Category Archives: Blog

How do you get your boss to send you to eACH?

Attending conferences and workshops is an important part of keeping in touch with other people in your field, learning new tips and tricks, recharging your creative batteries and keeping yourself current with advances in technology. If you don’t attend conferences regularly, you can get “stale”, like day-old bread.  However, it’s not always easy to get the funding support you need to attend conferences – after all, most of us live on a very tight budget!

So, if you’ve got challenges when it comes to budget, how do you convince your boss that you need to attend eACH this year? Most blogs and posts on this subject agree that you need to market yourself.  That means being direct with your boss about why you should go, outlining benefits for your organization. It’s best to prepare your argument before even approaching your boss for his/her support.  Here are some tips and tricks that will help you prepare for that conversation.

  1. When approaching your boss, be direct. Don’t ask “What if I attended the eACH conference?”. Ask “I’d like to attend the eACH conference in June. Will you approve me to attend on company time and will the organization pay for it?”
  2. Prepare a list of benefits for your organization if you attend the conference. See below for some ideas about why you should attend eACH 2017.
  3. Know how much you’re asking for. Calculate how much it will cost to send you to the conference and have this information ready to share during your discussion. Include the conference cost, transportation, accommodation and any other incidentals. Also think about how you can decrease these costs – can you stay with a friend in the city? Take the train in each day as opposed to staying in a hotel? Would you be willing to split the cost with your employer?
  4. Have a contingency plan if your boss says no. If he/she is worried about you missing key meetings or deadlines, have a work plan prepared that will help you meet deadlines and contribute to meetings in advance of attending the conference. Can you attend the meeting using Skype? Could you prepare a briefing paper in advance?
  5. Outline how you will share the information you’ve learned with your team members and co-workers. Show your boss that attending the conference can be a learning opportunity for your colleagues as well.
  6. Be strategic. Relate how attending the conference will help you respond to and deal with specific issues in your organization. You’ll be able to connect with other people in similar organizations who have similar challenges.
  7. Be enthusiastic!

Do a Google search if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas. You are not the first person who had to approach their boss for support for attending a conference and you definitely won’t be the last.  Check out posts like Feeding Your Inner Geek – Top Tips for Getting to Conferences for some ideas about how to get there and what to do once you’ve returned from the conference.

Once you’ve done all your homework take some time to review the eACH website. Check out our concurrent sessions, our keynote speakers, our Show and Share past winners and our pre-conference sessions.  There will be some serious learning going on at eACH!

What exactly are the benefits of attending eACH?

  • It’s a great conference, not so big that you can get lost among the delegates, but big enough to attract people from across North America. This means that you’ll get a chance to meet a lot of people, some of whom you may know from blogs, learning communities and social media.
  • You’ll make lots of connections with people who are experienced in their field. This will help you in your role as an e-learning developer and improve your ability to create better eLearning.
  • You’ll participate in workshops, discussions and the “show and share” portions of the conference and come away with some great ideas for your own work.
  • You can focus on topics that will benefit you at work, whether it’s incorporating more video in your eLearning to learning a new piece of software.
  • It’s in Toronto – easily accessible by train, plane and even public transit, which makes it a very reasonably priced destination.
  • It’s a deal, especially if you book as an earlybird attendee.
  • It will give you an opportunity to potentially showcase your own work if you participate in our Show and Share session. You can get feedback on what you’ve worked on!
  • A short work trip away from the office will re-energize you and give you the tools to work better and smarter when you return to work.
  • You can share what you’ve learned with others in your organization and can outline to your boss just how you can make that happen.

Approaching your organization for support to attend eACH is about marketing yourself and being prepared. You will come away with a wealth of new ideas, new contacts and new skills.  What are you waiting for?

What exactly is a Show and Share?

Show and Share Ticket

Do you remember being in Kindergarten and being so excited to share something with the rest of your class?  So excited, in fact, that you couldn’t keep it to yourself?

Fast forward to your adult years…have you been working on a puzzle you never thought you’d solve and yet you did?  Did you impress your work colleagues by creating an eLearning masterpiece?   Did you learn and apply a new skill?  Did you solve a problem by using your instructional design skills, technology tools, new technologies, or by designing new processes?  Why not share your success with others?

