Julio C. Castro, M.S.
My name is Julio and I am a mechanical engineer by training, I kind of fell into elearning and instructional design by accident. First, a little about my education; I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, then I started working as a metrologist (yes, that profession actually exists, google it).
After four years in the job I decided it was time for me to earn a higher degree, I went ahead and earned a M.S. degree from the University of Florida in Engineering Mechanics, my thesis dealt with michroelectromechanical systems (MEMS, google that too).
I decided to stay at the university teaching engineering and science courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. My first encounter with online learning happened while I was teaching one of these courses, the college encouraged us to use the new LMS (at that time Vista, later Blackboard) and I started exploring the tool, it was actually fun.
Thanks to this gig, I was able to secure a job in the online learning group that dealt with continuing education, as a LMS support technician. My previous skills as a web programmer and computer programmer helped me during this time, and my supervisors asked me if I would like to take on producing online courses, I gladly accepted.
I saw that I needed to teach myself the principles of instructional design and elearning, and I started by reading the excellent book by Ruth Clark and Richard Meyer e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, after this one I have read other books I have listed as the must-read for aspiring instructional designers.
I have also dabble with WordPress, e-commerce, and online course e-commerce solutions as a side business in consulting. I have picked up many skills by using rapid authoring tools, which I list below:
- Articulate Storyline
- Lectora by Trivantis
- Camtasia Recorder and Studio
- Articulate Presenter and Quizmaker
- Adobe Captivate
I am currently working on integrating Gamification and Games to my set of skills. Along the way, I have developed an interest in Learning Analytics and data mining for education. During those moments I have to relax, I enjoy spending time with my family, I especially cherish those moments when I get to play My Little Pony dolls with my five-year-old daughter. But I also love to pick up new skills and learn during those down moments, I love to keep myself busy learning about other areas of research in elearning and online learning, I am currently learning about machine learning and artificial intelligence, which are fascinating areas.