In early December, I had an idea. To me, it seemed to be a reasonable idea. InSync training was launching a new community of practice in March – the Blended Learning Hub -- and I wanted to emphasize how InSync Training is a credible expert in all things having to do with blended learning. So why not create 50 pieces of modern learning content and push them out to the learning universe? How hard could it be?
My team knows that when I say, “I’ve got an idea,"they probably need to clear their weekends. But, instead of panicking, the team bought into the idea that this would support our new learning initiative, and entice learning professionals to keep coming back to InSync for valuable insights.
How hard could this be? Harder than I thought.We needed to create a narrative that tied the blog series together, ensure that each individual contribution was useful, and share tips and techniques that the reader could put to use. 50 new pieces of content, each able to stand on its own, is a lot.
So we needed help. More than crowdsourcing, we needed knowledge sourcing. Who on our team had expertise to share? Who did we know in the industry that would be willing to contribute to this series and provide content that added immediate value. It’s amazing the response we received when we put the word out.
On the InSync team, Karen Vieth shared some new ideas about kicking the quality of virtual classrooms up a few notches; talking about how to create a culture of accountability, and how to maintain momentum and keep learners coming back. Karin Rex had some great contributions about creating genuine collaboration in the virtual classroom, and how to help manage cognitive load in a blended learning environment. And if you haven’t had the opportunity to read the series “Sorting Through the EdTech Toolbox: 6 Blended Learning Tool Categories” written by Phylise Banner (the Blended Learning Hub Curator), set aside 20 minutes to read it from the beginning. It is worth your time, and will help you select the right tool to get the learning job done.
We could never have done this alone. No amount of research was going to make us experts at everything to do with learning in 10 weeks. We had topics we wanted to address, empty spaces in the production calendar, and we had to reach out.
Take a look at what these experts had to offer!
- Becky Rhea gave us strategies for prioritizing our own learning needs;
- Danielle Villegas identified four ways writing blogs helps us learn.
- Bobby Carlton shared his perspective on how technology relates to learning;
- JD Dillon focused on supporting learning after the training is over using free technologies;
- Julie Dirksen encouraged us to partner with our learners;
- Katie Flanagan discuss how content can be used to evaluate training initiatives;
- Katrina Baker focused on overcoming our resistance to blended learning, and how we worked with traditional learners when deploying nontraditional training;
- Kit Brown-Hoekstra focused on creating better global virtual training;
- Michele Israel provided three approaches to negotiate blended learning when it goes wrong; and
- Dr. Stephen Slota help us improve our understanding of gamification.
So what did I learn by trying to write 50 blogs in 50 days?
It takes a community, a group of people with a shared passion for what they do, who want to share their ideas and learn how to make modern blended learning better.
It’s been a gift to have learned from these talented individuals. While they have shared their knowledge and insight, the have also given me more direction along my own personal learning journey.
Yours in learning,