in the big cities of Peru there is a huge lack of technology education.
We talked about the importance of putting your best foot forward on the internet because it is so easily accessible to the entire world. Then we talked about using a professional photo, how to list work experience in a concise manner, and proper etiquette when requesting to connect with other people.
The teachers were most excited by the topic of groups and the idea of connecting with other teachers around the world in various forums. We looked at some education resources from a teacher group in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries.
It was a great opportunity to educate the group on the possibilities that exist through social media, and that the internet is not just for posting party pics and commenting one other people’s daily doings.
As a volunteer reflecting on the situation, I never imagined my Peace Corps experience would include internet, let alone giving workshops on technology! That is the amazing thing about being a modern day PCV, I am still able to use all of the experience I gained in the US before coming to Peru and continue my professional development in the areas of technology and social media.
What is the technology situation in your host country? Are you able to incorporate technology trainings into your work? Leave a note below!