Become an IDOL 91: Immersive Technologies for Learning AR and VR with Destery Hildenbrand

Dec 05, 2023

Guest: Destery Hildenbrand

In this episode of the Become an IDOL podcast, Robin Sargent interviews Destery Hildenbrand, an XR Solution Architect who helps clients realize their immersive technology dreams through virtual reality, augmented reality, and blended learning solutions.

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Enjoy the Episode Transcript below:
   

Robin Sargent  

Welcome to become an IDOL. I'm Dr. Robin Sargent, owner of IDOL courses. This is the place where newbies come to learn and veterans share their knowledge.

Robin Sargent  

I have here with me today Destery Hildenbrand. And he develops immersive technology for learning. That's probably a terrible way to introduce you Destery, will you please do a better job of introducing yourself?

Destery Hildenbrand  

Sure, thank you. So my name is Destery Hildenbrand and I work for a company called Intellezy. And I'm an XR Solution Architect. So essentially, what that means is that I help our clients, our customers, and everybody realize their immersive technology dreams. So whether it's working with virtual reality simulations, or working with augmented reality, interactions that they can do just through their phone, I help develop and ideate and create that sort of blended piece for these organizations to incorporate these newer technologies, these new modalities to deliver training to their learners.

Robin Sargent  

I bet everyone listening to you, right now, Destery is like, what? How do you even get to that type of technology or those types of skills in the learning and development industry? And so I want to go into the wayback machine. And I want to know, how did you get started? How did you become an IDOL? And then tell us from there to all the way to now you are the XR whiz.

Destery Hildenbrand  

So I actually started my career as a graphic designer for the yellow pages, you want to talk about the least amount of technology possible, right? It's like that one comedian. He's like, I was on the telephone with Blockbuster Video, right. So it's one of those things. So I used to paginate, the yellow pages, I was a graphic designer for the Yellow Pages. And then as I was in that space all those years ago, that's when I very first was introduced to the term instructional design, and an instructional designer. And all of a sudden, I was like, hey, that could be something that I would really like to do, in there. I actually became a trainer just because I was the only one that would get up in front of people and talk. Like, they would be like, Hey, can anybody get in front of this group and talk about this or explain this. And everybody literally took a step back, like in the movies, they took a step back, and I just stayed there. And they're like, look, he volunteered. So that's essentially how I became a trainer. I've always been... I've been very fortunate, I did a lot of like, drama and speech, and you know, all that kind of stuff. So I was always comfortable talking to groups. And this just was sort of a natural evolution.

From there, I was always really drawn towards the technology. The very first eLearning development tools I was early on in Storyline, I became an early adopter of that tool. I was using Captivate way back when. Lectora was the very first one that I cut my teeth on building content. So I just slowly evolved my career into that. And then about 2013, I was introduced to augmented reality. I really hadn't thought about it much really hadn't done a ton with it. And it was literally just a... it was like a coloring page. And when you scanned it, it changed color like it filled in the colors and I thought holy cow. This like instantly made this really cool thing. How can I make this for learning? And from there, I was hooked, right? I went and found all the information I could. I became as knowledgeable as I could and then I realized in our space and learning and development, there wasn't a lot of people talking about it. And I was like, we need to know more about this, right? So I took what I knew. And then I was like, Hey, can I come talk at your thing? Can I come explain this? Can I come show this? And slowly but surely groups were like, I mean, I guess you can show up. Right? So and then once they invited me in, I just never left. So I go to all these things. And I try to share and show and learn all at the same time. And from there, I just sort of evolved into how can we incorporate this type of technology, right?

When we're talking about augmented reality, it's that overlay of information that you scan, a lot of people think of it like Pokemon Go, right. That's a really great sort of universal way to think about it. But yeah, so I started doing that. And then I was like, hey, I really want to do virtual reality too, because that's really a part of this whole ecosystem, too. So then I went back to the drawing board, and I had to teach myself how to code and teach myself Unity, right, so I could actually build some of these cool things. And then of course, as soon as I did that, they came out with tools that made it easier. So I spent...

 

Robin Sargent  

A whole lot easier. 

