Each year, The Masie Center introduces us to 30 young leaders in the learning industry with its 30 Under 30 award. Maestro has the privilege of interviewing several of these individuals each year. We look forward to hearing their fresh perspectives and getting a glimpse of their predictions for the future of the learning industry.
Today, we share with you an interview with Lead eLearning Graphic Designer and Technical Communicator at IconLogic, AJ Walther.
Tell us a little bit about your company and your role within it.
AJ: IconLogic is a technical training company specializing in teaching adults how to create eLearning. We teach classes on a wide array of Adobe products such as Captivate, RoboHelp, FrameMaker, and Photoshop. We also teach classes on Articulate Storyline, Camtasia Studio, social media, marketing, eLearning design, localization, and writing and grammar. Additionally we write and publish top rated skills and drills workbooks for a lot of this software.
My role here is to wear many hats. I am most in my element when I am doing graphic design for our own corporate initiatives or for our clients’ eLearning. Through IconLogic I have designed for Heineken, ADP, and World Bank to name a few. I also teach two live, online classes on PowerPoint design for eLearning, am our registrar and training manager, and handle our online marketing, social media, website maintenance, help system, SEO, and AdWords. I’ve written a couple workbooks on PowerPoint as well, but no one bought them. Just kidding; eight or so people definitely did.
Tell us about some of the things you are doing to keep learners engaged.
AJ: Really it’s all about being a captivating and confident presenter and speaker. I am always striving to improve on this. Additionally, people love talking about themselves, so anytime you can incorporate that, people will immediately be more engaged. Great design never hurts either.
How have you seen technology incorporated into learning?
AJ: Not too long ago, most live training was done in-person. Now I can teach students in Australia at the same time as a student around the block from me.
What challenges do you see for the next generation of learning leaders — people like you?
AJ: I think waning attention spans will continue to be an issue. Keeping up with technology will also be a concern. Educational organizations often do not have access to the kind of technology a 13 year-old boy will have in his pocket at any given time. How do you engage someone when your latest and greatest is already antiquated?
What excites you about the future of learning?
AJ: The idea that it doesn’t have to take place in brick and mortar settings anymore. I think this will continue to be the trend. I would not be surprised if college degrees become less and less a rite of passage for the workforce. As someone who will be buried in student debt until long after I no longer qualify for the 30 Under 30 program, this is an appealing thought to me. As someone who is 6 months pregnant with a future member of the workforce, this is even more appealing to me.
Want to learn more? Get connected with AJ!
Follow her on Twitter: @LogicalAJ
Read her blog: Iconlogic
Connect on LinkedIn
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