The 7th Habit of Highly Effective eLearning Designers & Developers

Photo of business people hands applauding at conference

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

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

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.

Mental

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

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).

https://www.elearningguild.com/devlearn/content/4885/devlearn-2017-conference–expo–adobe-learning-summit/

 

10th Annual Adobe Learning Summit 2017 – Oct 24, Las Vegas

Adobe Learning Summit, Las Vegas, Mirage

The Adobe Learning Summit returns to Las Vegas at the Mirage on Tuesday, October 24. Co-located with eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2017 Conference and Expo, this is a marquee property in the global eLearning events calendar.

Register by July 21, and take advantage of the super early bird price. Block your seat from as low as $99. That’s a sweet deal for a regular ticket price of $249.

What can you expect?

Join some of the most dynamic learning experts, industry leaders, peer professionals, and Adobe product teams at the 10th Adobe Learning Summit on October 24, 2017, and discover how to make the most of a learning landscape that is changing even as you read this.

Learn all about the 2017 release of Adobe Captivate. Hear updates on trends, get enthused by innovations in authoring technologies, and pick up great hacks from those who know. All this with a thought-provoking keynote, lively discussions, helpful hands-on workshops, and fabulous networking opportunities that the Summit has always been known for.

Get inspired. Go create. Because smart is now. And smart is you.

Register now for Adobe Learning Summit 2017, and experience the world of smart eLearning.

If you would like to register a large group, please write to me at gosinha@adobe.com and I shall help facilitate that for you!

See you in Vegas!

Why CMALT is important to me #altc

It’s coming to that time of year when I start planning for the Annual ALT conference: #ALTC. My annual review is complete, ALTC was discussed and it’s been approved that I can attend again. This will be my fourth ALTC, and this year we’re in Liverpool.

But my reflective mind is going back to my CMALT qualification, and why it is still so important to me. Earlier this year I wrote my three-year review to keep my CMALT credential current and valid. Whilst I wait for the response and, hopefully, approval, I still think of both the process I went through to gain CMALT in the first place as well as the on-going process of how I keep myself (as well as my CMALT) current. I will update my portfolio with the review text when I know I’ve passed.

  • This is Part 16 in my series where I am posting on my thoughts about being a Learning Technologist. This, and the previous posts can be found in the What is a Learning Technologist series.

I have spent time reading and investigating the various online masters course, as gaining further qualifications in and around my work is something I believe I can benefit from, but I’ve yet to find one that really interests me. There’s also the cost both financially and in time that, at the moment, I’m just not prepared to commit to. I also believe that a lot of our work, us learning technologists, is about doing the work and learning about doing the work, and I am still very sceptical of formal masters level courses offering the kind of content that can help with the day to day work. This is another reason I find CMALT more applicable to my line of work – my CMALT portfolio is my work linked to the core areas the portfolio is assessed on. It didn’t feel like a formal assessment, but it is, and it didn’t feel an onerous task either. 

I’ve also been, if you haven’t already noticed, quite busy and have written four books – QR Codes in Education, The Really Useful #EdTechBook, Emergency Rations #EdTechRations and What is a learning technologist? Without the ALT community and CMALT reflective exercises these projects would not have been possible. I also feel that I have grown because of the CMALT process, both personally and professionally, and find myself in a very good role at Warwick Business School and as a CMALT Assessor.

For me being CMALT qualified is essential to our role and gaining a qualification that can demonstrate our abilities and worth to the often sceptical academics we meet as well as giving us a trusted and valued voice with college or university management. Learning technology is important, as are the people like you and me who are the support, demonstrators and voices helping understand and navigate the tools and techniques.

If you’re interested in CMALT, wonder what it’s all about, already completed your CMALT and are thinking ahead to the three-year review here are a few posts you will find useful:

  • Chatting about CMALT – CMALT session at ALTC 2016, and my reflection on what it’s like on the other side, the reviewer and assessor (Sept 2016).
  • Three years of ALTC and CMALT – written for the ALT blog here I again reflect on the importance of the three ALTC events I’d attended, and how they’d impacted my CMALT journey and understanding of my role(s) (Sept 2016).
  • Editing and co-authoring for online publication – written for the ALT blog I am again reflecting on my connections and network that I’ve grown through the ALT community, and where CMALT has made a difference in my own view and perspective (May 2017).
  • ALT CPD: rebooted – A frank and open discussion at the 2014 ALT CPD event, these are my slides and ‘what it means to be a learning technologist’ (Nov 2014).

Don’t believe me? These people all agree CMALT is valuable. And this is just the list of people already passed, I’m sure the list of those working towards it is larger still! 

Image source: David Hopkins

ATD International Conference & Expo, Atlanta – May 21-24!

Hello Everyone,

I will be at ATD International Conference & Expo in Atlanta which is happening through May 21-24 – http://www.atdconference.org/

If you are attending, do drop by our Adobe Booth, Love to hear from everyone who is attending this conference! I would like to share our future plans specially related to our eLearning Community & listen to your thoughts/ideas!

Please drop a comment here, if you are attending…  Looking forward to meeting you all!