That’s what our “Show and Share” is all about.  It gives you 10 minutes to brag about your accomplishment and share it with people who can truly appreciate the time and effort you put into your project.  It’s your time to shine, to give you an opportunity in the spotlight!

Prizes will be awarded to the People’s Choice and Best in Show.  So get your “ticket” now – submit your innovative project to “Show and Share” before April 21 and join us at the eACH Conference. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Who are your eLearning heroes?

By Debra L. Wingfield

I am sure we all have “heroes” who inspire us to be better instructional designers.  Along with David Anderson, Connie Malamed, Cammy Bean, Tom Kuhlman and a host of others, Julie Dirksen  is one of my heroes

Julie’s work motivates me to grow my skills as an instructional designer.  In her book, Design for How People Learn, Julie makes a very straightforward point that learning is complicated.  She provides some great advice about putting the learner first: be the best instructional designer you can be for their sake.    Julie goes on to say that while you can’t create motivation, you can encourage it.   She presents some practical tips on how you can support your learners in very subtle ways.

We’re very excited that Julie is joining us this June in Toronto as our keynote speaker.  Join us this summer at eACH 2017 not only to network with like-minded colleagues, but to meet Julie – one of my eLearning heroes!

Come for the Conference, Stay for the Sights

Every year, I make a point of connecting with at least one person I met through my eLearning work in the past year.   I might have met them in person at a conference, or online.  Either way, I always recommend they attend the eACH Conference.

Sometimes that person “comes from away.” I still encourage them to attend by selling it as a “package”: come for the conference, and make a long weekend of it.

Why stop there? Encourage your guest to submit a presenter proposalMaybe you could present something together!

See you on June 15th and 16th!

Where Do You Get Your Inspiration From?

Written by Debra Wingfield

Have you ever had an elearning project that challenged you to come up with something creative that you’ve never tried before?  Or are all your elearning projects equally challenging?  Are you tired of creating project after project and using the same tricks and tools every time?  Are you truly engaging your learners?

These are all questions we’ve asked ourselves as we design our projects.  With limited time, resources and sometimes limited creativity, we can feel like we’re stuck in a rut.  It might be because it worked so well last time, or we’ve lost that creative spark.  And then are times when you complete a project and you feel like you’ve run an obstacle course – but the end result is something that you’re incredibly proud of.

My challenge currently is converting some old (from 2007!) infection control topics into new and refreshed elearning modules that will engage learners.  Topics like routine practices, hand washing and the chain of infection have been done and redone, and now I am working on the umpteenth iteration.  What can I do differently?

One of the best ways I get my inspiration is to visit Elearning Heroes the Articulate User Community.  Many elearning designers use Articulate products, but you do not need to be an Articulate user, as the community is full of ideas and inspiration that anyone can relate to.  There are freebies, examples, discussion forums, challenges and expert blogs – all with tons of creative ideas that can get you started.  Tom Kuhlman’s Rapid eLearning Blog was the first elearning resource I ever followed!

I am also a big fan of Pinterest.  I use it for both personal and professional inspiration and follow people like David Anderson (yes, he will be joining us at eACH16).  I save images that grab me, fonts that captivate me, ideas that spur my creativity and quotations or phrases that make me think about things differently.  I have boards of nothing but images, and I use the images to get me thinking about how I can use a similar image and make it into something that works for projects I am struggling with.

Connie Malamed’s Elearning Coach site is also a great place to visit.  She’s got a list of interesting resources and sometimes just browsing through her posts gives me an idea.

Cathy Moore’s blog is also another great resource, as she presents practical tips and breaks things down with meaningful discussion.  I like the way she presents a scenario and then dissects it by asking questions and analyzing approaches.

Check out Jackie Van Nice’s work – she really rises to some unique challenges.  Take a look at some of the things she’s tackled on a weekly basis.  She’s also an Elearning SuperHero – a regular contributor to the user community at Elearning Heroes.

