Friday Finds: The Best of Learning, Design & Technology | March 5, 2020

“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom”

Adam Grant

Happy Friday! Here is the latest round up from the world or learning, design, and technology. This weekend I’ll be working on some DevLearn proposals that I’m excited about. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything is a greenlight for travelling and gathering together with people again by then.

Thanks for reading!

What I’m Listening to: Flashback to my high school days when I had every word of the Kool & The Gang album memorized. I’m bopping along to this today.

Last week’s most clicked item:
How to Write Bullet Points People Actually Want to Read

Paradoxes of Engagement: Less Communication Is More

Stowe Boyd writes about how minimizing hours for synchronous communication makes us more productive and shares some research about how bursts of rapid-fire communications, with longer periods of silence in between, are hallmarks of successful teams.

Why Active Learning Works

In this article, Stephen Kosslyn talks about how and why active learning — where learners engage in debate, problem-solving, role-playing, product creation and so on — is much more effective than presenting and explaining content.

Bogus behavioral psych fads, many of which you believe

Jesse Singal has investigated numerous famous frauds of social/behavioral psychology. He says that we should be skeptical of the quick fix, especially in psychology, where bogus tests and solutions can wend their way into the school system, corporate Human Resources departments, and cause career-ending moves resulting from their misapplication as factual. It is as least as valuable a psychological tool as the many fads it debunks, only it’s more fun to read.

PowerPoint’s New AutoFix Feature

Formatting PowerPoint slides and making them “perfect” can be time consuming and frustrating. PowerPoint has rolled out a new feature called Autofix to help with that. Using this new feature, you can automatically align, uniformly resize, and distribute elements, and straighten the connectors between them. Right now it is only available in the web version and not everyone may have it yet. (I do.) Learn more in this post.

Tech Toolbox

100 new tech tools and tips that hit my radar in February. Check out the spotlight tools first and then browse the rest to discover a few gems for yourself.

A few other things just because I can.


Here are three podcast episodes from this week that are worth a listen:

Tools, Tips & Resources

I also publish a daily L&D Tech Toolbox newsletter. You can find those and subscribe here.

  • Feedbro — Read and follow news, blogs, feeds and social media with Feedbro. Automate filtering with built-in rule engine!
  • Mixily — Mixily helps you create and manage events. Design beautiful landing pages in under a minute, with features for power hosts: create a Zoom call, schedule your invitations and messages, poll your guests for a date, and even sell tickets all on one page.
  • Power Automate  —  Easily create automated workflows with Microsoft Power Automate, previously Microsoft Flow, to improve productivity with business process automation
  • Interact Quiz Maker — Interact is a tool for creating online quizzes that generate leads, segment your audience, and drive traffic to your website.
  • PDF Candy — Edit PDF files with PDF Candy – a free online PDF editor. Convert PDF to Word, PDF to JPG, merge PDF, split PDF, compress PDF, and more.

Where You Can Find Me

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

If you’re looking for a helping hand or someone to speak at your event, 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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