Written by:

Holly Macdonald


January 27, 2012


I think 2012 could be an interesting year for my pro-d. I’ts almost like that “T” shaped skills from IDEO.  The concept isn’t terribly new, but I think it’s useful, for me anyway. You have deep expertise in your core competency (the vertical bar), but complement it with adjacent skills (the horizontal bar).  I think I’ll focus on the adjacent stuff this year.

Web development:

I have signed up for the year of coding via Codecademy as I’d like to extend my instructional design skills to a broader range of e-learning development tools. I am also on a beta for a popular tool-in-waiting for the e-learning set (no names mentioned), which is fun even if I don’t have enough time to really play with it! I am also debating the acquisition of another new tool, which would add a new dimension to my skillset. If I find myself with extra time this year I might take on Flash too. I thought about trying this online option (Treehouse), too. It is a different way of learning (video)…

Speaking of Video

I’d also love to learn about more video shooting and production and wonder if a project might be in the works for later this year. Green screens, framing, etc…I’m super intrigued by the interactive video idea. Building in choices to video snippets, which sounds a lot like branching scenarios to us in the e-learning field!


User design

I would love to get more exposure to graphic design and user experience – how to make things look good – while I read and watch continuously and know the C.R.A.P. stuff – here’s a nice article describing it. I’d love to know what works with interactions from a learner perspective. This kind of behavioural thinking is really compelling to me. I signed up for the Human Computer Interaction course from Stanford, but it doesn’t start until Jan 30th.  I am loving Julie Dirksen’s book Design for How People Learn (still savouring it).



I would also love to write fiction, storytelling from a personal & professional perspective is really appealing to me. I’m an avid reader (I’d like to say voracious, but that’s only what I aspire to!). Thinking about how to engage people in learning through stories seems like a natural fit, so will see what kind of resources might fit for that.  Still thinking about this one.

Leave space for Serendipity…

I like to just find things that are interesting, and of course working freelance means that each new client and industry I engage with provides me with new learning opportunities, so that keeps me on my toes. Ironically, the two things that caught my attention this week – @busynessgirl’s TEDx video and this post by @Callooh

Wish me luck…oh, and if you have any suggestions for me, pass on a comment or tweet me…@sparkandco