Professional Development Activity Ideas

Professional Development Activity Ideas

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Last year I was really busy working on some activities that contributed to my professional development as an instructional designer. In this post I’ll share some ideas for professional development activities that you could do to always learn and stay up to date with what is going on in the eLearning world.

Graduate Certificate in Digital Education

Last year I finally completed the Graduate Certificate in Digital Education that I started in October 2017.

I did this qualification online with Safetynet Solutions.

In this Australian qualification I did the following units of competency:

  • ICTTEN816 – Scope Project Requirements and Process Solutions.
  • TAEDEL801 – Evaluate, implement and use ICT-based educational platforms.
  • TAEDEL802 – Use eLearning with Social Media.
  • TAEASS801 – Analyse, implement and evaluate e-assessments.
  • TAELED801 – Design pedagogy for e-learning.

I did this certificate at a snail speed. The initial plan was to complete it in one year but I have to be honest, I was a little bit lazy to complete all the projects and super long assignments in the qualification. But I finally finished!! one step at a time, one assignment at a time, slowly and I never gave up.

Collaborating in an eBook

Last year I also collaborated in an ebook about augmented reality for school activities.

This was a beautiful experience that didn’t take me long to complete and was so rewarding.

I collaborated in a chapter of the ebook about how to implement activities in the classroom related to engineering and space using augmented reality technology.

Initially I thought writing that chapter would be a really difficult task but because it is a subject that I really like and makes me so excited I wrote it in a couple of sessions. The ideas just came to my mind so quickly and naturally. Definitely this is an area that I need to keep exploring.

The eBook “Practical Guide: Augmented Reality at school” is available now on Amazon and it has really cool tips, ideas and lesson plans to implement augmented reality technology in the school. It was written by educators around the World and it is a great resource for educators.

An Interview on YouTube

Another activity for my professional development was so special to me because I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Anna Sabramowicz for her YouTube channel 😀

This was very special to me because when I started thinking about changing careers into eLearning, she was the first professional in the field I found on the Internet.

With her I learned key concepts that shaped the way I create learning solutions now such as learner centred approach, relevant context and scenarios for learning.

Also, I did a couple of online courses she prepared about how to design scenarios for eLearning and the Skillsagent course where I learned how to have those important conversations with the Subject Matter Experts (SME) to understand their requirements.

You can see the interview here and I hope it inspires you to keep going if you started creating eLearning solutions, to always design for the learners, to help them achieve their goals and learn in a friendly manner.

Follow your Passion

It is very important to follow your dreams and do what you love. Follow your passion and the opportunities will come your way.

All these activities made me so happy because they all add in different ways to my career and to my professional and personal growth. They inspired me to continue writing about education and technologies used to enhance learning, to keep exploring new topics and ideas. Even the most crazy idea is worth exploring 😀

And even if in your workplace you might find limitations and you feel you are not growing or progressing, it doesn’t matter, you can continue in your own path, learning, investigating and growing on your own. Then when the time is right, all those seeds you are planting today will flourish in the future.

What’s next?

I want to continue learning and sharing what I discover in education, technology and the combination of both. I’ve been thinking about completing some short courses I found in Coursera about VR and how to create a game using this technology. Then I would like to really get in the game design world and the applications in education.

I also need to learn more methodologies about storyboard, writing and developing characters and stories for games or interactions in the digital world.

I also want to learn more about pedagogy and the development of curriculum using technology.

My idea is to build immersive educational experiences with games, VR and AR. But to achieve this dream I need to master more the aspects of curriculum development to design meaningful activities that will help learners understand different topics while having fun.

My goal is that learners doing the training I create won’t even know they are studying because it should be so much fun that they will want to study and explore more and more on the subjects.

It has been in my mind sometimes the idea of doing a master’s degree in teaching so I can learn more about pedagogy and curriculum methodologies but I need to analyse first my current commitments and how much time I can dedicate to more professional development activities.

Most probably I’ll continue doing some short online courses to get new practical skills while I decide if I engage in another formal qualification. But one thing I know for sure, I’ll never stop learning and sharing here what I learn 🙂

What other professional development activities I recommend?

There are so many things you can do to keep learning.

  • Enjoy a podcast while driving or while you are on the bus or train.
  • Watch a webinar related to specific topics in your field.
  • Do short online courses in Lynda library, Coursera or Edx.
  • Read an article in a specialised magazine.
  • Read blog entries from professionals in your field or area of interest.
  • Create boards on Pinterest with infographics and images that contribute to your knowledge.
  • Read a book or at least some chapters.
  • Find some interesting Ted talks.
  • Join Facebook groups in your field and contribute in the discussions.
  • Start your own blog where you can summarise the resources you find and share your thoughts and links.

There are so many activities you can include that contribute to your professional development and your own learning without the need to engage in formal academic studies.

The important thing is to enjoy what you do, enjoy the journey, the learning, the experiences, the mistakes and the successes.

Keep trying new things, keep growing and keep learning. This is a lifelong learning and it should be fun so it will be easy to make it a part of your life.

If you are working in a field that doesn’t inspire you to do more then it might be a good idea to stop and think what do you actually enjoy doing, what makes you smile, what would you do for free. Make a list and explore more each option until you find a path that you feel is the right to follow.

I hope some of these ideas will inspire you to align yourself more with your essence, dreams and the things you love doing.

Have a great 2020!

Till next time.

Thais 😀

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