As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. In this post, I share links on laptops for IDs, interleaving practice, resources for freelancers, and a podcast interview.
Laptops for IDs
Best Laptops for Instructional Designers in 2020
Devlin Peck walks through the important factors for picking a laptop for instructional design and elearning professionals. His top 3 recommendations are a Dell XPS 15, MacBook Pro, or Surface Pro, but he lists the recommended specs so you can find other brands that meet the requirements.
3 Best Laptops for Instructional Design – 7 Things to Know
Scott Winstead’s recommendations for laptops for instructional designers. The Acer Aspire is #3 on his list. That’s what my last 2 laptops have been, and both lasted 5+ years. While I switched brands for my newest laptop, they have been solid options for me in the past (although I didn’t have lower end options like Scott reviews).
Interleaving: How Mixed Practice Can Boost Your Learning – Effectiviology
A non-technical explanation of interleaving, with an overview of the research and theory supporting it and ideas on how to implement it to improve learning.
The Interleaving Effect: Mixing It Up Boosts Learning
Scientific American article on how variable practice is more effective for learning than learning one skill at a time (blocked learning).
Whereas blocking involves practicing one skill at a time before the next (for example, “skill A” before “skill B” and so on, forming the pattern “AAABBBCCC”), in interleaving one mixes, or interleaves, practice on several related skills together (forming for example the pattern “ABCABCABC”). For instance, a pianist alternates practice between scales, chords, and arpeggios, while a tennis player alternates practice between forehands, backhands, and volleys.Steven C. Pan in The Interleaving Effect: Mixing It Up Boosts Learning
Resources for freelancers
CALC / Contract-Awarded Labor Category
See how much the GSA has paid in past awarded contracts for the US federal government. You can use the filters to see hourly rate comparisons by education, experience, role, keywords, etc. You can also export the data in CSV for further analysis.
How to Find Your Next 20 Clients Online in 63 Days
Specific tactics for finding new clients as a freelancer or consultant. This is broken into three phases: an initial phase to get your first 5 clients and learn what you like the best, a second phase of defining your ideal client, and a third phase of scaling by partnering with others and teaching new audiences. eLearning and instructional design freelancers may not even need the third phase (which includes a lot of building a large audience), but I like the targeted alternatives to cold emails here.
If you don’t know who your ideal client is, answer these three questions:Bryan Harris in How to Find Your Next 20 Clients Online in 63 Days
1. Who is doing work you respect?
2. Who would be fun to work with?
3. Who could give you additional exposure if you worked for them?
Podcast interview on ID
You’re Hearing Voices: Episode 28 – Anu Gopu (e-Learning and Instructional Design)
Podcast interview by voice over artist Dan Hankiewicz with guest ID Anu Gopu. Anu talks about her journey into instructional design and how to condense info from wordy SMEs who want to include everything. Anu also talks about who she learns from in the field (including me).
Holiday-themed virtual backgrounds
Virtual Holiday Backgrounds
21 free backgrounds for Zoom or other virtual meeting tools from Unsplash