Friday Finds: The Best of Learning, Design & Technology | September 4, 2020

“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”

Alain de Botton

Knock on wood. We’re off to a smooth start to our online school year. There is talk of moving to a hybrid (½ online, ½ face-to-face) model at the end of the month. Personally, I think that will be a step backwards from a learning experience perspective as they’ll be getting less instruction and need to juggle more things between the two modalities. And I don’t think the teachers have been given much support in redesigning their classes for this. It is definitely not as easy as most people think!

What I’m Listening to: Back in the day there was a time when I played the Howard Jones album on a loop for months. Today the Howard Jones Radio playlist is talking me back and providing a nice 80’s vibe to work along to. After all, aren’t we at the point where “Things Can Only Get Better“?

Last week’s most clicked item:
Scientific Strategies to Make Learning Stick

Top Tools for Learning 2020

The results are in for Jane Hart’s Annual Top Tools for Learning Survey. Unsurprisingly, online meeting and collaboration tools have made big leaps with Zoom being the “Tool of the Year”. She’s also published an analysis of the results here.

What Does a Conversation Architect Do?

Conversations are at the core of how we learn with each other, too often live sessions both face-to-face and online are presentations not conversations. Moving online does make designing learning around conversations more challenging but not impossible. Tune into this conversation between Robin Petterd and Joshua Davies from Knowmium for ideas and strategies on how to design conversations.

Building a Learning Culture

Michelle Ockers and Nigel Paine have been discussing ways that L&D has been leveraging the current situation to build more effective workplaces. Firing courses blindly at people is failing to get traction right now (if it ever did!). The most effective responses to remote working have been much more holistic. Be sure to download the Learning Culture Primer that Michelle and Nigel created.

How to Create an Internet Explorer Browser Warning for eLearning

If you develop elearning courses, you are familiar with the challenges that Internet Explorer can cause. Devlin Peck shares a great way to create a warning for your audience when they are viewing your course in IE and remind them that their experience will be better in another browser. Even Microsoft recommends staying away from Internet Explorer for modern web tasks!

Create Slides and a Detailed Leave-Behind Document in a Single PowerPoint File

Dave Paradi has a creative solution for creating a single PowerPoint file that is designed to serve both as your presentation slides and the handouts for your audience. Normally, you’d need to create and manage two separate files for this but Dave shows you how to use PowerPoint’s “Custom Show” feature to manage them within a single PowerPoint file.

A few other things just because I can.


Podcasts from this week that are worth a listen:

Tools & Resources

If you like this section, you might also like my latest experiment – the L&D Toolbox daily newsletter.

  • Iriun is a slick app that lets you use your phone as a wireless webcam
  • Hihaho is a free tool for adding interactivity to your YouTube, Vimeo and other videos.
  • is a video meeting platform that focuses on driving online collaborations in meetings and workshops. It comes with built-in activities, breakout rooms, integration with Miro and Google Docs.
  • iSlide is a free PowerPoint add-in that gives you extra layouts, design options and functions.
  • Luma (formerly zmurl) is an all-in-one Zoom event concierge that lets you send beautiful invites with calendar events, creates event landing pages and more; all integrated with your Zoom account.

Conferences & Learning Events

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

Where You Can Find Me

September 29 Mid-New Jersey Technology Showcase Keynote

The online Learning Development Conference is running now and Bianca Baumann and I will be running an online master class for the VOV Network in Belgium starting in November.

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.

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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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