Professional Learning Communities

Finding resources on the Internet can be a tedious task, you could spend precious time trying to find the right resource to answer your questions. Continuous learning is the job of every educator and one way to do that today is through learning communities. In this post I will focus on three blogs I’veID Shirt found useful as an Instructional Designer (in training).

  • The Rapid E-Learning Blog (http://blogs.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/) – This is a product from Articulate, the e-learning software and authoring tool which is used by over 48,000 organizations worldwide. I found this resource a few weeks ago when I started investigating a software solution to complete my first project as a Masters’ Student. The blog is hosted by Tom Kuhlmann who has over 20 years’ experience in training. The blog provides practical insight and hands-on tips to creating e-learning courses. Though there is some advertising of Articulate related courses and courses Tom presents, the information provided is for the most part vendor neutral and the content is relevant to the ID professional. Tom posts to this blog weekly and there is an archive with posts from mid-2007 to today.

  • The E-Learning Coach (http://theelearningcoach.com/) – This blogazine is hosted by Connie Malamed, author, instructional designer and e-learning enthusiast. The blogazine is organized in useful categories such as: Podcasts; eLearning design; eLearning 2.0; Cognition; Graphics, Audio, etc; Reviews; Mobile and Business. Initially when I visited the site I was a bit confused with the site’s structure, as I started browsing I realized this was a must have tool for my Instructional Designing career. The articles and podcast are extremely useful but the gem I found was the resources section! From online learning demos to glossary of online learning terms to free goodies, I sure will find use for all of these as I work in ID. As a scholar and Instructional Designer in training, of the articles I’ve read on this blogazine thus far, this one resonates the most – Models For Designing Your Personal Learning Environment http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/designing-personal-learning-environment/. I hope you too will find it useful.
  • eLearning Feeds (http://elearningfeeds.com/) – Not just a blog, but a collection of over 400 blogs, eLearning Feeds provides resources on all things eLearning including software, trends and events. eLearning Feeds is a member of eLearningIndustry.com, the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning industry. The resources here are collated from many sites and blogs dedicated to Instructional Designers and e-learning professionals and is updated daily. I do like the wealth of resources it provides but the site’s design takes some getting used to. The sheer amount of information posted daily can lead to information over load and cause users to miss what may be critical information. Yes, they’ve attempted to address this by placing information in meaningful groups but even then there were more than 20 updates for one day.

The resources I’ve reviewed to prepare this post are useful to the field of Instructional Design and teaching in general and should be useful to anyone interested in eLearning. They’ll provide information and resources needed in the field and provide insights on tools and emerging trends in the industry.

Have you used these or similar sites? What other resources can you contribute to this list?

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