Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Personal Learning Network 2

An assignment for my "Tech for Teaching" class at SDSU requires us to follow Ed Tech related blogs on our reader than write up a summary of what we learned from reading these posts and how these lessons apply to our professional goals. This is the second of 4 Personal Learning Network reports on some lessons I have learned lately through blogs I follow in Google Reader.

This Personal Learning Network (PLN) report highlights two blog posts found through Google Reader covering different subjects that have been catching my interest recently. The first post titled "Top 100 Learning Game Resources" provides information on how to add interaction to eLearning based training solutions while the second post, "How to build your personal brand on Twitter" covers how to make yourself more marketable by building your personal brand. The lessons learned from these blog posts will help me improve the quality of my work and help me to do a better job of marketing the results of my work.

One of the most difficult aspects of eLearning development is creating a course that is interactive and engages the learner. A great way of doing this is to build game playing into eLearning courses. While I have dabbled with online "Jeopardy" and "Who wants to be a Millionaire" type games, I have been intimidated to create anything more advanced due to the time and technical knowledge I thought was needed. Upside Learning’s "Top 100 Learning Game Resources" has helped me to realize that I may be overcomplicating game development and that with the resources they have listed; it can be easy for someone like me to easily build game play into eLearning courses.

I am currently employed with a great company but have hopes to someday become self employed or take advantage of better opportunities in the corporate training industry. An important part of reaching this goal is marketing my skills through online services such as Twitter. With roughly 6 million users and a predicted 18 million by 2010, Twitter is plentiful with opportunities to network with other professionals which can potentially lead to career opportunities. Mashable's blog post "How to build your personal brand on Twitter" by Dan Schawbel provides great tips for showcasing your brand on Twitter in an effort to create career opportunities. As a relatively new "Tweeter," I had no idea there were so many apps available specifically designed to help you build your brand. One app in particular that I found interesting was the Twitter Grader which ranks your influence in the Twitter world using an algorithm. This post inspired me to dive deeper into Twitter not only to improve the effectiveness of my personal learning network, but also to create career opportunities by building my personal brand.

The blog posts described in this personal learning network report have inspired me to go out and build fun into my eLearning courses, and excited to create career opportunities on Twitter. I used to steer away from including games in my eLearning courses out of fear it was too complicated until Upside learning's post "Top 100 Learning Game Resources" gave me the courage to increase interaction in courses by building in game play. Mashable’s post "How to build your personal brand on Twitter" has convinced me that it is worth spending time on Twitter building my personal brand in an effort to create future opportunities. After learning these valuable lessons I am excited to jump back in to my PLN to learn more about each topic.

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