Destery Hildenbrand  

I spent five years learning how to code and then they're like, oh, by the way, we're going to try to make this as codeless as possible, which is great but it helped out. But yeah, I just sort of went from there. I spent some time as a full time virtual reality developer for a couple years. And then I ended up at Intellezy helping them with their immersive technology strategy. So how can we build this out? How can we create this opportunity for our clients? And then in turn for their learners in the end, right? How can we make what we're doing? Or what they're doing stick more? eLearning is great, videos are great, but where can we put people in these situations? How can we immerse them? What types of experiences make the most sense? And then what types of those experiences can make the learning the most effective?

Robin Sargent  I want to hear all the stories Destery. I'm just like, got so many that I want to know about? So my first question is, what does Intellezy do?

Destery Hildenbrand  

Intellezy, we do a little bit of everything, right? So I lead the XR team on our end. So we build either bespoke content, we also custom build virtual reality, soft skill training to partner with our existing video library, as well. But at its core, Intellezy also has a video library that we resell, there's 10,000 videos, 20 different languages, right? So you can learn about everything from cybersecurity to pivot tables in Excel, right, all of the all of the above inside of there. And then we also have a core team that builds custom learning, we build eLearning videos, blended solutions for our clients as well, that incorporate all different types of modalities. So a lot of the things that I'm sure your students are learning today that we can, you know, help sort of build out that very robust learning experiences and ecosphere for our clients. 

Robin Sargent  

Okay, so we know what Intellezy does. We've heard a little bit we've just scratched the surface of AR and VR. Now, I bet beyond the technology, and how do you build things or whatever? What are some of the questions you ask, or some of the decision criteria you make as a strategist to decide, okay, this is worth the effort and the cost and the resources of making AR or VR and I'm sure those are probably two different categories for you. So maybe we start with AR and augmented reality, what makes you say, like, Oh, this is worth doing it this way.

Destery Hildenbrand  

Yeah. So what we run into when it comes to use cases for these types of technologies, right, they don't always fit for everything. They're not like a magic elixir that's going to cure all the learning ails that our teams have. But what we find is that, specifically with augmented reality, anytime we need to have that, that just in time learning that moment of need, that we're looking for, augmented reality, you scan a QR code, and it immediately pops up information to you, right. But I think the easiest association I can make now is after the pandemic, we all have QR codes for menus now, right? You scan it, it brings up that instant bit of information, the same kind of thing, the same idea behind it is with augmented reality. So when you scan something, it brings up that instant piece of information. It doesn't cause any of our workers to lose any time. They don't have to be off the floor. They don't have to stop building widgets, whatever it is that they're doing. But they can just be like, Oh, I know, step one through four, step five changed. But I know six through 10. Ah, how do I get the information for five?

We can't always send somebody to go see an eLearning. What instant information can we give them? So you scan, it brings it up. Another great thing that augmented reality does, and it's all through a mobile device, typically, right? There's some wearable devices. But typically, we see in learning, it's all happening through a mobile device. And one of the things that we see is that you're able to visualize products and process in 3D space where you're at. So imagine if you're trying to sell, you know a widget, or you're trying to visualize a vehicle that you're talking about, or visualize a process that you're trying to explain. As you explain it and show some 2D pictures, what if you're able to scan and then drop that vehicle right in front of you? So you can get up close and see what it looks like. You can see all the different pieces you can get inside and look around at the dashboard, any of those types of things. And that not only helps out when it comes to things for learning for our learners to really understand what it is we're trying to teach them. But it also allows us to partner with other groups within the organization too. Things like sales or marketing, how can we all work together? And that's one thing you'll find as well is that learning doesn't necessarily... the development doesn't happen in a silo, at least it shouldn't. We should be communicating with as many different groups as possible. And this gives us an opportunity to do that.

