The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

This not my first blog, in fact, I may have even been an early adopter since I built a personal blog in 2005 chronicling my experiences as an overseas contractor for family and friends. Compared to the current state of the art, my humble blog was rudimentary with simple text and basic images; however, I discontinued the blog when I began a new job which did not entail much in the way of interesting travel. Besides, who wants to see pictures of my gray cubicle space when a year before I was posting wildlife images from East Africa.

Since then my interest and participation in the “blogosphere” has been passive consisting mainly reading interesting posts that colleagues or friends have randomly passed my way. Thus, in my first foray into instructional design blogs and websites, I was very impressed with quantity and in most cases, the quality of content available.

I began my reintroduction into the blogosphere by examining the Blogs about: Instructional Design hosted on WorldPress.com. Quite a number of the blog posting titles piqued my interest, and here are some examples:

  • MOOCs are here- let’s leverage them thoughtfully!
  • PowerPoint vs. Storyline (aka: Telling vs. Experiencing)
  • Connections between Higher Education and Gaming: Motivation and Rewards
  • My Case For Powerpoint continues…

Going down the list of recent postings, I came across a blog posting which appeared to be suited for me in my quest to become an ISD titled More Essential and Helpful Resources for Online Instructors – online learning insights A Blog about Open and Online Education. Based on the About description of the blog site below this may be one to add to the Favorites list.

“This site features a collection of carefully selected resources specific to teaching online; geared to educators seeking skill development for creating meaningful online discussions, communicating effectively with students, and providing constructive feedback.”

Another ID blog post title that caught my eye was, Articulate – Excitement from a Design Junkie which was on the Love Thy Introvert blog site. Byt itself the title of the blog site is intriguing, and perhaps revealing of the author, but the posting mainly was a fan letter instead of having much substantive information for Articulate®, a suite of commercial design and development applications and tools for eLearning. This blog, however, provided a link from a commenter to an Articulate focused website community called eLearning Heroes that I will follow-up when time permits  as we are considering incorporating Articulate applications in our production process.

Returning to the World Press Instructional Design site, I came across a blog posting titled An Instructional Designer’s Philosophy posted on Tausend Talks EdTec  an EdTech & Instructional Design Professional. What caught my was not thThe Thinker, Auguste Rodin, (1840 - 1917)e posting title as much as that the poster used an image of the classic statue of Rodin’s, The Thinker, as a graphic metaphor for this post on her ID philosophy. I gained anew an appreciation of the use of a powerful image to engage and to frame the discussion.Also the poster’s blog site was well done with a good blend of multimedia content and interesting facts and anecdotes of her experience as an ID in academia and industry. From a business perspective, she has done a good job in personal branding in this blog site that will make her more enticing to career recruiters. Something I may need to emulate someday.

Another ID/eLearning site which I have used recently at work in the last six months or so is eLearning Industry which touts itself as, “The Leading source in the eLearning Industry” on its home banner page, and this might be an accurate claim. This site has a large presence on the career and professional oriented social media site LinkedIn which is how I became aware of its presence and became a group member – one of around 53,000. I have found elearning.com to be an informative site when it comes to general trends in the industry as well as a good launch point to explore other areas in the ever evolving ID/eLearning realm. However, it is a commercial site with advertisements and solicitations for seminars, etc., so one has to be aware of this when reviewing posted content.

This was my first foray into ID blogs and I was somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of content from IDs and eLearning students, academics and professionals. I do not know at this point if I will find more utility from the theoretical academic leanings blogs or from the more technically oriented e-Learning application sites that I initially gravitated to on this go around. Perhaps my objective should focus on integrating both types.

The amount and range of information in the ID blogosphere is daunting and even a bit intimidating to me right now. There is so much out there that I encountered during this initial foray that I wish that my schedule would allow me to delve into and explore this new terrain more thoroughly. Hopefully, at the end of this course I will have better situational awareness of the “best of breed” ID and eLearning blogs and sites as a practical takeaway.

References

Note: The sites referenced in this post are hyperlinked in their respective titles, and are also available on DIIGO.com with the tag “Designing Instruction for Distance Learning”. Additionally, the full web address for each are here:

Blogs about: Instructional Design

http://en.wordpress.com/tag/instructional-design/

More Essential and Helpful Resources for Online Instructors – online learning insights A Blog about Open and Online Education

http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/essential-and-helpful-resources-for-online-instructors/

eLearning Heroes

http://community.articulate.com/

Tausend Talks Edtech

http://julietausend.com/2013/08/21/an-instructional-designers-philosophy/

eLearning Industry

http://elearningindustry.com

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2 thoughts on “The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

  1. I also checked out E-learning Heros. Like you, I will need to take some time to go back and check it out. I do believe we can contribute to the site. If so, I will plan on putting something together to post to the site.

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