Ten Lessons Over Ten Years

I was in San Francisco in 2003 at a conference that was held at the same time as The eLearning Guild’s “Annual Conference.” I remember sitting in a cable car that was loaded with the Guild’s conference attendees and wondered how I could bail on my conference and attend the Guild’s conference instead. The eLearning Guild’s conference seemed to be much cooler – lots of instructional design and e-Learning types. The theme of the conference I was trapped in was blended learning. I sat in a room and watched PowerPoint presentation after PowerPoint presentation about how to combine self-paced e-learning and face-to-face training (as IF that’s blended).

Fast forward a decade and next week I’ll be sitting in a cable car as an eLearning Guild employee. This past decade that has been nothing short of amazing. I don’t know what big thing I’ll learn in 2013 yet, but here are ten from ten years:

  1. Keep it simple. In 2012 I realized that “everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.” That’s an Einstein quote. I’m trying to work to that standard.
  2. Keep it real. In 2011 I became more business-focused. There’s a whole lot of awesomeness out there that seems somewhat separated from reality.
  3. Accept learning on your own terms. In 2010 I left my PhD program. At first this felt like a crushing defeat. In truth, it was empowering and made me realize that an education is not a degree or title.
  4. Understand the value of humility. In 2009 I became acutely aware of weaknesses. Painful and valuable.
  5. Pay it forward. In 2008 I shared a lot of my research publicly after a year of benefiting from others doing the same.
  6. Reflect openly. 2007 was the year I started this blog and the year I began to understand the spirit and value of inquiry in an open, online environment.
  7. If given a choice, take the chance. In 2006 I decided to work virtually from home for a very small company. This decision opened endless windows and doors.
  8. Value practice. In 2005 I realized “in theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.”  Another Einstein quote.
  9. Always work to perfect your craft. In 2004 I invested in my future by enrolling in a master’s program in instructional design. I learned from experts.
  10. Choose to be influenced by the right people. In 2003 I realized that if I’m going to travel 1000′s of miles to a conference, I better make it a good one.

guildI’m looking forward to what lies ahead this year as I join The eLearning Guild.

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