So those types of use cases for augmented reality are really kind of those homerun you know, kind of use cases. And I think of the two when we're talking about augmented reality versus virtual reality, augmented reality is going to be... it's going to take less to get it going with the tools that you have with the delivery method. A lot of organizations have that BYOD policy now that's relatively robust. So everybody updates their phone every two years. So we all have the... we always are going to have the latest technology and, and pieces that we need. Now, when it comes to virtual reality, what we run into there is that that typically is a full simulation, whether it's in a browser or in your headset, and where virtual reality really shines is that anytime we need to get people hands on practicing a skill, or we need to put them in potentially dangerous situations to learn something. And VR allows us to do that without putting them in dangerous situations. So imagine an open pit mine, or they're on an oil rig for the first time, or they're working from heights, anything that you can think of safety or those types of complex trainings, it also works really well, if let's say you've got a dozen people that you have to send to a location to train them, right all the way there. Or they're using materials that they, you know, they exhaust the materials, right, they're practicing learning fire extinguishers, and they use the fire extinguisher and it's out, right, you have to pay to get more of those. So any of the tools that you use to train them, those are... it works really well in VR as well, because you can recreate them. And then there's just that first cost to like to build it. And then once you have that you have this very robust training simulation space. Imagine the Holodeck in Star Trek, right? Or, that virtual spaces that you see that people can go in and actually try things out. And that's really where VR makes the most sense. Again, it's not for everything. But when it comes to those dangerous situations, anytime that you want to save on money, and travel and resources.

One last thing I'll throw into is that we also, we do a lot of soft skill training in virtual reality, where you're actually talking to an avatar, using conversational AI, in a way that you can practice those leadership skills or emotional intelligence. You know, What's the scariest part about having those soft skill trainings is when they say, alright, partner up and roleplay? I don't want I don't do that. Right. So imagine you could do that with a virtual avatar that would have the same responses each time, you can practice, you can fail in that, you know, controlled environment, until you're ready to actually go out into the world. So long story short, right? That's sort of the use cases that you think of with augmented and virtual reality.

Robin Sargent  

No, that was crystal clear. I loved all the detail that you gave us, or what I think about how much is actually being used of the AR and the VR. I see a lot of... I mean, I understand a lot of use cases, I even think about the trades and the frontline workers, even when you were talking about AI and like overlaying things like even if you have to go in to fix a water heater, right? If they had just the little sticker, then oh, I could figure out how to fix it just in time and all those kinds of things. How much do you think this is being adopted? 

Destery Hildenbrand  

You know, I think we're seeing more and more that people are realizing... especially with augmented reality, because there's so many tools out there that are sort of that wiziwig, right, that what you see is what you get. And it's cloud-based codeless authoring. So people don't have to learn... they don't spend five years learning Unity, right? They don't have to spend that time learning these coding languages. Because typically, the skill set that our industry has doesn't necessarily lean heavy in that direction, right? We're very much in between adult learning theory and working with our graphics, we didn't have time for our coding 101, or C Sharp 101 and things like that. But what I see is that with augmented reality, we're starting to see a lot more of blended uses, like it's not a standalone learning option.

Same thing with virtual reality. Where it fits best is, you know what? Let's go through some content, let's scan and have an augmented assessment, or let's have an opportunity to visualize whatever it is we're learning about in our own space within our own time, right, it gives us those those sort of off ramps of additional information. It's not the same information. It's new, it's different. And it gives us a more immersive and interactive way to kind of do that. When it comes to virtual reality we've seen a huge uptick in uses for it, especially for safety training, right? You really can't go wrong, training people how to put on their PPE, right? Whether it's the hard hat, the visie vest, the goggles, whatever it might be. You can train that. You can also train everyone safety. Like, here's hazard awareness 101, let's walk around the environment and identify anything that could potentially hurt you or other people, right? These types of things really resonate. And they're relatively universal, right? They're evergreen in a lot of ways in that, they just don't really change.

Like, we'll always have to worry about hazards, we'll always have to be safe when we're working at heights, we'll always have to be... you know, there's some things that are just universal for those. And those types of trainings tend to really stick and they tend to be more popular. And we've seen a real uptick in those types of things. Where we've seen a little bit of growth is in like that custom building but virtual reality tends to be more of an investment in time and resources than its augmented reality counterpart. 

Robin Sargent  

Would you say there's an opportunity for someone entering this field to start building those skills early in AR or even VR and start finding their niche early? Or is it something that you'd encourage people to start building skills after they have their foundation?

