Kal Hadi, one of Accelebrate's top Articulate instructors, recently sat down with Julie Prince to discuss how he got into teaching Articulate, how he stays up-to-date with ever-changing e-Learning technologies, Articulate advice, his own interests outside of training, and more.
For the entire video interview, please visit https://youtu.be/GBh1Ylk_Jdk
Accelebrate: Tell us more about yourself.
Kal: I'm Kal Hadi, and I live and work in Northern Virginia. I'm married with a 15-year-old son. Back in college I went to Rochester, New York for IT, and I went to a graduate program called "electronic publishing" which is sort of information technology for publishing -- Information, dissemination, printing. Different ways to take information, structure it, present it, and put it out there. And I got involved in that, I was a TA, and gradually I got into training. I worked with Adobe for quite some time after college and got involved in certified training. That segued into e-learning products, and here we are!
Accelebrate: You've done a lot of Articulate training with us, are there any questions that come up again and again?
Kal: Yeah, so I get this question a lot… "How long does it take to get good at it?" And the answer varies, but first you have to like what you're doing, learn about, and use it. In Articulate in particular, it's really a great product that allows normal people, without much technical background, to build great stuff. It allows them to build highly interactive products that serve their company's business needs without getting into the nitty-gritty programming stuff. It's a fantastic tool, and I tell people "stick with it" -- If you can learn it well, it won't take that long to become an expert.
Accelebrate: Do you have any tips and tricks for Articulate?
Kal: "Try to understand how the product thinks." If you come from the Powerpoint world, it does have that same look and feel. There are a lot of good websites out there with tips, we put out some material in the workbook that Accelebrate provides to trainees. And I also recommend the Articulate website.
Accelebrate: Do you have any favorite Articulate or technical blogs in general?
Kal: E-Learning Heroes, you can find a lot of people participating and solving problems. There's a blog, the E-Learning Provocateur which has a lot of good content. Often, you're looking for something and one blog will lead to another. Obviously in development overall you need assets, you need icons, you need graphics and you can find assets developed by users at nowproject.com. I've been going there a lot, and I show my students the plethora of assets available there.
Accelebrate: How do you stay up to date?
Kal: The best thing is to learn by doing. When I teach Storyline, I like to give the aerial view of the product, understanding what it does as a whole, then start focusing on the things that matter the most. There's the 20/80 rule -- 20% of the features take 80% of the time. But approach something first in a holistic way, then you can focus on specifics… At least that works for me!
Accelebrate: Do you use the pareto principle when you're teaching, to focus on the 80/20?
Kal: Yeah, we do a lot with that. We gradually have different levels, then we start getting into the nitty-gritty details. And yeah, the "must know" vs. the "should know" -- Those need to be established early on.
Accelebrate: Are there any pitfalls for Articulate?
Kal: Just like any other packaged product, there are going to be quirks. But all-in-all, it's a very solid product. They've done a great job taking a lot of programmatic things that are required to build high-level interactivity and packaging them up to be available to the masses. That's a tough thing to do, but they've done a good job with it!
Accelebrate: What do you like most about being a technical trainer?
Kal: Meeting people! If you are going to be a training, you need to have a knack for that. You meet people from all walks of life, and that enriches your life. You keep learning from people… Everyone's good at something, and it's good to meet people like that.
Accelebrate: What advice do you have for kids or teenagers who want to get into the technology sector when they grow up?
Kal: I have a 15-year-old, and what I tell him is to learn something very well. Learn about a lot of things, but then find something that you like and get really good at it. Get excellent at it, and you'll always have a job.
Accelebrate: What do you like to do outside of work?
Kal: I like traveling, to explore, to see things that are atypical. Family time, watching shows and movies, working out, things like that.
Accelebrate: Is there anything else that our viewers should know about you?
Kal: Come see us and hopefully we'll get to meet you for some training!
Accelebrate: Thank you so much for your time Kal. It was great talking with you and thanks for all the excellent training you've done with us over the years.
Kal: Thank you, Julie. Enjoy Boulder!
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