Reflecting On The Year – 2013

Long pier on ocean with railroad track on it.

It’s been a busy year, with a lot of things happening. New technologies have come, and gone. So have new methodologies. I’ve learned a lot, forgotten even more probably, but I’ve met a lot of great people who have inspired me to do and write a lot of great things.

I wanted to take some time to reflect on what I’ve learned this year, and think about where I need to go next year.

It’s been the first year that I’ve consistently posted on my blog, and it has given me an excellent forum for reflecting on my learning, documenting it, and then building upon that knowledge with every idea I have and post I make.

Long pier on ocean with railroad track on it.

Twitter Inspiration

This has also been the first year I have been consistently highly active on Twitter, and for the past few months have participated in Twitter chats.

Twitter chats and posting in my blog have gone hand in hand as they fuel each other with inspiring moments and ideas I can take to the company I work at and hopefully give something back to the community that has given me so much.

Every Twitter chat sparks a new idea, and they’re oddly not always related to the topic of the chat. I’ve been consistently participating in #chat2lrn of which I’ve only missed a few in the past seven months.

I look at Twitter chats as taking an hour of my time, but giving back to me infinite inspiration. I’d go as far as saying that one hour pays for itself a million times over.

A quick (Vizify) run-down of my year on Twitter 2013 (link was removed, Vizify was shut down by none other than Yahoo):

Video cover for vizify video

Of course I must mention again my golden followers, those I interacted with the most throughout the year.

Thanks to @rjacquez who has provided me with endless conversation about everything mobile, plus just a great person to know in general.

Thanks @eGeeking for being my go-to #DevLearn inside person, wouldn’t have gotten nearly as much out of the back-channel if it weren’t for you!

And last but certainly not least @LearnKotch who I’ve not only learned so much from, but you’re of course my favorite sharer of #LrnToday.


While I find Twitter chats to be an excellent source of inspiration, it got me thinking how that inspiration and information share could be carried on outside the chat time. I also saw a lot of people Tweeting about what they learned, or that they try to learn something new each day.

I wrote a post about documenting what you learned using the hashtag #LrnToday. It’s not only a source of documenting what you learned, but also reflecting on it further which would better cement that learning into your brain.

What did I learn?

Looking back at the things I’ve learned this past year, I’ve really fine tuned a lot of my knowledge. I’ve been learning better every day how to best take advantage of mobile in learning. There are so many ways to do it and every problem requires a different solution.

Social learning has also presented a great challenges, solutions I’ve heard work for some organizations have flat-out failed for others. There is no one solution fits all.

One specific technology that I learned about without ever having previous knowledge is Adobe After Effects. I took an entire After Effects course on Udemy which was an experience in itself, my first full class online.

I also learned all about MOOCs this year first by reading about them. Gamification was my first course and I think it was the perfect way to get my feet wet in the MOOC ocean. While I’m still not too positive on the way MOOCs are formatted, I think they still serve a much needed segment of education.

This year was my first big introduction to the backchannel also. I have previously provided Tweets for the backchannel of the Gamification conference in 2012 although very lightly not knowing the value it created for those unable to attend. I heavily attending #DevLearn 2013 only from the backchannel, I was fortunate to know some great people who were live Tweeting. Even the conversation was amazing, without even being there. Next time I’m at a conference, I’ll definitely be providing live Tweets not just for others, but to document my learning.

Two Biggest Changes

I had to take a moment to mention my two huge changes for 2013 before I wrap up this post. It was fairly business as usual for most of the year but of course in the holiday rush also came another rush.

In early November I started a new job as a Senior Instructional Designer, a big step in my career of always seeking to give the best knowledge to as many people as possible.

In mid-November I became a home-owner for the first time, no longer an apartment dweller shoveling money into someone else’s pocket.

These were some huge changes and in them alone have learned so much (like how much work owning a home really is!)

On To 2014

Next year I’m sure will prove to be an even more productive year than this. My ideas for writing in my blog have not rested and I’m already working my way to how I can really affect the learning in an even larger way for even more people.

I look forward to another year of blog posts and growing my audience, thoughts, and contributions to the Learning & Development community.

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