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Micro to Macro December 23, 2008

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: , , , ,

My career in learning and technology happened by total chance. I started in the world of computer science and web programming, but quickly transitioned to educational technology and then eLearning. Building eLearning courses came naturally to me because I was used to building web sites and web applications. I built custom interactions in Flash, tamed SCORM, and wrote a ton of HTML and JavaScript. I had a micro focus on eLearning; I was intently concentrated on a very small piece of the overall learning and development picture.

Over the past two years, I’ve seen my focus change. Now I’m much more interested in the bigger picture, and I approach situations with a macro view instead of a micro view. I now see greater value in relationships and networking both inside and outside of our company. I spend more time cultivating relationships with other departments, because I see the connections and potential synergies more clearly. I’m learning that the people side of the equation is just as complex (if not more) than the technology. Who knows – maybe it’s the end of the year that has me reflecting on things, but I’m now much more focused and determined to make a bigger impact.

Here’s how I see it:

Where I’ve Been

  • Web site development / web application development
  • eLearning course development
  • eLearning vendor management
  • LMS / learning system administration
  • eLearning 2.0 / social learning / general learning solution design and development

Where I’m Going

  • More eLearning 2.0 / social learning / general learning solution design and development
  • Team / department strategy planning
  • Enterprise strategy planning
  • Learning and development management
  • Executive-level learning and development leadership (CLO?)

The blog posts I write on eLearning Weekly may evolve similarly as my career (hopefully!) progresses, but I’ll do my best to keep the content relevant/helpful for a wide audience.

Have you had a similar progression in your career? Or can you share thoughts, tips, or tricks along these lines? I’d appreciate your feedback…



1. J. Shoaf - January 2, 2009

Hey B.J. I have a similar background to you in computer science/web development. I have pretty much always worked on the development side of eLearning technologies. While WBT will continue to be important, I too see that social learning will play a bigger and bigger role in the years to come. Learning technology is a very cool industry right now. And it’s really all about fostering communication among employees. I look forward to seeing how your blog progresses.

2. Elizabeth - January 7, 2009

Hey BJ ~ I’ve had a rather crooked career path too.

I started as an aspiring psychologist with exerpience in behavioral counseling and even began a MS/PhD program in counseling psychology. But a true predictor of a love for instructional design: One of my favorite independent study courses while in undergrad, was an opportunity to help one of my psych professors restructure, format, and redesign his course (at the time, I even didn’t realize what instructional design was).

Through a series of random events, contacts, and opportunities, I ended up landing a job in instructional technology and have been in love with it ever since!!!

Thanks for your blog ~ it’s one of my faves. I’m just starting mine, but hoping to spend some time discussing industry trends soon.

3. B.J. Schone - January 8, 2009

Thanks for your comments and feedback, J. Shoaf and Elizabeth. It’s good to hear I’m not the only one out there who has taken an offbeat career path. 🙂

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