Destery Hildenbrand  

You know, what's great about this? And that's a fantastic question is that the skills they're learning at the foundational level, all translate over to building this type of content, right? At some point, you're going to have to bring in someone else or learn a new skill to kind of finalize it. But whether you're doing you know, you're working with SMEs, you're doing needs analysis, you're building out storyboards, you're planning, you're doing all of these things that you're already doing for any learning modality that you decide to use, whether it's an eLearning, whether it's a video, right? All of these skills that they're learning all translate over, you're just thinking a little bit different, right? So instead of just building for the rectangle in front of us, you know, then you start thinking, Oh, well, what happens to the sides or behind me or above me, maybe nothing. But what could happen there, right? So just thinking about it from a little bit different perspective, really helps kind of kick these things off, too.

But yeah, all of those skills that they learn, the things that they learn how to do using some of the tools that are there too, working with timelines, or working with variables, you know, working with images, or text, or all of those types of skills, they all translate to those different editors that work for the AR content, especially right? Those wiziwig editors, you're always going to have to click the button and upload images, you're always going to have to work with variables, you know, if this then this. I mean, that's essentially a mantra that we do when we're building learning, right? If the learner does this, than this happens, or this happens. And that's exactly the same way we build out, you know, that foundational level of content for augmented reality. When it comes to virtual reality, again, those skills for planning and, you know, putting that those things in place all translate over. One of the things you'll see is that the price of doing business in VR is that it does require that developer aspect, right, somebody who knows how to use that Unity game engine, or that Unreal game engine, 3D modeling comes into play huge. And those are typically skills that, you know, some of the people going through your courses may not have or may not be able to cultivate, but they could certainly go down that direction.

I always say it's kind of like, as an instructional designer, you're kind of like a musician, right? You don't have to you don't have to play all the instruments to be able to write the music or understand what's happening right inside of there. Once you sort of learn the flow, and your different sections, you understand... I don't have to play trumpet to understand that this is a treble line, that's going... doing what it needs to do, right? I understand what's happening with it. And I find myself a lot of times in that situation where it's like, Hey, I don't fully... you know, I couldn't sit down and code everything out and do all these things, you know, probably, but I understand what's going on enough so that when people start talking about it, I can be like, hey, you know what, this makes sense. But from an instructional standpoint, we need to make sure we do this, let's make sure that we can keep everything together. And I think that's an important piece for your students, especially to understand is that all the things that... the core things, you're learning the core principles and skills that they're putting together, it's going to give them the opportunity to learn and grow to all of the different modalities, right? AR and VR may not be the last thing we see, AI right? It's all big right now too.

Like, there's all kinds of stuff and there, there may be more opportunities down the road for different technologies. And one thing that's great is that, again, those core skills they lead us into and help us to use these technologies as effectively as possible for learning development. Like that's really the key here. It's not necessarily, Gosh, can I code or can I build these things? It's, can I help my team create the best possible learning regardless of the modality that's out there? 

Robin Sargent  

Yeah, I mean, one of the things I teach my students is to design like a superhero, right? And so and that what I mean by that is, what is the best way to design this instruction and deliver this training or learning or whatever you want to call it, for this situation, whether you know how to use the tech or not. And so I love the idea of them even just being more familiar with the possibilities that are out there as far as what you can do. So if they wanted to go and start playing around with some AR, because that sounds like probably the easiest way to get started, what are some of these wiziwig tools? Some of these, like, user interface, things that are easy, no code type of AR applications? Where would you send them Destery? What what tools when you send them to?

