Career Talk (Instructional Designer) for 1st Graders

Hi, all! The Guidance Counselor at my son's school invited me to be a resource speaker at the 1st Grade Career week to talk about modern non-traditional careers such as being an offshore instructional designer. The theme is “Career Game-Changers.” So exciting! She said visuals are highly encouraged and I wanted to get some suggestions from you guys as to how I can talk about my career/ present it to first graders in a very engaging fashion! I trust your judgment that is why I am seeking your help. Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated! Just please share your thoughts during your free time. Oh, this career talk will happen on Monday, 5th of September! Eeeep! Thanks in advance!

14 Replies
Phil Mayor

It should be really easy, you already make the dull exciting.

I always try and present just images on the slides without any text and speak to those keeping it fun and engaging.

When you get into the nitty gritty of what you do it would be great to do a show and tell. Show them the awful content you get given by an SME and then show them how that can be converted into interesting content.

However, I am always of the opinion that the best IDs and developers did something else first, it is often this experience that differentiates the good IDs from the excellent.

Nicole Rye

For first graders you can do an activity with them like ask them to teach you something, how to tie shoes, or how to get ready for recess...something with step by step instructions. And then as they give you the instructions, use draw the process using simple pictograms or sketches to illustrate instructional design.

Jackie Van Nice

I'd think they've probably already been exposed to some kind of educational game in the form of a tablet or computer of some sort.

I'd start by demo-ing a game like that and talking about (eliciting from them) what the game is actually teaching - giving you a great launching point to talk about who makes learning games like this (bringing in the ID concept), and then *amazing* them with the idea that adults need someone to make learning games and courses for them too! (Then you put on your cape and mask and reveal yourself to be an eLearning Hero.)

Sounds like fun to me! Enjoy!!! :-D

Scott Kaye

Wow,  Great ideas!  My idea might not be as good, but I would try and demonstrate what you do.  Show two lessons with the same content.  One that is dry and static and the other as interactive as possible. An instructional designer finds a way to make the content more engaging to try and help you learn better.  Maybe an oversimplification, but I think it's appropriate for that developmental level.


Good luck!

Bob S

Scott is headed down the same path I was.... let them experience learning two ways on a very simple age appropriate topic (eg folding an airplane).  Even divide the group in half and teach it both ways then compare and summarize.

Another option would be to involve them in making a list, interactively with tree branches or some other graphic you fill in live, with all the different ways they have learned things.  Ask lots of leading questions like who learned to whistle by just practicing it themselves, or how did you learn to tie your shoes?     Then explain that IDs look at all the different ways we learn and help choose the best one for a certain topic and person and provide an age appropriate example....  maybe even asking them to look at the different ways and pick two for teaching their friend something new.   That is ID.

David Glow

You can always go with the classic- one student stands behind the other so they can't see, but sticks their arms out to make a peanut butter sandwich, and the kid in front has to coach them through ;)

Another thing I've done with my kids is to ask them about things they used and how they learn it. Video games usually work well.  How did you know to do X?  Did you know you were being taught to do it or did it seem natural... etc.

Nancy Woinoski

To be honest I am not sure first graders will get the difference between boring and engaging content so would not go down that path.  I would not use any slides. I would keep it really simple. I like Blair's idea. Create a visual storyboard that details how to make a sandwich. Bring in the ingredients and have someone in the class make the sandwich as the class reads out the instructions.

kristen neill

We actually got to present to some kids at my work this year for take your child to work day. We spoke about learning a bit and asked if they ever played any  learning games at school. Then we let them play some of our interactivesimulationgames. We then talked about people being able to practice some things before they are out on the sales floor. They really enjoyed it. My nieces still bring it up months later.