Taking the plunge with an eLN Team Membership

A few years ago I served a tenure as eLN Board Director. I’ve always been a huge advocate of the eLN, and the work it and its great team do.

Its core philosophy is one of digital learning professionals giving back to other digital learning professionals. Getting involved doesn’t mean getting sold to or being told by ‘experts’ that everything you’re doing is wrong. It’s a community focused on the sharing of practical insights and is one that I have extremely fond memories of playing a small part to help cultivate.

When I joined my current organisation, Flow Learning, a few months ago I knew that I would be inheriting a learning design team who were eager to learn more about the sector, and the skills that they could cultivate. When I was thinking about their professional development, one of the first things I thought of to do was to sign them up to the eLN.

Given the situation with pandemic, however, I wasn’t sure if this was the right time. When I was a Board member of the eLN one of the elements that I was highly active in was running its events. I got so much out of these, not just as an organiser but also as a delegate. Lots of learning and development events are very large, frenetic, and can sometimes feel a little intimidating. But this was never my experience of those organised by the eLN. That sense of community fostered, of connecting with like-minded professionals, was always very keenly felt.

With face-to-face get-togethers almost exclusively curtailed, I didn’t want my team to join the Network and not have the same positive experience that I had of it. But after talking to Joan Keevill, Chair, and Board member, Gemma Wells, I completely appreciated the effort and determination being put into ensuring that the eLN experience was not being compromised. Given the stellar series of online professional development events being lined up, I knew I’d be a fool to not sign my guys up.

So far, the team have been most active in joining in the fantastic webinars being held. Some of them, still quite young and finding their feet in the sector, were unsure what to expect, and were a little nervous about joining in. But as my colleague Stacey Wylie, a learning experience designer, explains:

“I’ve really enjoyed how welcoming the eLN webinars have been and feel like part of this wonderful community already. There’s always a bit of anxiety before showing your face as a newbie in these things but I can tell with each webinar that the hosts are really genuinely happy to see me there. It really feels like a resource where I can ask a fellow LXD or ID their thoughts on a process or a problem, and I’m happy to say that I’ve stayed in touch with several people I’ve met through the webinars already!”

I’m also looking forward to signing the team up to the mentorship programme. Although I feel I have a lot to contribute to their ongoing professional development, I’m excited about them being exposed to new ideas and insights outside of my own experience and context and bringing these back to the team and their work.

Given all of the benefits on offer for the incredible value for money fee, I would encourage any manager thinking of signing up for a team eLN membership to do it. And if you’re a team member, go hassle your manager to get them to enrol you and your colleagues without taking no for an answer!

What to do next?

If James’ recommendation has sparked your interest, please email our eLN Virtual Administrator and she will detail the process.

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