Destery Hildenbrand  

So you can google search for a lot of them, the tool that I use, the tool that I use is Zappar, right? If you go to zap.works, you can find they have a hobbyist account, it's free, you get five codes to get started. Their tool is called Zapworks Designer. You get up there and you log right in and you can just get started building, right? They have a lot of templates and things like that they make it super easy to get into and I've had a lot of great success with them. I've been using Zappar now for the better part of 10 years. And what's great about it is that longevity, they've been around like we've seen some tools calm, we've seen some tools go you know, it's hard to stick in this space a little bit. But that'd be my recommendation to get started. And obviously, there's other tools out there too. If you have the Adobe Suite, Adobe has an AR tool called Adobe Arrow. That's a great one. So if your organization or you already have access to this, you could get into that for free. They have a lot of tutorials and different things you can do. But yeah, I think that those are a couple great places to start. And again, it's what's great is that they're cheap and easy to get started in, right? Especially when you're just building your skills and learning. I think it's... I would encourage all of your students to have an AR piece to their portfolio, right?

Robin Sargent  

I know! I was about to go... I was about to go preach the gospel today, after this... after meeting with you today, Destery. I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm gonna go get this tool, I'm gonna go tell them that this is their next portfolio piece, because we're always gonna have to continue increasing the types of skills and the technologies that they use in order to be marketable in our industry. And I think this is probably something that hasn't been on a lot of people's radars, but it's been around long enough. It's not going anywhere. We've found so many uses for it, and we only continue to find more. And then the VR, there's also same kind of advice, I guess, right? There's like CenarioVR. And are there any other ones that are real easy? 

Destery Hildenbrand  

So CenarioVR works in 360 VR, right, 360 video, so that works really good. In fact, in tools like Captivate and Storyline, they have 360 image opportunities as well, you can do. When it comes to full VR, whether it's like more that game sort of feel that CGI VR, there are a few tools that are sort of making their way in. A company that I really liked called Motive. They have a tool called story flow, another company that's doing great things out there as Talespin, they have a tool called CoPilot, right? These are all again, these are cloud based codeless tools that some of your students may end up finding themselves using at some point in their career. But as of right now, again, the VR piece is a little bit more challenging, because it does require that developer aspect of it, right? If we're going the full CGI VR, that game VR. But yeah, they could start working with 360 images now so that anybody has a 360 camera, you can start taking your own pictures and drop it into Storyline or Captivate or get a free trial for CenarioVR. Like there's some opportunities out there. In fact, just at the last conference I was at, I saw a significant uptick in the amount of 360, video, sort of VR content at the Demofest that was there, like I hadn't seen quite so much. When this technology first started showing its head... showing up in 2016 I was like, all of this is amazing. And then it never really went anywhere. So it's exciting to see the groups are kind of going back to it a little bit and seeing what else they can do with that 360 immersive content in there. And that's probably a little bit easier space to start when it comes to that virtual simulation too, because you can consume it in a headset or on a browser on a mobile device. So there's a lot of different ways that you can do that. So but yeah, that would be especially the AR piece, right? Have an AR component to your portfolio. And make sure that you put that in there in a way that sort of like enhances something else that you already have, like how can you take your learner on a little bit different journey or a more in depth journey into the topic that you're doing? So that's really where it makes the most sense.

Robin Sargent  

Oh, neat. Like, I know a lot of them go and they volunteer for nonprofits. So I'm just thinking off the top of my head. They'll volunteer for the Humane Society and they'll build volunteer training on how to work with the animals and all those kinds of things. And if they went and they built an AR thing for like, how to handle a dog or something or whatever, like just in time.

Destery Hildenbrand  

Yep, they could do something like that, learning the breeds, right? You know, they could pop up and they could scan and like, here's the different breeds of the different... Here's what they're best at, here's what they do great, you know, here's where the challenges are faced, right? Like, you could build like a whole little AR cheat sheet on the animals or the things that are there. So yeah, you could do a lot of really cool stuff. And again, it's that instant access to information, right, I scan something, and I instantly have the info right here ready to go. So...

Robin Sargent  

Alright, so what do you think is going to be... Do you think we're just going to keep on developing use cases for AR VR? Do you think there's going to be more of like a combination of things where you're like, AI is added to AR and like that's where the next thing is? Or give us some futurist thoughts.

