7 Sure-Fire Sources for eLearning Inspiration
We all need inspiration at times. Probably you’re familiar with the common practice of looking for insights within your own industry (not that there’s anything bad about it). You definitely can get plenty of new ideas just by looking at what other eLearning professionals are doing. However, sometimes you can stumble upon something really unique if you do a little broader research.
So, what's been working for us? What third-party sources have inspired us to create kick-ass eLearning? We´ve compiled our favorite places where we use to seek, browse and usually find amazing sources of inspiration. Make sure to bookmark these sites so you can have them handy any time you need them.
We highly recommend it as a tool in your creative shed. Use it to get cool and innovative ideas for your next eLearning projects. It’s free and you can use it on your PC, iPad, iPhone or Android. We commonly use it to find cool websites, videos and blog posts related to any topic we're working at a specific moment. For example, a great site we stumbled upon recently is Note&Point and since then we visit it every time we're stating a new project. Therefore, we strongly recommend using a crowdsourcing site like StumbleUpon to find something new. We all can use a spark of new in our eLearning strategies, and StumbleUpon can give you just that. If you want to learn other uses of this tool for eLearning professionals you can take a look at this article by Edudemic.
We are big fans of Twitter Chats! They are regularly scheduled events where people from different industries get together to have a conversation or discussion over Twitter about a certain topic. For eLearning professionals they are a great resource for learning and networking, allowing them to come together on a regular basis to talk about what’s important in the industry. These are also great resources for finding inspiring and new ideas, because TweetChat almost always involves questions, facts, and opinions. Check out this article for further explanation of how to use them.
You can glean a wealth of information from Quora. A number of experts and influential leaders are offering advice to those seeking for innovative, insights, experiences, tips and tricks. If you want to connect with new people who share similar interests or follow topics that reflect your own personal interests, Quora is your tool. Look for themes behind the questions being answered or followed by your Quora network. Identify popular questions relevant to your industry/experience that generate a lot of interest, and use those ideas, stories and opinions as inspiration for improving your course design.
We're sure everyone has seen a TED presentation once in their life. These talks offer insights, ideas, and inspiration while discussing today’s educational practices from different points of view. We highly suggest you check out these links for further inspiration:
- Check out 10 TED Talks, recommended by Christopher Pappas for every eLearning professional.
- More specifically, if you're a designer, there are other 15 recommended TED Talks that will definitely inspire you.
- Awaken your mind with the 20 most watched TED Talks (2012). From education to brain function to inspiring messages to techno-possibilities, this list represents quite a breadth of topics.
It's the catch-all method of finding new ideas online and staying current on a certain topics. It will keep you up to date on not just the latest news in your industry but also what people are talking about related to your business across the web — on forums, on blogs, on news sites, everywhere.
Once set up, it will email you updates of the latest Google results based on your choice of query or topic. All you have to do is enter your search terms, select what you want to monitor, decide how often you want to be notified, and enter the email address where you want to be notified. Search for words about anything that interests you at the moment. Keep in mind that any two or more words that you want to receive alerts about should be in "quotes" so that the exact phrase will be used for the alert. You can also get great and timely ideas to write about by looking at trending topics at Google Trends.
Look into Bottlenose, it provides live social intelligence for you by analyzing activity across all of the major social networks. You can easily discover what’s popular right now on the social world. It allows you to find what’s trending in real time. To learn how to use this tool read this article.
This is a directory of pages that displays walls of curated feeds on hundreds of subtopics. If you love collecting interesting content as much as we do, you’ll love it too. To bootstrap your sourcing process, find a page on AllTop that relates to your topic, find the feeds for each source listed on that page, and add them to your feed reader. It´s definitely a great way to have all your favorite feeds in one place and get a fast glance at them. It’s also a great way to keep up with the latest stories from the top news websites and blogs in your areas of interest. Need some inspiration, check this feed.
Share any other inspirational sources you might have in the comments!