All Gifts Do Not Come Wrapped

The end of the calendar year makes many people, including me, look back and reflect on the previous 12 months. Having done a little of  that,  I’m happy to report that my optimism–some might say delusional optimism–is intact as I end 2014 with a lot to celebrate.

My joy flows in part from friends and colleagues who scaffold me in life and work. Sometimes they are one and the same–friends and colleagues, that is.  While there are many who guide and support me, and I love them all, today I wish to recognize two women who have helped me AND the Women’s Learning Studio grow and refine our focus. They are Lyn Boyer and Lisa Levinson. Read more

5 More Insights from the IFWE – International Forum on Women in E-Learning – Conference

Doris did a masterful job of writing about her insights from the IFWE conference. I too have been reflecting on my conference learning; here are some additional insights I have. Some are definitely BFO’s (Brilliant Flashes of the Obvious – courtesy of Katie Blott – see Doris’s blog)!

Attending a Woman’s Conference is a Great Experience

IFWE photo

IFWE theme photo for the 2014 conference

I was a little unsure of what an all women’s conference on e-learning would be like, and discovered that at least at IFWE, it was a freeing and wonderful opportunity. The conference theme was: IFWE Walk in Her Shoes. The conference brochure states: “….share best practices, establish valuable relationships, and explore ways to be effective leaders. This year’s theme takes us a little deeper into what it means to work as a team in a diverse world. Sessions and speakers will push participants to consider how others tackle life’s problems both personally and professionally, understand what it means to be a strong but empathetic leader, and move forward in their own E-learning career path……IFWE is about sharing and learning information, but it’s also about rejuvenating the spirit.

The conference walked the walk (not just San Antonio’s River Walk) and not just talked the talk. The women I met were smart and accomplished, but also open, generous, and came to the conference in the spirit of sharing learning and experiences as opposed to being competitive. It was a spirit of sisterhood, and both Doris and I felt welcomed, valued, and included from the first encounter. From the keynote speakers to the workshops to the frequent and sustained laughter in the hallways, it modeled how the personal and professional can and should walk side by side in our lives. The conference did walk in all our different sized and styled shoes. Read more

Five Insights from IFWE–International Forum for Women in E-Learning

Although I am still in process,

I am absolutely enough.

–Catherine Brunell

Lisa and I had the good luck to participate in the sixth IFWE conference last week. The event attracted more than 100 women to meet-up in San Antonio from December 3-5.

In less than seven months, with Lisa’s initiation and leadership, I went from not knowing of IFWE’s existence to presenting at its conference. After four days of listening and talking with scores of learned colleagues, all of them women, and 12 hours of travel back to Maine for Lisa, and big exhales from both of us, we are each considering what the experience yielded for us. Five ideas come to mind for me. Read more