Thanks,
Shambu

Product Manager, eLearning Community

I Think This Applies to the Adobe eLearning Conference in Washington D.C. As Well

I just read this great article by Adam Moran on Why Humans Should Attend Conferences – Like Adobe Summit 2017 and I think it applies to the Adobe eLearning Conference as well. If you are trying to convince your manager why they should fly you to Washington in April and book you into a fancy hotel you might be able to pull some key points from this article:

https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/digital-marketing/humans-attend-conferences-like-adobe-summit-2017/

Now if you’re successful, make sure you register for the conference. You don’t want someone else taking your seat:

http://carahevents.carahsoft.com/event/register/21705-web

Showcasing different approaches to building a #CMALT portfolio #ALTC

As part of the 2015 Winter ALTC Conference I am chairing a session on CMALT portfolios, and the creative ways to design and publish them.

This session will showcase three portfolios from recently accredited Certified Members, Elizabeth Charles (Birkbeck), David Watson (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) and Daniel Villalba Algas (Sheffield University). Facilitated by David Hopkins (Warwick Business School) we will focus on exploring different approaches to building CMALT portfolios and discuss how different job roles can be reflected.

In preparation for this event we’d appreciate your stories, experience, or progress on your journey to CMALT (on-going, completed, passed, failed, given up, etc.) by dropping a pin on our Padlet notice board.

If you have the time please join us online for the webinar Showcasing different approaches to building a CMALT portfolio – Wednesday December 9th, 2015, at 9:30AM.

Image source: ALT (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Day 1 #ALTC 2015

This 10th ALT Conference is possibly the largest yet, hosted at the Universty of Manchester, over 3 days with 4 invited keynote speakers, 185 sessions (although some look to have been cancelled), and over 500 expected delegates.

Kicking us off today was an impressive session from Steve Wheeler and two of his students; Becca Smallshaw and Kate Bartlett. Steve covered the kinds of subjects I’ve heard him speak about before, but he stopped short of the usual keynote and handed it over to Becca and Kate. Using the time with them to talk about the expectations and experiences of students, they both handed the alien, and probably quite nerve wracking, experience of 500+ people hanging on their every word extremely well.

I spoke with Steve afterwards and he took great pains to explain that this part of the keynote was not scripted or rehearsed, that Becca and Kate knew very little of his slides; they kind of knew what he might ask them, but not in details. They were free to answer openly and honestly, which for me makes their performance and answers all the more credible and insightful. huge respect to them both for standing there today in front of us!  

Covering aspects of student engagement, assessmet, coursework, technology (obviously), social and digital footprints, etc. the insight from Becca and Kate into what a student looks for should give the rest of us something to think about as we gear up to a new academic year.

As promised, here are my sketchnotes from Steve’s session:

ALTC 2015, Day one, Sketchnote

Image souce: David Hopkins (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I’m sorry to say I didn’t make any more notes until the afternoon session presented by my old colleauges from Leicester. Nick Gretton and Matt Mobbs presented their workshop around the statistics of Leicester’s successful FutureLearn MOOCs and focussed it around the activity of designing ad evaluating online courses from a similar theory.

In teams we were asked to design ILOs and assessment criteria for a fictional1 week, 2 hour MOOC, on how to ride a bike. Unfortunately time was against us, we were not able to share our work with the other groups, but a good discussion occurred towards the end around the sbuject of the value of MOOCs (financial ad pedagogical) as well as the impact they have (institutionall and globally).

Again, here are my sketches  – sorry I didnt’ get it all down, my sore throat and lack of sleep was really beginning to take it’s toll!

ALTC 2015, Day one, Sketchnote

Image source: David Hopkins (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Anyway, on to Day two tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be back up to full strength. If anyone is interested, this is my workstation in the hotel roo; not easy, but effective none the less.

ALTC workstation

Image source: David Hopkins (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I’m going to … #altc

As part of the 2015 ALTC conference a few PDFs were provided, in a flipped classroom approach, for us to advertise our thoughts, expectations, or hopes for our time at the conference. I decided to draw mine, here it is. What’s yours?

ALTC 2015 Sketchnote

Image source: David Hopkins (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Gearing up for #ALTC 2015

So, with only two weeks to go before this years ALT conference (ALTC) it’s time to start making sense of the programme and sessions, see what’s happening and when, and then trying to work out how to be in several places at once.

So, after a first pass at the ALTC programme here are my plans, subject to change once I spend more time reading more of the abstracts and changing my mind. I think I may need to compare notes with someone who can get to some of the sessions I miss? 

ALTRC 2015 Programme

Other ways I’m getting ready and gearing up for ALTC is making sure I have the necessary ‘stuff’ around me, and working, now so I won’t be rushing on the days before hand. Perhaps the most important is to have enough power with me for phone and tablet, for this I’ll be taking a wall charger as well as an Anker Astro Mini battery.

For note and sketchnotes I’ll be taking both my old, not quite full notebook I’ve used at previous events and my new ALT Moleskine notebook (thank you ALT!)

As always I’ll really enjoy the sessions as well as catching up with old friends, and making new ones .. and meeting ‘virtual’ friends for the first time. So please come and say hello, either in the sessions or in the down-time between (and at the evening events!)!

Big question .. how many sketchnotes can I get this year? Comments?

Image source: Mike Kniec (CC BY 2.0)