Just like the lottery player who’s “in it to win it,” instructional design professionals have to remain in the eLearning loop to stay on top of the game. The Internet can help you keep track of new eLearning techniques, concepts, best practices, technologies and job openings. The three Internet resources below make great use of your time and can connect you with others in your profession.

1. The eLearning Guild

If you’re serious about continuing education, The eLearning Guild delivers an environment to learn, evaluate and adopt new custom eLearning techniques without reinventing the wheel. Four levels of membership allow the instructional design professionals to choose from a menu of options. The free associate membership includes Guild research, conference archives, job boards, webinars, magazines and more. Premium membership allows greater live access to over 300 continuing education opportunities each year.

2. eLearning Industry

When you’re searching for free eLearning resources, head to eLearning Industry. In addition to an excellent blog documenting new eLearning techniques and clarifying best practices, concepts and trends, you’ll find free tools to round out your toolbox — authoring tools, storyboard templates, photography, infographics and more. If you’re new to the instructional design field or contemplating a move from classroom-based design to eLearning, you’ll find free e-books and resources to guide you.

3. ASTD

ASTD is the world’s largest training and development association, and caters to the novice instructional designer focused on career development as well as the long-time professional who wants to brush up on new eLearning techniques. Membership fees start at $229 per year and include membership in a local chapter and Internet access to free and reduced-rate educational resources such as Watch & Learn Webcasts and archives, a Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) certification center, international and regional conferences and trainings as well as the ASTD Job Bank.