In Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the seventh habit is to sharpen the saw. Sharpen the saw means spending time working on you. i.e. the carpenter needs to spend some time making sure his or her equipment is functioning properly. I submit to you that one of the best ways eLearning designers and developers can sharpen their saws is to attend the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas on October 24th, 2017. Of course, this is easy when you work for a big company that budgets for conferences and other learning activities, however more difficult if you are a freelance designer, developer, but consider the following. We have a bunch of tools as eLearning designers and developers at our disposal such as a computer, microphones, video cameras, eLearning authoring tools and so on. Hardware and software come and go, but what’s the one tool that you will use for your entire career? Guess what it’s you! Of all the tools at your disposal the most important is you. Without you, you could not be the incredible instructional designer or developer that you are. Stephen breaks down this habit into four areas.
Physical is all the things that sustain you like eating well, getting some exercise, resting and relaxing. I don’t know about you, but by October 24th, where I’m from in Canada gets pretty cold. We tend to stay indoors more and get less exercise and perhaps don’t eat as well. the great part about Las Vegas is that in October the weather is still really nice. Get in a swim before the conference or go for a nice long walk on the strip and see the sights.
Social/Emotional is making connections with other like minded individuals like yourself. Since I’ve been attending the Adobe conferences, I’ve made fantastic friends who also happen to know a whole bunch about my industry in eLearning. I can message them with questions and in return, I help them as well. For example two of my colleagues are working on an Adobe Captivate book together. They have asked me to be a content reviewer. This increases my exposure but also helps some friends out in the process. These connections are not just business contacts but rather meaningful connections that I wouldn’t have otherwise had and I expect that they will be lifelong connections.
The big part of spending the day with industry experts is learning new skills. I have been designing eLearning for over ten years, but have only been really active in the Adobe eLearning community for the last two years or so. Prior to that I basically just did the same things over and over again. By learning, reading, writing and teaching, I have received back ten fold what I have put into it. I’m a far better eLearning designer and developer than I was just two years ago. I have been in attendance at Adobe Learning Summit and the eLearning Conference in Washington as a presenter. Admittedly I’, exhausted when I get off stage, but you won’t see me back in my room sleeping. Instead, I will be in the other sessions learning more from my esteemed colleagues.
Spiritual can mean different things for different people. Taking time to enjoy what life has to offer is really great at re-energizing. Certainly, Las Vegas isn’t spending time in nature, however, some of its nearby landmarks that are worth seeing while you are there. Also giving yourself time to meditate and reflect on your past year will help you in planning for your future. I know that conferences are not supposed to be vacations, but you don’t have to be participating in conference activities 24/7. take some time to go out and enjoy all that Vegas has to offer.
Of course sharpening your saw doesn’t have to be super expensive either. Take advantage of the early registration pricing right now. register and pay before July 21st and you can get the full day of activities at the Adobe Learning Summit for as low as $99. Can’t make that deadline? No worries, the Adobe Learning Summit is only $249.00 USD ($199.00 with DevLearn registration).