I like to think of myself as a chef. The truth is, I’m a terrible cook, and rarely even try something more complicated than a box of mac and cheese. I definitely don’t work in a restaurant. I’m a Blended Learning designer.

For over 15 years, I’ve been designing online modules and classroom materials. I started a company called eLearning Blends where I now work with a team of instructional designers, technology geeks, and elearning developers. I bring the mindset of a chef to the job because we’re in charge of feeding the brains of the companies that hire us.

Life in the information age is a steady diet of news feeds and bite-sized updates. We feed on information constantly. For many of us, the Internet and Smart Phones are as vital to our happiness and survival as food and water. These new tools have made our brains evolve into something new. Many of us have become Infovores.

An Infovore feeds on information the way a carnivore eats meat.

Our brains have grown used to a steady stream of food-for-thought rushing through our lives. We slurp, sip, and gulp down data. It’s something we’re increasingly dependent on. As learning professionals, we need to learn how to prepare palatable bytes of information in the ways (and places) infovores want to consume in.

These recipes are my way of sharing what I’ve picked up in a way that’s interesting and memorable. These are ideas you can try in your own metaphorical kitchen.

As a parent, I try to get our 4 preschool boys to eat nutritious meals. (Or at least mac and cheese.) It can be tricky to find a balance between what’s yummy and what’s good for you.

As a learning designer, I try to find the sweet spot between interesting and informative. A dull eLearning module isn’t memorable. It may be accurate, but it’s not likely to have much of an impact unless learners engage with it. If their neurons aren’t firing as they take it, it won’t strengthen the synapses in their brains. It’s like a pile of spinach left untouched on the plate.

 

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