It’s always fun to know a little about the person behind a blog, and here’s your place to find out. This page is pretty much the standard bio stuff; if you’re looking for a different perspective, check out my 8 Random Facts About Me or 7 Things You Didn’t Need To Know About Me But I’m Telling You Anyway posts.
I am a learning experience design consultant focused on developing engaging learning experiences combining storytelling and technology. Although my career has always been related to education in some way, I have bounced around from public school teaching to corporate training and now online instructional design.
Standard disclaimer here: This blog is my own work and my own opinions. I don’t represent any official position of my clients, former employers, or any other company.
How did I end up doing this work?
Want the quick version of my work history? Check my LinkedIn profile.
I have a Music Education degree with a German minor from Illinois Wesleyan University. During my first year of teaching, I taught music and band in a rural school where all grades K-12 were in the same building. My course load included high school band; high school music appreciation; junior high band; fifth grade band; fifth grade band lessons; and general music for kindergarten, first, third, and fifth grades; plus high school lunch supervision. It certainly gave me a lot of experience juggling multiple responsibilities at once!
My next teaching job was at a middle school managed by the Edison Schools corporation. One of the benefits of teaching for an Edison School was that every teacher received a laptop and regular technology training. I loved being able to experiment and learn new technologies and apply them in the classroom. I also became an unofficial “resident expert” for other teachers’ computer questions. One of the teachers attended a workshop on using Excel for tracking grades. When she asked how to manage weighted grades in Excel, the workshop presenter told her it wasn’t possible! Since this teacher knew I was doing exactly that for my own classes, she came back to me after the workshop and I showed her how to create her gradebook in Excel. A number of other teachers asked for the same coaching as well, and I really enjoyed being able to help them.
There are people in the world who have the gift for teaching middle schoolers, but I realized after a few years that I am not one of them. I have immense respect and admiration for all of you who are in those classrooms daily. I was able to find a way to use my skills working with adults and technology, plus my previous teaching experience, by moving into corporate software training. I loved working with adults and helping them use the software tools more effectively, but I missed designing and developing my own lessons.
Fortunately, a few years later I was hired as an instructional designer for Career Education Corporation, developing online university courses. I learned so much about instructional design and writing for the online environment while I was there. Through promotions, I also had the opportunity to create curriculum for full programs and manage development projects.
After a brief contract at Accenture, I spent three years as an instructional designer for Performance Learning Systems (now PLS 3rd Learning) developing online graduate courses for K-12 teachers. This was a great opportunity with a lot of variety. It also was one of those positions that crossed some traditional boundaries: I was in higher education, but for profit; I created fully online courses, but I created them for teachers with physical classrooms.
Next, I worked as a contractor for Cisco, initially focused on setting up Moodle to manage an extensive international sales training program. I also developed virtual sales and technical courses using TelePresence and WebEx and self-paced application simulations.
Now that I have all that experience under my belt, I decided it’s time to step out on my own. I started Syniad Learning in August 2011. I am doing freelance learning design, development, and LMS consulting projects for multiple clients.
What about outside of work?
On a personal note, I grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin, where my parents still live. My husband, David, works in the help desk at the EPA taking raw data and turning it into pretty spreadsheets. Our daughter “E” is in kindergarten and curious about everything. You can read the story of her birth two months early and time in the NICU.
I am a sci fi/fantasy geek. On my first day of work at CEC, the department director asked me if I was a Star Trek fan. My response? “Well, it depends which one.” I’ve read lots of SF over the years too, from more authors than I care to list here. And just in case I haven’t established my geek credentials sufficiently yet, my husband and I initially became friends while playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Where to Find Me Online
- Syniad Learning (My company and portfolio)
- LinkedIn: Christy Tucker (Read my approach to LinkedIn before sending an invite. Personalized invites are much more likely to be accepted than generic ones.)
- Diigo: christyinsdesign
- Twitter: ChristyATucker
- Facebook: Syniad Learning
Well, now you know quite a bit about me! Why don’t you go back to the posts and comment so I can get to know you? Feel free to contact me using the form below if you’d like to send me a private message. Thanks!
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