You could say that Full Sail graduate Bianca Woods tweeted her way into a presenter role at an upcoming e-learning conference in March.
That’s because by blogging and tweeting her impressions and ideas at last fall’s DevLearn Conference in Las Vegas, Woods made a name for herself in the world of instructional design. She was named a ‘Top Twitter Contributor” at DevLearn, which gave her an in when she applied to be a speaker at the 2013 Learning Solutions Conference.
Woods – who is a graduate of the Education Media Design & Technology master of science degree program – will present “Designing for Clarity: Graphic Design Tips for Non-Graphic Designers” at the Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando, March 13-15.
An instructional designer for BMO Financial in Toronto, Bianca created a blog called eGeeking and a complementary Twitter account for the DevLearn Conference, in part to share her learning experiences with her coworkers back in Canada. “I was trying to show that we could make it a learning experience for the entire group,” she says.
Her informative tweets and blog posts on her eGeeking site were not only useful for her coworkers back home, they became popular with conference attendees and enabled her to make many valuable professional connections.
“The conference social network curator put my blog on the list of seven best resources at the conference,” Bianca says. “I have to keep up with it now!”
Bianca says the popularity of her social media efforts at DevLearn most likely helped her earn a speaker’s role at Learning Solutions, which is all about e-learning, technology, and education. Her presentation will focus on graphic design and art tips instructional designers can use to make their tutorials and presentations more powerful.
Why Instructional Design?
Bianca, who holds a degree in art education, says she didn’t initially plan to become an instructional designer. However, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in Education Media Design & Technology after experiencing frustration at the lack of available teaching jobs in 2008.
In contrast to traditional teaching, instructional design is a fast-growing field, as companies are increasingly realizing the value of providing interactive training experiences for their employees, she says.
“It’s really growing. It’s a good fit for someone who has that tech background.”
Bianca also says there is a skills gap between traditional instructional designers who have focused more on curriculum design and the needs of companies to offer online and higher-tech solutions.
She recommends that local students interested in the field of instructional design attend the Orlando Learning Solutions Conference and other conferences, like DevLearn in Las Vegas.
“I think it’s a really great way to see the cutting edge of what instructional designers are doing right now,” she adds. “If you go to a conference like this and see what different companies are doing, you have a better sense on how to advertise your skills.”