One of my more enjoyable work experiences has been courseware development. For those of you who may be new to this subject, courseware is educational software such as online training materials. The process of learning online is generally referred to as eLearning. Courseware development (CwDev) is the design, writing, testing, and implementation of materials that facilitate eLearning.
Seven years ago, I began writing the Courseware Development Blog (using Blogger, the other popular blogging platform) to express my thoughts regarding eLearning in general, and courseware develpoment specifically. I’ve had some good expreiences writing that blog, but when I got more involved in the stand-up teaching and in-person tutoring aspects of training (and when I started pcLearning4U), I let the CwDev blog lapse.
This has now changed. First came my revived interest in writing, as I have mentioned here before by involvement in groups such as Promocave. Then, recently, I saw that a free site, and a free training course, were being offered for Moodle users (Moodle is a free open-source eLearning development platform). I created my Moodle site, and will be taking the Moodle class (online, of course!) starting in less than two weeks.
Therefore, since I am very happy how the Android Adventures series has worked out on this blog, I’ve decided to do the same thing regarding my Moodle Adventures on the CwDev blog. I just published Chapter 1 over there, and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts on both of these blogs!
A friend suggested that I get involved with a writers group. My first thought was that she was goofy – I do not write for a living, so this would be useless to me. Nobody pays me to write books, articles, newspaper columns, etc. Not in print or online. Then like the sun that came out from behind the clouds after this morning’s snowstorm here in Richmond, the light shone on me – of course I write as part of my professional life! Some examples:
- The pcLearning4U Newsletter
- This blog
- The curricula for the computer classes I teach for Henrico County Adult Education
- The course outlines I hand out to my students in the above classes
- My activity on social media
As a result, I joined the Books and Writers group on LinkedIn, and Promocave, a related website (hashtag included because #Promocave is very Twitter-oriented). I’ve found the people I’ve met through these sites to be very interesting, and have received some good advice, even some useful constructive criticism! With over 84,000 members, the LinkedIn group has plenty of people with common interests of mine, and via Promocave, I’ve gained a variety of Twitter followers.
Therefore, if you write as part of your job or business, to paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you just may be a writer!
Due to the fact that I did not like the Spectrum Theme’s widget layout, I switched to the My Life theme. Also, I added a Follow widget to allow readers to easily follow this blog, and a Categories widget to allow readers to select posts by category. Last but not least, I updated the About page to say more about the business (and me).
I have decided that another way to publicize my computer training business, pcLearning4U, was to create a blog. Having already set up the Courseware Development Blog in Blogger, and having a desire to learn WordPress (thanks Gangplank RVA!), I am building this blog in WordPress. I did the usual setup stuff, and added a tiny post. I also started with the Splendio theme template, which, within two days, I did not like, so I changed this to the Spectrum theme (accessible from the Appearance icon on the left-hand menu when editing). There is some theme customization available, and you can change your theme whenever you want.
The next step was to build a “Gravatar”, a globally-recognized avatar. Since it needed to be square, I had to create a slightly-modified version of the pcLearning4U logo, which I just uploaded (see upper-right-hand corner of page).
To follow my progress in designing and updating this blog, please visit frequently!
Note that I am using the free version of WordPress (since I already have a domain name, website, and hosting service). and free themes (there are a lot of these). Note that a lot of the information in this blog will also be published in the pcLearning4U newsletter (and vice versa – I encourage you to both follow this blog and subscribe to the newsletter!).
I hope you enjoy this blog, and find it useful!