My name is Mascha van de Weer and I live in Oldenzaal (Twente, The Netherlands) where I was born in 1978. In between I lived almost 20 years in Weerselo, which is a nearby village, where I also met Tom whom I’ve been together with now for more than 20 years.
Since the end of 2013 I started my own business (DidactAdvies) as a learning designer, which now gradually shifted into being a productivity and learning consultant.
First work experiences
In 2002 I graduated at the faculty of Educational Sciences and Technology at the University of Twente and I have been fascinated with online learning ever since I created my first webpage in HTML for one of my first study assignments.
After I graduated I first worked shortly as a designer of online learning, and then many years as a consultant for working with ERP-software.
While having to spend many hours on the road, but also feeling committed to give the best I had to my clients and the company I worked for, I discovered the world of productivity strategies and methods and instantly recognized the method ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen as something very important to learn.
From there, I started to become more intentional about my own choices and I decided that I wanted to shift my career back again towards educational technology, which had been out of my sight for a few years.
Back towards learning design
I changed jobs and became a technical writer at another company, closer to where I lived, creating guides, release notes and other instructional materials for other software applications. It might have been a ‘step backwards’ in my career in the eyes of many, but for me it was a first step on the right track for being a learning designer again.
After a few years the company needed to reorganize and they decided that software documentation was a luxury that they could do without in the future, so I had to find a new job again.
Starting my own business
Being more and more intentional about what I wanted to do and also feeling more capable of finding my own route than ever before, I decided to start my own business as a learning designer.
I learnt that doing freelance or contract jobs is a great way of using my knowledge and experience, but I also felt that I could offer something more. So I started thinking about creating my own products and services, which is why I call myself a productivity and learning consultant at the moment.
When I’m not working I donate some of my hours being a board member of a small local department of the Dutch Democratic party (D66, social liberals) doing most of the internal communication within the board, towards other local departments and towards our active and none-active members. I also keep an eye on the texts on our websites and social media channels.
I run three times a week somewhere between 5K and 15K, and I walk every few weeks with a friend about 10K just to socially catch up with her while ‘slowly’ enjoying the extraordinary beautiful environment that we live in.
As you can see I’ve been using this weblog for many years already, but only since the beginning of this year I started writing on it in English. I refuse though to throw away the old stuff. Maybe I’ll translate some of the articles sometime and repost them.
As I said, ever since I created my first HTML-pages, connected them together and saw the link working, my eyes went wide open for the many possibilities of sharing knowledge via the internet. I found that creating these pages was very easy and thought that everyone would be doing that very soon which would create a world of sharing knowledge.
Now, with social media, this vision finally becomes more and more a reality, though we still have to learn how to really share our own insights, not just repeat others and ‘like’ what they wrote.
By starting to write again on this blog, I want to give my own contribution to that process, which is also why I’m writing in English now. I hope you enjoy it and place a comment once in a while, but if not, I will just keep blogging for myself, to openly share and reflect on what I do and what I learn.
Let’s see where this goes!