As President of eLearningJoe, LLC, Joe Ganci has been in the business since 1983 and still loves what he does! He’s done it all, from analysis to evaluation. He loves to help his clients find the best solutions to their learning initiatives. He frequently visits client sites to train their personnel in eLearning principles and the use of eLearning development tools, such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline.
His first exposure to eLearning, or what was called computer-based training, was when he was five years old in New York City and a computer helped him learn English, as until then he spoke only Italian. In high school, he lived in Milan, Italy, and attended the American High School of Milan. During his studies, he found that the school had a teletypewriter terminal connected to a Honeywell Mark 3, like the one pictured. Curiosity got the better of Joe and he asked his math teacher about it. She told him that nobody had ever used it but there was a program on it that would teach him to program it. He then learned to program in BASIC and later in FORTRAN. Even though the teletypewriter didn’t have a monitor and everything was printed on paper, he still thought it was quite cool that a computer was teaching him how to program it.
Later, while pursuing his Bachelors in Computer Science in the United States, he was hired to create a learning program to teach Italian through one of the first eLearning systems, called TICCIT (Time-Shared Interactive Computer-Controlled Information Television). The TICCIT system was funded by the National Science Foundation, along with PLATO, and it was very advanced for its time. Joe says that this system:
“It made me fall in love with eLearning even before it was called that.”
Once he graduated, he worked first for Ford Aerospace and then worked for over five companies in the next 12 years before starting his own in 1998. Ever since, he has worked independently helping organizations reach their training and learning needs.
Joe has been privileged to work with many Fortune 500 companies, to help them to meet their learning goals or help them remedy when they’ve not met those goals. Using innovative design approaches and selective tools to help establish the best methods for each client, as no two clients are exactly alike. He also teaches classes for these companies on how to use Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Trivantis Lectora, and other tools.
As Joe is tool-agnostic, people trust that Joe is not in anyone’s pocket. He writes tool reviews for the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine each month, you can see his reviews here. He’s also worked with tool vendors to recommend how they can introduce better instructional design methodologies into their tools.
When asked what makes him love the field of learning and development, he says:
“Having been at this for 35 years, I’ve seen a ton of mistakes made, and I was responsible for making some of those mistakes. While the field has advanced in many ways, in other ways, it has slipped backwards. I feel it is important for those of us with a lot of experience to help others avoid the mistakes and avoid wasting a lot of time and money. In fact, I believe the majority of eLearning being built today does not help people learn much. There are better ways, and they don’t have to cost much more, and they can really change the industry retain and improve its reputation.”
These insights and more are what Joe is sharing with us at the TLDC18. Joe believes that human beings are capable of outstanding insights when given the chance and we should be giving them that chance. We should explore the different ways that learners can be put in charge of their own learning.
From Joe’s session Don’t You Dare Call Them Learners…Unless They’re Actually Learning, one key takeaway will be:
“Learners need to be able to take control of their own learning, and with just a little guidance, you will be able to create eLearning that is truly individualized to each learner. No longer will those who know a lot be bored or those who are new to the material feel overwhelmed. Each learner will get just what he or she needs!”
It’s not too late to join us and Joe at TLDC18 to talk about the love of programming and the power it brings to make learning better. To extend the conversation, connect with Joe on LinkedIn or Twitter.