There are lots of different people to follow for inspiration, and I know I’ve left out a lot of people who deserve a mention, including a few of my fellow eACH Committee members.  Once you start following one or two of these folks I’ve mentioned, you’ll find more to follow and will no doubt be inspired beyond your wildest dreams!

I’ve left two big inspirations for last.

Jane Bozarth (@JaneBozarth) is one of the most inspirational people around when it comes to learning.  Not only is she an accomplished elearning designer, she is an author and creative being.  Joining her for the keynote at eACH16 will be Jeannette Campos (@jsuzcampos), an equally talented author and creative being.  Together they will present the healthcare journey of Jane’s husband through his diagnosis of a large brain tumour, his surgery, and his recovery.  Along the way there were lots of learning opportunities and they will draw on his story to inspire us to create better learning.

Perhaps you need a little “kickstart” as inspiration for your own projects.  Join us at eACH16and let Jane and Jeannette spur you on to new creative heights on your journey to create better learning!

eACH Newsletter – Conference Updates March 29th

In This Issue….

  • Call for proposals deadline extended
  • Pre-conference workshops announced
  • Our keynote speakers and topic
  • Enter the draw for a free workshop registration
  • Get in on Registration Early Bird pricing
  • Keep up to date with all that’s new at eACH 2016

Our annual eACH Conference has played a vital part in our growth to include other regional hospitals across Southern Ontario. The conference itself has grown from 1-day event to 2 days and now includes a full day of workshops on eLearning design & delivery, LMS implementation, and other instructional design topics.  Our ultimate goal is to reach out to all of Canadian healthcare eLearning designers and administrators so that we can learn and collaborate together.

Join us this July 7th & 8th.

Call for Proposals – Extended
An early April Fools twist is affording us the opportunity to extend our
Call for Presenter’s proposals from April 1 until April 15th.
Send in your submissions to present here.

Show and Share submissions are open until May 1st, submission form here.

Pre-conference Workshops Announced
After the overwhelming positive feedback from last year’s workshops, we are pleased to offer again in 2016 several full day pre-conference workshops on:

Thursday, July 7th from 08:00 – 16:30

Click the workshops titles for more detailed information.

 
We’re Excited for This Year’s Keynotes
The eACH Conference 2016 is excited to announce this year’s keynote speakers. This year we are incredibly fortunate to have Jane Bozarth, Leader of the State of North Carolina’s award-winning eLearning program and author of several titles including “Show Your Work”, “Better than Bullet Points”, “Social Media for Trainers”.  Also joining Jane will be Jeannette Campos, Senior Performance Consultant, Sodexo North America.

Jane and Jeannette will take us on a journey that follows the story of Jane Bozarth’s husband through his diagnosis of a large brain tumour, his surgery, and his recovery.  Their story of his surgery and recovery—“Performance Matters,” which appeared in The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine—became the most popular piece she’s ever published. This session will explore the story, its associated observations, and issues learned throughout that are most relevant to L&D practitioners.

Draw for Free Workshop Registration
Conference Referrals:

Refer 2 people to the eACH conference and you are entered into a draw for a free pre-conference workshop registration.  When your friends register they select YES I heard about the eACH conference from a friend, and then type in your name.
**Referees must already be registered for a pre-conference workshop to be eligible for the draw.

Registration is Open
Click here to register.

Early Bird Pricing Before May 31st

  • eACH Conference ONLY on Friday July 8th $185.00
  • Pre-Conference Workshop ONLY on Thursday July 7th $225.00
  • Pre-Conference Workshop July 7th & eACH Conference July 8th $385.00

Pricing After May 31st

  • eACH Conference ONLY on Friday July 8th $200.00
  • Pre-Conference Workshop ONLY on Thursday July 7th $275.00
  • Pre-Conference Workshop July 7th & eACH Conference July 8th $425.00

Follow Us:
To get the latest updates, follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #eACH16 or visit our webpage at http://eachconference.ca/.

Website: www.eachconference.ca
Twitter: www.twitter.com/eACHConf
Linkedin Group:

We look forward to connecting with you before and during this year’s conference.

