When TED Talks, Everyone Listens . . . I Hope

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I love intelligent presentations by passionate people on interesting topics  . . . especially easily digestible short ones done exquisitely well;)

TEDTalks are. . .

. . . Brain candy for intellectuals.

. . . Chocolate for the terminally curious.

. . . Pistachios for NCIS fans.

Have I made myself clear yet?  You will enjoy the experience and learn valuable information about things you do not even know you care about yet.

TEDTalks are simply one of the great uses of your time . . . Continue reading

“Twas Brillig” . . . Thoughts on Learning Stuff

My First Thought:

If you want a clear-eyed analysis of how social media is affecting learning, read “The Twitter Trap”.   Bill Keller provides an excellent critical statement of the “dark side” of using social media.  In his article, Keller touches on the shift from learning, knowing, and being able to show that learning through recitation and computation, to what I would call “disposal knowledge, where we look up and use information without actually absorbing and retaining that knowledge..

As a social media person, I was tempted to defend our honor against this savage attack.  My only problem was that Keller is essentially right.  When the computers are down, the cash registers silent, and the heat is on, too many of us say “I can’t do anything without my computer.” Continue reading

Top Ten Learning Tools . . . According to Me:)

Jane Hart is the founder of the Center For Learning Performance Technology (C4LPT), an author, blogger, and recognized expert in the field of adult learning.  She is also one of the best known thought leaders, especially when it comes to such cutting edge topics as social learning, online learning, and so on.

Every year since 2006, Jane has asked those who use learning tools to name our top ten, which she compiles into the 100 Top Learning Tools List.  This annual global survey of the state of learning tool usage is both a fascinating history and a fairly accurate predictions of things to come.   Most importantly, Jane’s Top 100 list provides a snapshot of the variety of learning tools that are available now to enhance and speed up learning in a great many ways.

Many learning tools launch and disappear without making much of a real difference.  The ones that float to the top of Jane’s list tend to be those which are “sticky”. So, without a lot more fanfare, . . .

John E. Smith’s Top Ten Learning Tools List (annotated): Continue reading

A Simple "Thank You" is Not Enough . . .

As some of you know, I have this little task to create over 20 separate PowerPoint decks with about 20 or more boards in each deck.  These decks will eventually be assembled into one “humongous” presentation.


Design and create visually interesting images that either convey a question clearly or display the answer in an engaging and correct way, using  the right pictures and single words.  Avoid bullet points and use animation to support the communication.

That’s a lot of work. Continue reading

PowerPoint ain’t dead yet . . .

Jon Thomas tweets as @story_jon and writes the Presentation Advisors blog.  He is one of my Trusted Experts for things about presentations and communication.  He combines a calm approach with dead-on thinking about how to most effectively get your points across and has a keen eye for the proper use of technology.

He recently mused about the misuse of PowerPoint leading to an undeserved negative reputation.  You can read the entire article and the many responses his thoughts  produced through this link:  When Will PowerPoint Die?  Continue reading