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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Understand the value of humility. In 2009 I became acutely aware of weaknesses. Painful and valuable.
- Pay it forward. In 2008 I shared a lot of my research publicly after a year of benefiting from others doing the same.
- 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.
- 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.
- Value practice. In 2005 I realized “in theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” Another Einstein quote.
- 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.
- 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.