2017 Year in Review


Professionally 2017 has been an awesome year.  Earlier in the year, I battled some health issues but I’m happy to report that I have my eye issue managed.  I’d like to take the time to write this out to express my gratitude to those who have made the year so great for me.

I did not make any formal goals

I know what you are going to say, failing to plan is planning to fail.  Yes, there are many times I agree with this but this year my free spirit led me to many opportunities.  I pride myself on being a gritty person but in late 2016 I had a “mentor” flip on me.  This helped me focus selfishly on myself and how to continue to grow in learning and development.  It led me to continue to look outside of my organization for leadership and guidance.  Also, I learned what NOT to do to someone (personal pet peeve, I am not “your staff” and quit using the pronoun “I” when a TEAM worked on something).  Looking back, I now see how insecure my former mentor is in their own abilities and knowledge.

TLDC changed my life

I met Sam Rogers & Debbie Richards when they came and headlined Central Ohio ATD’s Learning Technology Day April 18, 2017.  Sam shared on Twitter a link to TLDC, a daily Livestream talking anything and everything learning and development.  TLDC is the brainchild of Brent Schlenker and Luis Malbas.  I popped in one day and tried to ask a question using the Q&A feature in Crowdcast.  My question did not get addressed so I tweeted Brent and Luis, asking if I did something wrong.  Long story short, Luis then called me, explained TLDC and the vision and I wanted to get involved.  Not knowing anything about me, Luis and Brent took a chance on me (someone who has hidden under a rock for most of their career).  By being a part of the TLDC team, I have met too many great people to list (but I look forward to giving each of them a high five in Phoenix next month), was part of several of the top 10 TLDcasts of the year, and have grown exponentially by learning something new every single broadcast.

 I met some of L&D’s Finest IRL

These are just a few of the photos I took.  I commit 2018 to even more photos and adventures.  I’d also like to say that all of these folks are so kind and lovely in person.

  • I loved watching Dr. Clark Quinn make his mindmaps during a keynote at AECT.
  • Katie Stroud introduced me to her beautiful family and visited me briefly in Columbus through a whirlwind tour she took this year.
  • Dr. Ray Jimenez called me right before I started writing this to talk about opportunities in 2018.
  • I had the opportunity to virtually and face-to-face express my gratitude to Mike Taylor who inspired me to get a Twitter that has helped propel me to new heights.
  • In October, I went to the College of DuPage to do some task analysis work and met Trish Uhl!  I sent her a Twitter message and she picked me up and we had an awesome dinner.  During dinner, she asked me to do something with her for ATD Employee Learning Week.  Inspired by our conversation, I was able to get a proclamation from Ohio Governor John Kasich for the campaign.

ELW Proclamation

Trish was even kind enough to send me goodies from her travels in Dubai, knowing that I am a camel lover.


 I focused on academics

with Dr Ana-Paula Correia

The main reason I work at The Ohio State University is for the employee tuition benefit.  So far I’ve earned one additional degree and feverishly working towards a second.  I am honored and blessed to have the most amazing advisor and mentor Dr Ana-Paula Correia.  By focusing more on academics in 2017, I have focused on collaboration with others and using school as a technology sandbox.  Along with my team members Tim Nunn, Anna Leach, and Natalie Gintert, we even created a learning technology evaluation framework: CPR (Context, Pilot, and Report).  This led us to present at the Association for Education Communication and Technology (AECT) and to get published in an AECT journal 🙂

L-R Cara, Anna, Dr. Anna, Natalie, and Tim via video 🙂

Also this year I became part of an all-female learning technologies research group.  We did a project with Hack OH/IO, a student-led annual hackathon.

Learning Experience Design (LED) Research group led by Dr Ana-Paula Correia.  Members include Vicki Simmerman, Karen Bruce Wallace, and Ceren Korkmaz

We hope in 2018 to lead a similar event (thanks for your help Scott!)

Volunteering helped me grow professionally

This year, in particular, I wanted more responsibility.  I found leadership experience outside of work through volunteering.  Some of the amazing organizations I have been a part of this year include The Ohio Instructional Designers Association, Exploring Learning Technologies (ELT group at The Ohio State University), Toastmasters International, Central Ohio Association for Talent and Development (COATD), and Training Learning and Development Community (TLDC).  I try to not just be a warm body but an active participant in each organization.  In 2017, I founded my own Toastmasters club at The Ohio State University and serve as president.  I was also elected President-Elect of Central Ohio ATD.  Volunteering has allowed me to build skills I want to develop more outside of the workplace.  These stretch assignments have been invaluable to me and I look forward to continuing to volunteer in 2018.  Mike Lenz and Doug Bushee interviewed me on the Learning Innovations Podcast about the importance of volunteering.

I started my own consulting company, The Learning Camel

Launched in June of 2017, The Learning Camel specializes in social media queries and implementation.  I’ve worked with giant clients like Facebook and Babelfish and I work with individuals and businesses.  I’ve secured my first conference client and I hope to continue to grow the business.

2017 By The Numbers

2 Publications

(Refereed Proposal)

North, C. A., Leach, A., Gintert, N., Nunn, T., Correia, A.-P. (in press). Evaluation of the Duolingo English Test: Implications for K-12 English Language Learners. In M. Simonson (Ed.), 40th Annual Proceedings of Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Bloomington, IN: Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).

Editor Reviewed

North, C.A. (2017). Is Your Digital Brand Human? Training Journal Nov 2017.

3 Credentials Earned
  • Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) Credentialing Specialist
  • Toastmasters International Competent Communicator Award
  • Toastmasters International Competent Leader Award
7 podcast episodes
9 Presentations

This one has a video recording 🙂

  • Nunn, T., North, C.A., Leach, A., Gintert, N. (2017). Evaluating Learning Tools. Presented at The Ohio State University Innovate Conference. Presented at Innovate Impact 2017, The Ohio State University, Ohio Union, Columbus, OH, May 16, 2017. Recording

I want 2018 to be even bigger and better!

Some of the things I want to do in 2018 is to write a book about educational technology, travel abroad (it looks like Amsterdam & Scotland are calling my name in June), and focus more on paying it forward.  I’m also going to be at several conferences throughout the year.   I’m humbled that I could provide anyone advice but I know had I not listened to the advice of others, I would not be in the position I am today.  I look forward to learning with you in 2018 and if you ever want to work on something together, let me know.  I love meeting new people (even if I’m socially awkward f2f, I’m a social butterfly online).

Finally, I hope that those with mean-spirited intentions grow up in 2018.  I have found that with accomplishments that there is a rush of hateraid.  If someone is jealous of you and tries to bring you down, don’t let them.   The world is a HUGE place and I celebrate everyone’s successes and accomplishments, no matter where they are in their career.


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