Destery Hildenbrand  

Sure. I'll put on my future thinking hat. You know, it's tough to say, because AI about this time last year, right was all the rage, right? ChatGPT. Like, it hasn't been around that long. All of those things. And then every organization in the book was like we're putting in AI. Right? And I... although I question that immediacy, I totally understand where we kind of all jumped to the new shiny thing. I think that a combination of all the things is really where the future lands, right? I think that I mentioned this before that blended aspect, how can we... There's no one thing that's going to be the best experience for the learners that we end up building for. So how do we create? How do we use what we're using now? How do we incorporate all those things into a space where it all seamlessly works together? And I think that's where augmented reality to enhance virtual reality, to simulate an AI to maybe automate some of those things, right? Like I see where you know, that enhance that simulation, that automation, those are all going to kind of come together. And what's great too, is that because there's such an interest in it, these tools are just going to become more accessible, they're going to become easier to use, and everybody's really leaning towards that no code, low code kind of aspect. So again, those skills that we all learn as instructional designers are going to translate over to these new things as well. It's just gonna take a little time. So I'm curious to see what the next thing is like, maybe holograms, right? I don't know.

Robin Sargent  

I already do some holograms, they were just like, not that interested in them. 

Destery Hildenbrand  

Well, they're complicated, right? It's expensive to do. What I think another thing we'll see here relatively soon, too, is some sort of a wearable technology piece like glasses, or something that doesn't make us look funny or feel self conscious. Like, as soon as somebody cracks the code on a device that everybody's like, I'll put that on my face. Then the whole thing changes, right? Like everything changes, because then you're hands free and you've got this thing that you've decided you're okay to put on your face and it becomes like a fully mobile sort of kind of thing. So that'll be a whole nother sort of reinvention, if you will, of how we apply a lot of these immersive technologies. Once the hardware and the tools catch up.

Robin Sargent  

And don't they call it like the internet of things, you know, when the...

Destery Hildenbrand  

Oh, the IOT, right? Yeah, and that's sort of just a term that covers all the bases, the Internet of Things. Well, what's new? It's the Internet of Things, all of them.

Robin Sargent  

I've got an Internet of Things ring that tracks all my data and how much I move. And, um, it's interesting that you brought up the glasses, the wearable glasses. I was talking to somebody who works at Amazon today. And she's like, shh I'm not supposed to tell you this, but I'm like, they let me try on their new wearable glasses product and it has Alexa built in. 

Destery Hildenbrand  

There you go. 

Robin Sargent  

I think your fingers on the pulse. That's exactly what's coming out.

Destery Hildenbrand  

Yeah, like I said, we're sort of, we're kind of fickle creatures sometimes. Like, it's like, I don't want to look too weird. But I totally want the technology. So like I said, as soon as somebody cracks that code, where the whole universally all of us go. Okay, I'll do that. It's like the iPhone, right? The you know, the iPhone and the iPad, they really aren't that old, either. I mean, in the grand scheme of things. So, but as soon as we, you know... or even mp3 players, like as soon as we... Remember, we used to carry those little pills around, like I'm dating myself here but they had all these little pills that you plugged in and you did, like, they all looked so weird. And then all of a sudden, the iPod came out, and everybody was like, oh, yeah, we'll just make everything look like this. And then the iPhone came out, and everybody's like, Oh, yeah, we'll just make everything look like this, right? Like, everything looks the same because we've all decided that was that collective, we like this, build more of these, right? And that same thing is going to happen with immersive technology and hardware and things like that, oh, this, I like this. I'll put this on my face. Never build anything but this again, and that's really what will happen. And then that'll sort of ensure that mass adoption, and then we're going to see... once that happens once that sort of aspect hits us. You're going to see an indefinite growth in Hey, we need to know what to do with this for learning. Right and I think that's also a great thing that I try to tell people is like, hey, get started now. Because you don't want to be behind the eight ball. When, you know, you reach that point when you're when you're with an organization and they say, Hey, my kid just got these glasses, what can we do with them in learning and you're like, I don't even know what the glasses are, right? That's not that... you want to be like, hey, that's great, we've actually been talking a lot about this, let's see where we can incorporate what we're doing now from handheld into that hardware, into that wearable space. So all of us should keep our finger on the pulse at least a little bit when it comes to those types of things, especially in this industry, because it changes, you know, things stay the same. But also there's opportunities that hit us really quick. And we got to be able to kind of pivot and move with those.

