Coetail, Design

Telling My Story In An Infographic Resume

As part of my COETAIL course, I took on the assignment to redesign my resume in an infographic style. I already had a fairly unique looking resume (it is still up on my Resume page but will be archived soon) but I wanted to get it down to a single page. After many revisions, here is the latest version:

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 19.15.11

Sonya terBorg – Resume (PDF)

My thoughts on this version:

  • I like the little icons (thanks Noun Project!) as I think they add a clean visual to the document
  • I like the photo of me and my daughter as it shows a very important part of who I am without me having to articulate that I am a mom
  • I like the QR code link to my personal blog
  • Creating the ‘bar graph’ of things I believe in was actually really hard – the ranking of items – and I liked that this gave me the opportunity to reflect on what was important to me, philosophically
  • I am on the fence with the L/R Brain although I do like the idea of this. I just took an online quiz and that was the result and so I took the key words from the test analysis and created the little graphic.
  • I really like the “Let me help you” and “Hire me” titles (this idea ‘remixed from #23 on this list) and these titles helped me to focus on what I wanted to say about my skills and my purpose
  • I thought the timeline was an easy way to see where I have been although it does make it clear how much I jump around!
  • I really wanted to keep the concentric circles but I modified the wordiness of them and refined my purpose.

I have spent so long looking at elements of good design that it really was hard to narrow this down.  I think the resume looks good (it is entirely done in Pages, btw, as I wanted to try not using anything ‘fancy’ but to see if I could create something in a fairly standard program).  I do think I will also create a ‘slick professional’ resume that is less infographic-ish.

I think this would stand out in a pile of resumes – I just hope for the right reasons and not because the recruiter wanted to be sure to not take a second look!  I think I would like to partner this resume with an online profile such as the one I am working on at  and I updated a previous one that I had created at


Change, Coetail

Notice Anything Different?

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.24.33

I have been doing a little ‘spring cleaning’ (wishful thinking given all the snow on the ground!) of my blog.  I wanted a cleaner, tidier look to the blog and, inspired by my third COETAIL course, I wanted to makeover the graphics and create a more engaging visual display for my readers.

Here is an overview of the changes and the new blog format: 

Next up, is an overhaul of my resume.  I really like my current resume but it is good to keep it fresh and updated so I am looking forward to playing around with it.  I want to incorporate a more infographic feel to the resume while still showcasing who I am – and the color orange (of course). This is going to be my assignment for my COETAIL course on Visual Design which I am loving. I think it bodes well that one of the course instructors blogged about my resume design when discussing this course a few years ago. I look forward to sharing with her the 2015 version, soon!


Make Learning Visible Too


I was reading this article about a group of industrious young women who wanted to transform their neighborhood.  They didn’t know how they were going to use the abandoned vacant lot in their community, just that they were going to design something to bring back hope to their area. Instead of sitting inside a building somewhere to plan their design, they just set up their planning space beside the lot and started there. What they found is that in doing that, they got buy-in from the community as well as ideas, feedback, support and help from people in the neighborhood who were keen to be a part of the project.

Move your design studio, or your classroom, or your city hall meeting, to the sidewalk. When you’re designing and building incredible things in public that no one thinks are possible—not just doing an art project or a mosaic, but actually solving a problem—people are inspired to come up to you and ask questions, and share advice or offer resources. There’s a seamless feedback loop with the community.

In my last school, we had a large atrium space that I would often utilize for group work.  In doing so, I would get the kids out the classroom and into a space where people could stop by and ask them what they were working on.  Other teachers used this space too and it is fast becoming less of an atrium and more of an “ideas pit” in which students can share their work and solicit new ideas and feedback on their projects.  

How can we make this bigger?  

Often we look for connections to our units for field trips.  In an international setting where language can sometimes be a barrier, such trips may not be possible for all units.  But what about taking a trip to the town center when planning your own city?  Or going to a local park for ideas on shared space usage? What if the field trip was less about going to a particular museum or gallery and more about being out in the community and seeing what evolves from thinking visibly in a shared space?

How will you make learning more visible this year?


Design Thinking for Educators

A collaborative effort from Edutoptia, IDEO, and Riverdale, Design Thinking for Teachers looks fantastic!

Firstly, what is design?

Week 01 IDEO from Design Thinking for Educators on Vimeo.

Design Thinking is a mindset:

  • do you believe you can change the world?
  • do you have faith in your ability to look at problems from different perspectives?
  • are you inspired by the people you spend your time with to find solutions to make things different?
  • can you use a process to unleash creative thought?

I like the simplicity of the process that has been laid out as a blueprint for Design Thinking.  That is not to say Design Thinking itself is going to be simple! Design Thinking is thinking in a way that is similar to other goal oriented ways of doing, but this process seems so well designed (naturally!) and the support for teachers to incorporate this into their teaching seems endless!

Here is the Design Thinking Process:

If you go here to the Edutopia site, you will be introduced to this process in greater detail via Design Thinking for Teachers – Week One. There you will be able to join an online community of educators looking to gain a deeper understanding of Design Thinking.  This starts by contributing an example of something you have seen that constitutes ‘good design’ and explaining why this is so.  I chose these two things to add:

Both of these items take something we are all familiar with and then add something creative, thoughtful, whimsical, interesting and fun.  Who wouldn’t want to showcase their lego masterpieces knowing they were not going to fall off the shelf?  Who wouldn’t want to watch dice roll as the dice “watched” them back! The range of other examples of good design added by other educators is enormous.

Move on to step two: download the week one challenge, do it and then post about it. Do this! I have printed it and I am going to do it while I watch some more Olympics! I am tempted not to do it but I think it is good to go through the same sort of process our kids go through.

The final part of Week One is to download the Educator Guide to the Design Thinking Process and reflect on it.  The guide is phenomenal.  Not only does it outline the five phases of Design Thinking (above) it breaks this phases down into smaller steps and outlines why you are doing them, how doing it will impact your overall design, what your desired outcome is and more! It reminds you of the importance of communicating with others who may share the same frustrations that have led you to want to re-design something, it discusses the value of group work and defines this as working with at least one other person, it gives you tips for how much time you might expect to need, and adds in a few suggestions if you get stuck.  Quite simply, it is a stunning piece of design in and of itself.

Take a look at the resources and sign up for the challenge. It started today and runs for five weeks with 2-5 hours of work per week. Here is the upcoming schedule:



I just finished week one of Design Thinking for Educators.  It really is brilliant.  I learned a lot from doing the mini design challenge:

1. To listen more

2. To think about the needs of others

3. To focus on finding solutions for other people that are outside the box


I also learned a lot from what other people posted.  Having used the IDEO Design Thinking method, I am so much more confident in using it with my kids.  Much more powerful to come from a place of “Hey, I have actually used this myself” rather than “I hear this is good…”.  It is not too late to sign up – and you can do it while watching the olympics (promise!).