Event-Specific Self-Reflection

In my current role, I’m developing a solution that’s event-specific. The event happens every year, but every year they may need to leverage the event differently. 

The problem I’ve always run into with annual asks like this is that I tend to forget the process until it comes up again, which wouldn’t be an obstacle if the process were exactly the same year after year. But the hope is our learners will build on their learning each time the event happens and deepen their practice.

So how do you get learners to remember something that happened a year ago? 

My answer: You don’t. 

Like myself, a lot of my family and friends are neurodivergent. Asking many of us to remember learning from a year ago is a big ask, and I assume it’s likely a big ask for neurotypical people too. 

Instead of hoping people will just remember, build self-reflection mechanisms into the workflow.

Since my build is event-specific and the event happens...

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This Playwright Question Informs my ID Practice

 The class workshopped my play first. Professor Hood passed out copies, assigned parts, looked at me, and said, “For the rest of class, just take notes.” And then the class began to perform my piece.

Within the first few minutes, I determined my classmates didn’t know how to read. I clearly meant for this line to be said with anger, another one with relief. The discussion after the reading (me still silent) showed me they had all misread my theme and empathized with the wrong characters. 

Seeing me become increasingly frustrated, the professor brought the discussion to a close: “How well can the Work live without you, Mandy? As a playwright, you create the blueprint. But you can’t follow your work everywhere, making sure everyone interprets it correctly. The Work must live the way you intended without you. If you’re upset by the results of today, you have more work to do.” 

I imagine what Professor Hood put me through...

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You Have Permission: To Make a Major Career Shift

For as long as I can remember I knew I would be a teacher. As the oldest in my family, I’ve always felt like that teacher trait was embedded into my DNA. Teaching came so naturally to me, and I loved it! No one was surprised when I pursued a degree in education after high school. Three months after I received my degree, I walked into my first year of teaching with the confidence of a twenty-year veteran. I felt unstoppable. 

Then, reality hit. I realized that there is more to teaching than you can see on the surface.The physical, mental, and emotional toll teaching takes on a person is tough. In a lot of ways, it felt like the deck was stacked against me before I ever started. It became clear early on that this job was not the forever career I had planned.

What followed was the process of changing my mindset, determining a new career path, and transitioning out of teaching. I had built my identity around my job as a teacher. It was who I was. It impacted the ways I...

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ID Podcasts: Master Your Skills While Shopping, Running, or Cooking

 I used to have a really long commute from the South-West of London all the way to Zone 4 in the East. About 40 minutes of these each way was on the underground with no reliable internet connection. I read books and I like reading, but holding the rail, my bag, my coat and the book with just two hands could be a bit of a logistic exercise at times. No wonder that I am a massive fan of podcasts.

 

Podcasts are awesome

  1. They’re free. 
  2. They’re light and portable. You only need a phone and your earphones, which I would not leave the house without anyway.
  3. They can be downloaded. Therefore you don’t rely on your internet connection and your phone plan. 
  4. They’re hand-free. So you could just put an episode on and carry on washing the dishes, painting the guest room or changing a nappy.
  5. If you subscribe, the new episodes are automatically marked in your app. No need to look for new content. 
  6. You can find a podcast on any topic. 
  7. ...
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Set Yourself up for Success: 5 action steps to take before IDOL courses Academy begins!

 

When IDOL courses Academy began this past January, I was very pregnant. In fact, my daughter was due during the second week of the course. Becoming an IDOL was something that I wanted badly, but I wasn’t sure that I would be able to meet my goals with a new baby and a two-year-old at home. I burn grilled cheese three of every five times I make it. How could I balance two children and the Academy? 

 

Desperate to get a head start, I emailed Dr. Robin Sargent before the cohort began and asked her if there was anything that I could do. She replied with some great tips and reassured me that, “there is no behind in the Academy!” Because of her guidance, I was able to start IDOL courses Academy feeling confident and ahead. My daughter was born a little early (the second day of my IDOL cohort!) but I was ready for the challenge. 

 

Here are a couple of Dr. Robin’s tips, and a few of my own, for setting yourself up for success. 

...

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Am I Doing This Right?: IDOL Lessons Learned

 Hindsight is 20/20. Coincidentally 2020, is the year I decided to pivot and fully immerse myself into a career transition in instructional design. I joined IDOL Academy in September 2020. This wasn’t my first trip down the “what else can I possibly do with my career experience and education background” road. Years ago, I started an expensive certification course, which I enjoyed, but I had an opportunity to join a new school, develop a new program, and get paid more so I had to put that on hold. The new opportunity also brought out the same issues I’ve had with my career that made me want to jump ship the first time: burnout, limited career growth, feeling undervalued, and siloed in my classroom. Why did I do this? 

Starting IDOL courses Academy was the best decision I made to start my career transition journey. But it has not been the most of smooth ride for me. Working full time, parenting full time, and squeezing in the IDOL coursework is...

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Become an IDOL: Top 5 Podcasts of 2020

 It’s the last day of 2020. What a year, right? Life is full of events creating a wild ride. This year has felt unreal, like it was scripted out of a movie. The year has been challenging in ways many of us would have never imagined. Now we are on the eve of a New Year. 

This is the time most people set goals or resolutions for the next 365 days. I started this year by talking about kicking self-doubt to the curb. I know it is not always easy to overcome your self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Sadly, to say, many of us create self-doubt in our heads, negatively affecting how we perceive ourselves. The Women Talking About Learning Podcast ended the year with an episode on imposter syndrome. Twenty-five industry women talk about imposter syndrome, what it means, the effects, and overcoming it. This was one of my favorite podcasts this year because it shows others ….. guess what, you aren’t alone in your self-doubt. The question is,...

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Before You Say YES: Choosing The Best IDOL Role

 One of the great things about the IDOL courses Academy is that you get the tools to land your IDOL role.  There are resources to help you create your portfolio, update your resume and optimize your LinkedIn profile. The job hunt may start off a little slow at first but eventually you will start interviewing for jobs.  

For many of us we want to transition into an instructional design and online learning (IDOL) role because we are passionate about the field. An IDOL role could mean a better overall career including better compensation and work life balance. Once the steady interview requests come in you will start to get excited and possibly overwhelmed. During this process there will be ups and downs and probably a few rejections that can be discouraging.  Sometimes when we get in a down period during the interview process we can get anxious which could lead to us making a hasty decision. Obviously the ultimate goal is to land that IDOL role and join the...

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Dear Corporate L&D: You're Missing Out

Dear Corporate Learning and Development,

You are missing out!

There is a talent pool ripe for the picking you are overlooking and dismissing too quickly.  These talented people are already equipped with the skill-set needed to be successful as an Instructional Designer (ID).

Who are they? They are educators looking to join the corporate world using the experience and knowledge they already possess.

As a former public school teacher, it was difficult for me to break into the corporate world even though I already had the ID skills.

I encountered many companies that seem to lack an understanding of how an educator’s experience, education, and skill-set can easily transfer into the corporate ID world. Therefore, passing on very qualified candidates.

I’ve found flaws in your reasons for rejection. I challenge you to take a look at your reasons to say no and indulge me with my reasons to say yes.

Your Reasons for Rejection:

  1.       “You don’t...
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