Following the Leaders


What do you read?  Who do you follow?  How do you develop?
(Thanks to aufrufe on SlideShare for the Bacon pix…)

In the past few months, we’ve had some transitions at Saint Leo.  Some healthy reorganizations have changed up reporting lines, old ways of processing, and are forcing us to redesign how we work together.  All in all, it’s very positive change, but change none the less.

Part of that change places our course design and production staff squarely in Academic Affairs.  Other than changing their title to “Learning Design,” my new team and I have been hammering out a revamp of old processes aimed at bringing the very best out of our people and our practices.  We’re making tremendous headway (a few blogs will be forthcoming once the “design re-design” is firmly in place).

BaconGoogleDuring this remix, I’m changing up some professional development expectations.  As professionals, we’ll expect our team to consistently update their skills, thinking, tools, and methods.  That’s a hard thing to do if a once-a-year conference is the only time or effort dedicated to updates.  On-going development is cultural.  For some, this is a hand-in-glove thing.  They already search, follow, and share resources and assets all the time.  But for a few others, this will be a paradigm shift.

To that end, and as someone who wants to architect not only world class education for our students but also a world class design team for our University, I’ve really struggled with whether or not to push my own favorites onto the team as a ‘primer’ of sorts, or if I should simply try my hardest to encourage the behavior and see what they find on their own.  It’s a classic dilemma, no?  One that also plays out in the classroom every day.  How much information do we disseminate vs encourage students to find?

BaconYouTubeIn our case, I’ve tried to stay away from pushing content so far…at least until last week.  I’ve created any number of short-term expectations that require seeking outside experts, paradigms, and tools but now, as we’re really starting to get underway, I decided to employ more ‘show’ in the tell-show-do-review-ask context.  And it dawned on me that others might find a few nuggets in this shared list too.  (Hence this post.)

The following is a starter.  It’s just to start looking around at what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s potentially helpful.  This list and this concept is far less about the tools or processes or even theories shared and far more about the meaningful conversations that should come from it.  I told my team that I expect to be able to have conversations about what experts and gurus are talking about, to ask about new methodologies or processes reported by appropriate media outlets, and to ask about how we might take work being done outside of course development and use it inside our path – it seems like a good team philosophy to begin from.

BaconTwitterIn short, I hope that everyone already follows some of the stars in whatever role or niche they work in.  But in case you don’t or haven’t taken the time to look in a while, here are a few I like.  Please know that the sites and people listed here are some of MY (Jeff’s) favorites.  That does not make them the better than someone else…just that I’ve a) found them and b) feel they have good stuff to share.  At the end of the day, I believe that breadth and diversity matter in regard to innovation and learning, so here you go.  Enjoy:

  1. Joshua Kim – – the sheer amount of content this guy produces is incredible, but he’s also a highly regarded Learning Designer
  2. – a hands on designer giving thoughts and advice
  3. – tons of pertinent info from George Lucas’ repository and a nice little app to boot
  4. – the name kind of gives it away
  5. – you should know IMS global anyway, but pay close attention to this specific page of development tools.
  6. Simon Paul Atkinson – – another Learning Design guru with some great thoughts (I love the point he makes about how Americans constantly quote Bloom vs almost anyone else from the past 70 years!)
  7. Paper – https://www.torg/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2012/03/Are-You-Ready-for-Agile-Learning-Design
  8. – look what James Madison did by combining models into their own development cycle – this is what we’re doing at Saint Leo
  9. Duke’s CIT – – these guys are out ahead in the development world
  10. Jackie Van Nice – – look at the integration between graphics and content here
  11. Jackie Gerstein – – the educator side of design – I’ve followed her for a long time
  12. – there are lists of tools everywhere – no need to reinvent the wheel every time.

Good luck and good learning.

Dr. Jeff D Borden
Chief Innovation Officer

About Jeff Borden

My title at work is ‘Chief Innovation Officer.’ So I'm trying to transform teaching and learning at scale. How do I do that? Through my "life" jobs. Primarily, I'm a dad and husband. But I'm also a professor, writer, professional speaker, comedian, researcher, lifelong learner, musician, dog-owner, and even a ranked disc golfer... I've spoken to, trained, or consulted with hundreds of thousands of educators at all levels, in numerous countries, K-20, about how to teach and learn effectively in the 21st Century.

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