By Phylise Banner | STC Fellow

What will the competencies of the future look like, and how will we enable our learners to achieve success in technical communication jobs? I strongly believe that the future of technical communication is shaped by the education and professional development we are designing, developing, and delivering today. At this year’s Technical Communication Summit & Expo, the sessions in our Education and Training track will highlight effective practices, emerging pedagogies, and industry trends that are shaping our future—along with a bit of magic. Yes, magic!

Ever wonder what you can learn from the way Professor Snape teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts? Well, Jamye Sagan’s session, Lessons Learned: What Harry Potter Professors Teach Us about Instructional Design, will certainly enlighten you.

Jennifer Goode will share her tips on another magic of sorts with her session Can You Hear Me Now? Podcasting as a Teaching Tool. Evolution is all about finding new ways to use the tools we have been using for years, and I applaud Jennifer for bringing her experiences in podcasting to our program.

If you are looking to explore effective practices, add Tina Kister’s session, The Science of Good Page Design, to your schedule. Tina will be focusing on how the brain works and sharing guidelines on how you can create visually appealing documents that facilitate readability, searchability, focus, comprehension, and retention.

And speaking of comprehension, we have Noel Atzmiller’s session, Teaching Technical Writing to Engineers: What Works? in our track. Noel will share her experience and lessons learned that you can put to immediate use when designing, developing, and delivering learning experiences for highly technical audiences.

Highly technical or not, we are part of a continuously shifting landscape, with technology evolving at a rapid pace. Melonie McMichael’s session, Technology Adaptability: Formalizing a Vital Skill, will establish the significance and application of technological adaptability in our field. Add Melonie’s session to your schedule if you are looking for ways to learn new technology quickly or deal with technology issues efficiently and with confidence.

Adapting to change is easier when we establish partnerships, and Kirk St. Amant’s session, Converging Around Research: Establishing Effective Industry-Academic Research Partnerships in the Field, will take a future-looking approach that addresses what academic/practitioner research partnerships could look like, and what they could accomplish.

Speaking of future accomplishments, be sure to catch Liz Fraley’s session, The Future is Decided by Your Actions Today. Liz is going to share tips and tricks on how to look into the future and see the steps it takes to get you where you want to go.

You can check the full schedule online at We look forward to fostering dialogue through all of our session Q&As, and encourage you to share your own vision of the future with us at the Summit. See you in Orlando!


Consider reading these posts.

Summit Spotlight: Training Development and Delivery Track
Summit Spotlight: Design Thinking Workshop
Community Spotlight: Make Your Documents Accessible to Everyone

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