mind mapping


My professional networks are very connected to professional groups on social media which absolutely changed the way I learn.  As journal articles and annual conferences were the primary source of new information, websites allowed for enormous amounts of information and resources to be stored and retrieved asynchronously.  One popular website where academic scholars can promote and showcase their work online is Selected Works (Witherspoon, 2017).  Member build their professional profile by posting links to their journal articles, conference presentations (videoclips); as well as links to their books, especially where they are being sold.  Additionally, members of Selected Works can also search and follow fellow academics, as well as connect to collaborate via research interest. Essentially, my professional networks inform how I approach teaching, research, service, and learning.

Based on “connectivism” my mind map consist of professional and personal social media that are associated with my worldview of social constructivism (Bruning, Schraw, Norby, & Ronning, 2004).  With the onset and increase of online technologies the best digital tools that facilitate learning are those that allow members to write and submit thoughts and ideas relative to college teaching techniques, [school] counselor educators and supervisors, online doctoral education and instructional design.  When I have questions, I can post to an open forum in a blog or direct message an individual.  This directly supports connectivism as Siemens (2017) noted, networks are rich with an explosion of how we connect with people and data sources.  This has evolved and grown, especially as it relates to professional conferences.  There was a time when professors across the nation would have to engage in lengthy phone calls or physically meet at a national conference to collaborate with each other on a larger scale.  Yet in July, I will be attending a conference virtually as I have another commitment in another state at another conference.  Many conferences will adapt a twitter handle by which participants can comment on workshops and events.  Thus, a social constructivism of knowledge and learned promotes and strengthens connectivism and learning.

Bruning, R. H., Schraw, G. J., Norby, M. M., & Ronning, R. R. (2004). Cognitive psychology and instruction (4th ed.). UpperSaddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Siemens, G. (2017). Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Connectivism [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Witherspoon, S. (2017) Selected Works Webpage. Retrieved from https://works.bepress.com/sheila-witherspoon/#.



Blog Critique: The eLearning Coach


The eLearning Coach

This blog is maintained by Connie Malamed, an instructional designer who provides information on the profession, opportunities to work with her, and coaching instructional designers with eLearning techniques and strategies.  She has written two books on the topics of visual design solutions and visual language for designers. Links to reviews for both books are available below each book cover.  Her social media icons are available for visitors who are interested in community building.  There are also ads relative to instructional design and technology, and learning resources such as a mobile app, storyboards, stock photos, and Powerpoint grids.  Many of the blogpost exist on the first page of the website.  Blog post are educational and informational in nature.  Visitors are plentiful and provide in-depth, substantive responses and feedback.  However, there seems to be an overload of information; though well organized.  This is not to infer that the information posted on the blog is not important and needed.  Yet her business appears to overshadow the blog itself.

Blog Critique: Experiencing E-Learning

Experiencing E-Learning


The blog is maintained by Christy Tucker, an instructional designer whose specialty is eLearning and blended learning.  Ms. Tucker’s bio describes her career trajectory from being a K-12 educator and becoming an instructional designer in corporations and as an entrepreneur.  Introducing herself to readers, and discussion of her activities outside of work”, her blog provides an opportunity to hire her, with an opportunity for potential clients to view her portofolio.  In addition, Ms. Tucker also allows visitors to access to  links to her online presence on social media (i.e. LinkedIn – in which she has written a blog post on how to approach that networking relationship with her; Syniad Learning – her company and e-portfolio; Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Flckr).

As her blog post are plentiful and robust, she has refrained from accepting guest blog post due to negative experiences.  This may impact community building as visitors are able to respond to a blog post, yet lack to ability to share ideas that may enhance the professional development of instructional designers.  However, there are links to blog post on a variety of topics from guest bloggers that are archived in links for public view. Thus, archives, topics on instructional design certificates, degrees, and certification, freelance and telecommute, and storytelling and scenarios are available in category links and a dropdown menu is the closest to sharing ideas on the blog.

Blog Critique: Instructional Design Central Blog (IDC)


Instructional Design Central Blog (IDC) is a company that provides instructional design for corporations, as well as a cornucopia of resources for instructional designer professionals.  The comprehensive website is robust with a knowledge literacy inclusive of but not limited to instructional design employment, templates, and courses.  Also listed are instructional design conferences where the community of instructional designers and technologist can engage in and/or present for the purposes of professional development.  As the website identifies academic programs in instructional design and technology, eLearning tools are also available.  The content section links define instructional design, adult learning theory, learning theory, history of instructional design, and design models with a special emphasis on ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation).

One feature of the website that is beneficial is the “community” tab.  The opportunity to join a variety of social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram) groups at no cost to instructional designers is helpful .  Essentially, the valuable resources on the website, instructional designer community building is ongoing.  However, much of the sharing of resources and information tends to be fostered via social media versus IDC’s Blog.

IDC’s Blog only has six post based on the resources and content tabs of the website.  It appears that contributors are random, yet there’s no “option” so to speak for the “community” to contribute blog post.  My belief is that in addition to the plethora of resources offered on the website, a greater generation of blog post from instructional designer professionals and/or educators could initiate discussion as there weren’t many comments, which has the potential to enhance dialogue.   Not only could community building be strengthened through this medium, idea sharing from instructional designers can become blog post.  Thus, IDC’s blog has the possibility of becoming a blog that offers monthly professional development from colleagues; as well as further establish networking relationships.

Dr. Spoon’s Ed Tech Blog!

swWelcome to Dr. Spoon’s EdTech blog!  I am Dr. Sheila Witherspoon and I have been a college professor for twelve years; six of those years as an online instructor in masters and doctoral programs. To enhance my skill set as an online instructor, I enrolled in the Masters of Science in Instructional Design and Technology with a focus in Online Learning at Walden University.

My blog will focus on instructional design technology, most specifically a critique of three blogs and/or resources.