Sincerely,
eACH (eLearning Alliance of Canadian Hospitals)

Why Am I On The Committee?

Written by Debra Wingfield

If you’ve never been involved with planning a large scale event, working on a planning group, like the one for the eACH Conference 2016, is an exciting experience.  Our team is made of up experienced planners who have done this now for a few years and a few novices who are “learning the ropes” as we go.

For me, that’s exactly why I volunteered.  I want to learn more about what it takes to pull a conference like this together!  I attended the conference last year and was impressed by the organization, the quality of the presenters, the amount of inspiration I got and the camaraderie of the committee.  Getting involved also gives me the opportunity to strengthen the connections I have with the local eLearning community.  So far, I am learning a lot and getting a chance to watch some very savvy people in action.

One of the key things I’ve learned so far is that it takes a lot of organization to get things rolling.  There are role descriptions for each of the planning teams and each team has a director or team of directors.  Some of the teams also have a junior person, such as me, tagging along and helping out.  I truly don’t know what I don’t know – and am learning on the fly.  I feel sometimes like a fish out of water, flailing about, trying to anticipate what I should be doing or how I should be contributing.  But the planning committee is incredibly supportive and it’s been a good experience so far.

I got to choose the sub-committee I’m working on – Social Media and Marketing – so I’ve been very lucky to be able to work with Tracy Parish.  She is an active blogger, tweeter and elearning guru who is always full of great ideas and willing to share her knowledge and expertise with others.  I chose Social Media for two reasons – firstly, to be able to work with Tracy, and secondly because I do not work or live in Toronto, where most of the directors either work or live, and I wanted to be able to contribute virtually.

The geographical disbursement of our membership, as I suspected when first joining the committee, creates communication challenges.  Fortunately we’ve got some great technology to help us communicate and overcome those challenges. So far I’ve used email (of course), Slack (a great app for team collaboration), Google Circles and Docs, Doodle Polls, Zoom Conferencing and I am sure I will use a few others before the conference is upon us in July.

The planning committee currently meets once a month (and no doubt will meet even more frequently as the conference draws closer) either in person at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  Ken Murray, our Administrative Director, calls “Sick Kids” home, at least from a work perspective, so he has arranged for anyone who wants to attend in person to meet there and those that can’t join in virtually.  Thank you Ken!  Since Sick Kids is located in downtown Toronto, there are a few other committee members who either work there or at hospitals nearby and it’s great opportunity for them to see each other in person and network.

Although the majority of the committee is from the Greater Toronto Area (known to locals as the GTA), work schedules, hospital location and even transportation are barriers to face-to-face meetings.  For some of us, it’s over an hour to get to the meeting location by train, subway and foot.  Somehow that doesn’t seem to faze the committee members, as there is a lot of work being accomplished in a very short time frame.  From finding and booking keynote speakers, arranging the venue, recruiting concurrent session presentations, sending out email blasts, talking to sponsors, updating the website, planning the program to organizing the pre-conference education, this has been a very busy committee!

What I’ve been impressed with is the level of commitment of members of this committee.  We all have our regular day jobs at each of our hospitals and yet are still able to contribute, organize, coordinate and manage all the details. It’s no doubt because we value what we do and know how much good learning, whether it’s online or in a conference format, can transform someone in a positive way.  All of us want your conference experience to be a good one and that’s one of the reasons we’re so invested in what we’re doing.

That’s what we want for everyone who attends eACH Conference 2016.  Not only will you learn about elearning and leave with some nifty tips and tricks that you can immediately apply in your own practice, but you will be inspired to do great things!  And in the end, a little inspiration can go a long way to helping you solve your own learning challenges.

Join us for inspiration at eACH 2016!

 

 

Our 2016 Keynote Speakers

The eACH Conference 2016 is excited to announce this year’s keynote speakers. This year we are incredibly fortunate to have Jane Bozarth, Leader of the State of North Carolina’s award-winning eLearning program and author of several titles including “Show Your Work”, “Better than Bullet Points”, “Social Media for Trainers”.  Also joining Jane will be Jeannette Campos, Senior Performance Consultant, Sodexo North America.

