Yes. This is a COVID-19 blog post. But it's not what you think.
Though, it would be remiss of me not to mention that your first line of information should not be Facebook or blog posts, text messages, or even newsletters from well-meaning friends and family. Always fact-check what you see and what you hear with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and your local public health organizations.
These are tension-filled times. Many of us are consumed with taking care of our household, our children and our jobs. But consider being a good neighbor - and help your community. It can have the awesome side effect of alleviating feelings of helplessness you may face as things continue to develop. I always think of this quote from Mr. Rogers when I start feeling uneasy about the state of the world. I "look for the helpers" and find I am inspired by them to do the same.
In this post, I will share three ways you can use your background in education, instructional design, or e-learning development to help those around you.
1. Offer Free Consultations
Offer to help your neighbors, church, job, friends, and family get online, quickly. Globally, organizations are having to move most of their operations online - and some of them are NOT prepared for it.
If you are looking for a way to gather concrete work samples, AND help your community...why haven't you offered your expertise to anyone yet?
If you have the time, offer to help someone with their first virtual meeting, create a lesson plan for the children who have to stay home from school this week, or offer to create an online instruction policy document for your job.
2. Create a Free Template
If you don't have time to provide one-on-one consultations, consider spending a few hours crafting a template for teachers or organizations converting to remote work. Then, offer the template as a FREE download. Make sure to watermark it with your name, and upload it to your portfolio website, Dropbox, or Google Drive. You can capture emails to allow people to download it if you want, but in a time like this, I recommend allowing people to download the artifact without providing an email. People need quick reference guides so they can get online and create useful instruction.
Use Canva to build a visually appealing template, quickly:
3. Use Video to Share Your Expertise
Have access to a camera phone? Spend 1-2 minutes sharing tips with your network. Offer to go live and answer questions on Facebook or LinkedIn. Record a brief tutorial, or simply share how you are using your expertise to work from home and support your organization. It's a perfect time for some collective information sharing. Social Learning is at its peak right now. Take a look at this video I posted earlier this week. It took less than two minutes to record and post, and now people are aware that I am a Camtasia user. I've already helped three people start using the program (Techsmith is offering free subscriptions to educators. Click here to learn more).
There you have it. Three quick and easy ways you can help people make it through the COVID-19 panic. Use your expertise to help people, and establish your brand as a Learning and Development professional.
If you are new to e-learning development or instructional design, and you are looking for a job, you need to be offering your help at this time. A simple social media post can provide relief for someone, and open the door to opportunity for you.
If you're looking for more tips like these, for an accountability partner, or a mentor...subscribe to my newsletter for more information about joining the #100IDs program:
More importantly, stay safe. Practice Social Distancing. Wash your hands. Don't hoard. Practice mindfulness. Take breaks when you need to.