Robin Sargent  

Where do you find your best, stay in the know, with new tech? 

Destery Hildenbrand  

Oh, gosh. I go to Google search, and then I filter it by technology, right? And then they have another filter where you can put in like virtual reality. And if you click on that virtual reality piece there, it shows you all the latest AR and VR like they're... they don't discriminate. They just put all this stuff in there. They're like virtual reality, but it's really everything. Right? So I stay up to date there. There's a newsletter, the TLDR newsletter, right? The Too Long Don't Read newsletter that's out there that you can do. But yeah, a lot of times, I'll just Google, I'll filter it out and say what's happened in the last month? Augmented reality, right? And then I get some obscure articles. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I try to stay connected to all the people that I can. I connect with as many people on LinkedIn as I can, and they share a lot of like, I find people that are in sort of that same space, and either follow their organization or follow them. And then they post stuff. And then you know, a couple times a week, I go in and clear out the hundreds of notifications that I got. And I try to find the ones that look like you know, they're like, Oh, hey, look, what we did and stuff like that. I find a lot of my information on Reddit too. I'm part of like the Unity forums, I'm part of the augmented reality forums, the quest forums, like I follow all of the different brand names of these hardware, and software companies. And that's where I get a lot of my information too. We just get so much information. It's like drinking from a firehose every day. So you know, you gotta kind of find a handful that really work for you, and kind of do that. But yeah, I just search and try to stay connected to as many people who are smarter than me as possible, and then I can learn from them.

Robin Sargent  

That's an easy strategy. All right, so my final question, Destery is, what is your best and final advice for those who are looking to become an IDOL right now and enter this space?

Destery Hildenbrand  

You know, I think the biggest thing is to learn about all this stuff, right? Build those core competencies in the foundation of being able to, you know, plan out learning. And then don't get too lost in the weeds when it comes to the tools that you're going to use to build it, right? Build that core learning rate objectives, you know, do a solid needs analysis, you know, understand working with the SMEs, so that you can translate all of that stuff into something that's actionable from a learning perspective. And then the other stuff will come like the other the tools are all going to come and go, they're all going to kind of work a little bit the same, right? I wouldn't fret too much about those, you'll need to know them. But don't fret too much about that. Where the real magic happens, though, is at the beginning. Like how do I take this concept that people want me to teach all these other people? How do we build that solid foundation? And you know, technology or not? That is the core piece of being able to build a solid learning or training program, that's going to last the test of time. People will be like, oh, yeah, I watched a video. But if the video is great, you know, if the video is solid, if it has a lot of valuable information, that's going to mean a lot more than the video by itself ever could, right? Doesn't matter how flashy we make, it doesn't matter how exciting it is, right? Doesn't matter how many simulations we build, if they're not great, if they're not instructionally sound, we're just doing a disservice. And then we're just using technology for the sake of technology. And that's a whole nother podcast. So.

Robin Sargent  

Yeah. No, this is great advice. I mean, even from the XR architect himself saying, like, put the time in to learn the foundational skills to build instructionally aligned content. And I think it means even more hearing it from you who is technology enthusiast. So.

Destery Hildenbrand  

Yep, that's the strategy for long term success, right? Do the work now, build those foundational skills, and then you can adapt to whatever technology comes along because technology won't stop growing. It won't stop changing. So yeah.

Robin Sargent  

Thank you so much Destery. You have been an absolutely wonderful guest. I just have learned so much from you. So thank you so much for coming on to the Become an IDOL Podcast.

Destery Hildenbrand  

You bet. Thanks so much for having me. It was a great time.

Robin Sargent  

Thank you so much for listening. You can find the show notes for this episode at idolcourses.com. If you liked this podcast and you want to become an instructional designer, an online learning developer, join me in the IDOL courses Academy. Where you'll learn to build all the assets you need to land your first instructional design job, early access to this podcast, tutorials for how to use the eLearning authoring tools, templates for everything course building and paid instructional design experience opportunities. Go to idolcourses.com/academy and enroll or get on the waitlist. Now get out there and build transcendent courses.


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