Friday Finds: The Best of Learning, Design & Technology | May 29, 2020

“I will learn from everyone and be no one’s disciple.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another good thing about long holiday weekends is the short week that follows. This week has zipped by in record time. Speaking of time, Cindy Huggett is working on updating her report on virtual training. Please consider taking a minute to contribute your answers about virtual training to her brief survey.   You can find last year’s report here.

Happy Friday! Thanks for reading.

What I’m Listening to: I stumbled across some of the old country songs I was surrounded by growing up with one foot in Appalachia – appropriately named “Chillin on a dirt road”.

Last week’s most clicked item:
Simple Way to Boost Learning From Videos – The “Pre-Question”

25 Design Thinking Resources for Corporate Learning Professionals

For learning professionals, design thinking challenges us to think about the learning solutions we design in terms of objectives, motivation, and barriers. By considering the perspective of the learners who must go through the learning experience we can help make them better. Tools and techniques include things like personas, experience mapping, etc.

Creating Simple Animated Videos

I’ve been a fan Lee LeFever and Common Craft videos for a very long time. In this webinar recording he walks through the process of creating animated videos using PowerPoint. I’ve also been a longtime fan of using PowerPoint this way and after you watch this, you’ll see why.

What does the research say about designing video lessons?

Educational technology is really powerful. The problem is that it is just as easy to use that power badly as to use it well. Knowing how to use the tools isn’t sufficient to produce effective learning. Daisy Christodoulou shares how to apply some of Richard Mayer’s principles for better learning outcomes.

Read more >

The Psychology of Writing

How work schedules, rituals, and writing environments affect the amount and quality of time invested in trying to write. This one is from another long-time favorite Brain Pickings with a review of research to extract a few notable findings like “…evidence that environments, schedules, and rituals restructure the writing process and amplify performance…”

Read more >

Reopening School: What it Might Look Like

A quick and interesting look at some of the possibilities for what school could look like if/when the kids return in the fall by Jennifer Gonzalez. There are probably some in here that you haven’t heard or thought of yet.

Read more >

A few other things just because I can.


It is very cool that you’ve made it this far down the list! It would also be cool (and super helpful) if you’d share your top 3 favorite podcasts with me.

  • Axonify and JD Dillon have started a podcast call “The 80 Percent” in the latest episode Aston Moss from Briscoe Group Limited talks about learning from home.
  • The Learning While Working podcast is always good and the latest episode is with Mick Gwyer on Pivoting to Online Learning.
  • David James hosts Sarah Allen, Head of Learning, Talent & Leadership for AXA UK to talk about Business Not as Usual.

Tools & Resources

  • [Design] – Storytale – free collection of illustrations
  • [Design/Tools] – Artify is an online graphics tool with tons of design resources including illustrations, icons, backgrounds, etc.
  • [Design/Tools] – Muzli has a Chrome addin that gives you a serving of design stories and inspiration every time you open your browser.
  • [NoCode]The 21 Best #NoCode Tools You Should Try
  • [Windows10]How to enable and use Clipboard History (try your library for free Lynda access)
  • [Tools] – Enhance your Google Meet experience with this browser addin.
  • [Tools] Waves is a new learning campaign builder from Learning Pool – Think marketing meets L&D.

Where You Can Find Me

If you missed it, you can find a couple of recordings from recent events:

I’m excited to join an internal live conversation with learning pros at Nationwide on June 11th to talk about new perspectives on workplace learning.

I’m furiously working on an online program for the online Learning Development Conference starting June 22.

Conferences & Learning Events

Here are a couple of helpful resources if you’re looking for a L&D-related conference or webinar.

Interested in the things that didn’t make the cut here? Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn

I love talking about learning, design, and technology. If you’re looking for a speaker, let’s talk! Speaking and Workshop Information Sheet.

Looking for a previous edition? Check out the archives

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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