It’s that time of year. Bloggers and influencers are producing gift guides en masse—for every category of gift recipient. The list topics range from “100 Gift Ideas for Her” to “Gift Ideas for Outdoorsy Men” to “23 Hilarious But PERFECT Gifts For The Weirdos On Your Christmas List” to “Budget Gift Ideas” and so on.
But what about Instructional Designers?
I Googled around and found a few articles of eLearning or instructional design gift guides, but a lot of them seemed pretty old.
Fear not, I am here to present you with the Ultimate Instructional Designer Gift Guide (of 2019, at least).
Help your instructional designer friend/spouse/coworker/etc. avoid falling into a rut with some creative thinking aids. These books of silly drawing prompts and writing exercises are great stress relievers and ways to let your creative thoughts flow freely without pressure. And hey, if they pick up a few sketching skills to enhance their storyboarding, what’s wrong with that?
Another fun and relaxing gift idea is a board game your giftee could take to the office and play with coworkers at lunch for a nice mental break—and team bonding! The eLearning Brothers lunch gamers are big fans of Camel Up and Bears Vs Babies.
Blue Light Filtering Glasses
Instructional designers spend a lot of time looking at screens—although perhaps with not quite as much joy as the stock photo model above. Whether they’re storyboarding on their computer, or testing a course on a mobile device, they’re being exposed to that dreaded blue light. Overexposure to blue light can lead to symptoms like eye strain, headaches, and sleep disruption.
Now I know, there isn’t a lot of science around this and not everyone agrees about whether blue light filtering lenses do anything. But I will say, I have a pair and I don’t know if it’s a placebo effect or not, but when I put these on, my eyes breathe a sigh of relief.
There are blue light filtering glasses out there for every budget, starting around $15 on Amazon (mine are from Amazon), $30-50 from EyeBuyDirect and going up to $100+ for some really snazzy ones from Felix Gray. You can also get blue light filtering coating as an add-on at Warby Parker.
Video and Audio Equipment
New microphones and new video cameras are a great way to bring joy to the instructional designer in your life. Our video specialist, Andrew Townsend wrote a great blog explaining some of the equipment we use for in-house videos, and I won’t steal his thunder. His recommendations about a/v equipment are always spot on. Check out his blog here.
Sometimes we have to pull a few late nights to meet those deadlines. Give your giftee the strength to get through the next morning with their caffeine fix of choice. I am a big proponent of buying from your local coffee shop, but if you’re buying for someone out of town, a recurring coffee subscription would be a nice gift. My sister got me this coffee subscription last Christmas and it was really fun going in and rating the coffee types after and seeing what the company picked for my next box in response.
eLearning Brothers Asset Library Subscription
You all knew this was coming, right? But really, what better gift for an instructional designer than the tools to become an eLearning Rockstar? Just think how excited they will be at the millions of assets just at their fingertips, waiting to be turned into amazing eLearning content.
You could also consider gifting some of the instructional design and eLearning books that came out this year. Here's a mid-year roundup of books we did that may give you some ideas.