Jane and Jeannette will take us on a journey that follows the story of Jane Bozarth’s husband through his diagnosis of a large brain tumour, his surgery, and his recovery.  Their story of his surgery and recovery—“Performance Matters,” which appeared in The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine—became the most popular piece she’s ever published. This session will explore the story, its associated observations, and issues learned throughout that are most relevant to L&D practitioners.

We are extremely honoured to have both Jane Bozarth and Jeannette Campos join us at this year’s event and we hope that you will join us as well.

Please continue to look to the eACH Website and Blog for more information about our upcoming conference keynote, pre-conference workshops (including our new referral program), conference agenda and more.

There is still time to submit:

Early Bird Pricing:

The fiscal year is almost over. It’s a great time to get in on our Early-Bird-Pricing deals (deadline May 31st).

  • eACH Conference ONLY on Friday July 8th $185.00
  • Pre-Conference Workshop ONLY on Thursday July 7th $225.00

  • Pre-Conference Workshop July 7th & eACH Conference July 8th $385.00

Conference Referral Program:

Have some eLearning friends that would be interested in a fantastic eLearning conference?  

Refer 2 people to the eACH conference and you will be entered into a draw for a free pre-conference workshop registration.  All your friends need to do when they register is select YES I heard about the eACH conference from a friend, and then type in your name.  **Referees must already be registered for a pre-conference workshop to be eligible for the draw.

Keep up-to-date:

Want to know everything that new and happening at this year’s conference?
Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn Groups.

Keep Connected to The eACH Conference 2016 #eACH16

The 7th Annual eACH Conference planning is well underway and we hope you have held the date to join us this July. Our conference this year will be held July 7 & 8th at the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning – The SickKids Hospital and registration information can be found here.  If you haven’t joined us before, this facility is an excellent venue in the heart of Toronto that is easily accessible allowing us to provide great Keynote and concurrent sessions, as well as provide the perfect atmosphere and areas for networking with your peers.

This year we are increasing our effort to ensure our participants are kept up-to-date on everything leading up to the conference and all that happens during the event.  We’ll be posting bi-weekly dedicated articles about the eACH Committee, the behind the scenes conference planning, and a variety of other conference topics in our new Blog that can be found on the conference website.

You can also keep up with all that is happening in our LinkedIn Group.  This online space is a place where we really encourage you to connect with your professional peers throughout the year, not just during the conference.  It’s a networking tool that allows you to share, learn, troubleshoot, and network with other conference participants before, during, and after eACH.

Lastly, we strongly encourage you to join us on Twitter using the hashtag #eACH16.  This is the one place where you will find out everything that’s new about the Conference, the Blog, and the LinkedIn group.  We’ll also be posting live on Twitter during the conference and hope you will join in on the discussion, share your insights, and thoughts about the sessions you attend.  If you can’t join us this year, it’s a great way to tunein to the backchannel of the conference.

We look forward to connecting with you before and during this year’s conference.

Who Inspires You?

Who inspires you to create better learning?  Who ignites your passion for learning?  Who is your learning mentor?  This year’s conference planning is well underway.  We’ve got some “irons in the fire” and hope to be able to announce our keynote speaker shortly. We think our conference agenda will give you that spark of inspiration you way be looking for.  Our curriculum team is busy planning and would welcome your input.  Let us know who you’d like to see – we are always looking for ideas!

We invite you to join us this year at eACH!

Keep an eye on this website for more information about the conference agenda and our plans to engage, encourage and incite your passion for eLearning.  Watch this blog for updates.  And if you’d like to leave a comment, I encourage you to do so below, as we’re always looking for ideas!

July is a great time to visit Toronto, so hold the dates July 7th & 8th.

If you don’t know much about Toronto, attending the conference is a great way to learn more about a city that is welcoming, diverse, multicultural and very livable.  While the term “world-class” may be a bit overused these days, it is very applicable to Toronto, which is Canada’s largest city and is home to a variety of different healthcare organizations, all with learning challenges that are probably similar to yours!