Friday Finds: The Best of Learning, Design & Technology | April 23, 2020

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.

Betrand Russell

Happy Friday! Our march towards warm spring weather here in Ohio took a step backwards this week with a late snow that sent me scrambling to the basement to dig out the winter clothes I thought I wouldn’t need again til next year. Hopefully wherever you are, the sun is shining on you today.

Thanks for reading!

What I’m Listening to: After finding last week’s Lo-Fi music, I started a playlist of Music to Work To on YouTube music.

Last week’s most clicked item:
Five of the best workplace learning theories

The State of Automation

This report from Zapier illustrates how automation technology can support humans, especially in the small and medium-sized business community including L&D. Software automation has grown at scale, enabling workers to be more efficient and giving them time back to focus on more valuable things.

Are you a taker, a giver, or a matcher?

Some people only help when it benefits themselves, others foster transactional relationships, while yet others are generous with their time and energy, without asking for anything in return. Perhaps surprisingly, givers display the most radically distinctive results. Are you a taker, a giver, or a matcher? And how can you shift your reciprocity style to have a positive impact on your work, your relationships, and the world in general?

21 Ways to Structure an Online Discussion

This five-part series, looks at ideas for structuring online discussions. Part 1 covers ideas for structuring an online discussion that can help learners apply concepts. The second article, surveys structures that can help learners explore concepts through divergent thinking, opening up new ideas and possibilities. Part 3 explores structures to help learners explore concepts when the goal is convergent thinking, so each learner gains a deeper, richer understanding of a concept and aligns with a common understanding. Part 4 is on ways to foster metacognition through online discussion. And the final article will be posted Monday on the Faculty Focus website.

Innovation Isn’t Just About What You Know, It’s About Who You Talk To

For some reason, we tend to assume that great innovators are lone geniuses. In his book, Mapping Innovation, Greg Satell found just the opposite to be true. Innovation is, in fact, a highly social activity and great innovators cultivate long standing relationships with trusted thought partners. This was always true, but Covid has pushed it to new heights.

What I Learned: How to say NO Without Saying NO

Have you ever responded to a training request with “NO!”? In this Learning Guild article, JD Dillon shares a great tip for saying no without saying no. Jump over to see what in the heck that means – you’ll be glad you did.

A few other things just because I can.


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

Tools & Tips

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

  • – documents that merge data from other apps into a single place
  • – Digital documents from the ground up
  • vclock – handy free, online timer
  • – a different take on video calls. Check out a walkthrough here
  • StretchUp – StretchUp is an AI-based plug-in for Zoom, Teams, and similar apps,promoting mobility during video calls.

Where You Can Find Me

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend. You can send them here to sign up.

Want more? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thanks for being here!

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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