I can honestly say that I have never had a boring job. Each job has been replete with characters and humor. My first teaching job out of college had some of the most interesting characters and situations I would ever encounter. I taught all boys 9th to 12th grades. I was the third teacher they had had in 6 weeks. The charmers had scared off the other two. One week after starting, I could understand why. But I had a problem. I had become accustomed to a roof over my head, food and some of the other accoutrements that come with being out of college. And, I had a husband in med school. I was going to outlast the other teachers.
The spot locker check we had my second day at school will give you a good idea of what the kids were like. I remembered locker checks from high school. We` did silly things that annoyed yet amused the teacher who had the misfortune to open the locker. Not these boys. I found dozens of bike chains; the boys told me they made good, cheap weapons. There were the brass knuckles I had read about but never seen until that day. And, there was the sawed off shotgun. The sweet child swore he was going hunting after school.
A few years later, I took a career detour through broadcast journalism. Yes, I was one of those nasty news reporters we talk about in the DQs. No ethics. No credibility. Anything to get the story. One day, during Reagan's first campaign, my Assignments Editor gave me all the wrong information about a Reagan press conference. I missed the conference because of that but still had to get the story. Reagan's press people got really tired of my telling them they wanted their guy on our news and they would look really bad if he wasn't. Persistence won and I had the only exclusive interview with the Reagans on the news that night.
I have been involved with Adult Education/Training since 1984 when I began working as a Customer Education Representative for Triad Systems Corp. While with Triad I was involved with the writing and production of a series of video-tutorials (I still have copies!). Just a small dabbling in Instructional Design and DE, I guess. In another job, I wrote slide/tape and video-tutorial programs for apprentice aircraft mechanics at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, TX. They had exciting, fascinating and understandable titles like “The Shimming of the ADC Valve on the CENC J. Since Triad, I have continued to work in corporate and/or Adult Education with an emphasis in skills-based training.
Until July 2003, I was the Corporate Trainer for BioLynx, Inc. (www.biolynx.com). I trained end-users, internal staff, dealers and the trainers of our larger clients. I wrote the User Guides for the two web-based software programs the company markets, the bulk of the content for the company’s web sites, and most of the marketing materials. I led all training whether in the BioLynx facility, at the client site or via Internet/phone. Just in case you wonder ... BioLynx is an Application Service Provider that collects and stores time and attendance data using a number of different technologies including a biometric hand reader and fingerprint reader. When data is ready for payroll processing, it is downloaded from the BioLynx server into the client’s payroll software. Because the company is an ASP, the development and ongoing enhancement of Distance Education programs and demonstrations is part of the company's long term plan. The longest ILT “course” at BioLynx is 4 hours :-) and is very hands-on/practice oriented. Most training is tutorial in nature or is for small groups of employees from the same company.
BioLynx first pass at eLearning uses RoboDemo and exports each mini-lesson in swf/HTML format. HandPunch assignment and maintaining punches in Ledger are two examples. While I think these are "primitive", they meet the needs and requirements of BioLynx clients.
Most of the current BioLynx staff is reasonably comfortable with PowerPoint and will usually create their own presentations. However, I am responsible for creating all sales and training presentations. One training presentation, Technical, was modified to meet requirements for Week 2 of EDTC 560. The Sales presentation provides a good overview of the normal business problems BioLynx resolves. Hyperlinks to two calculators in the presentation show the prospect approximately how much of current payroll is being lost and how much they can recoup after costs by implementing BioLynx.
If you do not have PowerPoint, use these links to view the presentations in your browser window: Technical or Sales.
Ahhhh - resumes. When I updated my resume for the Web Design course, I had no idea I would need it in July - just a few months after the update. That updated resume was enough to get me started. Re-entering the job market made me realize that the old resume was ... well, old. It needed a new, fresh look, and a better structure to showcase my skills and accomplishments.
Between the resume and networking I was back at work in only a few weeks. I am currently working for Frontline Systems, Inc. as an Instructional Designer. Frontline's major line of business is government contracts; my first project is to design 35 hours of lender training for HUD's FHA programs. I am learning a lot about lending!
There is a new reason to update the resume - as of Wednesday, November 5, 2003, I will complete the coursework UoP requires for the Master of Arts in Electronic Education. I have decided I represent the Masters for what it really is - an MAED in Adult Education and Distance Learning.
These are some of the links I use regularly. Although I receive printed copies of ASTD's T+D magazine, I also read it online. I prefer reading most trade journals online to keep down the clutter in my office or at home. Beside reading T+D online, I read the IPPA newsletter and the NAPEO Insider online.
Perhaps strictly speaking, the Home Depot Project Index isn't an "instructional multimedia web site". However, although it doesn't include Flash or other components typically regarded as multimedia, its pictures and accompanying text are two forms of media. The clear step-by-step instructions have helped me do a number of projects around my house.
Lowe's takes a different approach to interactive instructional multimedia. The Lowe's Interactive Workshop provides the site visitor numerous choices ranging from product instructions, to interactive how-to's to streaming video.
© 2003 Maggie Rice