In the first week of 2017, we officially unveiled a complete redesign of our website. The process was very much a team effort, with input from just about everyone in the company. The heavy lifting, though, was done by three members of our design/programming team: Rick Carruth, Joe Payton, and Tim Spencer.
THE OBSIDIAN BLOG
Obsidian is skilled at creating a blended learning road map that guides the development of the right learning to engage a community around key topics, strategically scheduled to shorten the time to competency.
If I had to narrow down 2016 to one lesson learned, I think it would have to be the importance of failure in learning. Failure seemed to be an overarching theme, and in the best possible way. This is why...
Did you know that a lot of people hate PowerPoint? I didn’t realize how many until Penn Jillette made an offhand remark during the Q&A session that followed his hugely entertaining talk on "The Magic of Storytelling and Learning" at DevLearn 2016. David Kelly asked Jillette what he thought about PowerPoint…and Jillette responded that "PPT is destroying our culture." Like many in the crowd, my immediate, visceral response was to clap and holler….but then I started to think about it a bit more.
Happy New Year! It was a busy, productive 2016 at Obsidian Learning, and before we dive into new learning adventures in 2017, I’m taking stock of what I learned in 2016, who I learned it from, and how I hope to apply it in my work over the coming year. The learning personalities listed below have blogged, presented, and/or written about things that I have personally found useful, thought-provoking, and that I hope to be more conscious of when designing learning in 2017.
Recently I attended the AACE conference on eLearning in Washington, D.C. It was a great event, if far more academically focused and therefore more reserved than some of the flashier, more commercial conferences we attend. On the first morning, we had a keynote address by Marc Prensky of the Global Future Education Foundation & Institute about Problem-Based Learning (PBL). With great enthusiasm, he extolled the virtues of learning through problem solving, explaining that we should be raising our kids to grapple with the question: How Can I Make the World Better? Rather than just delivering content for later accomplishment, we should allowing our students to accomplish while getting educated.
Last week I attended the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) E-Learn 2016 conference in Washington, D.C. My colleague Shannon Hart and I were there to present our paper on blended learning (Victor & Hart, 2016), which is based on the white paper Obsidian published earlier this year, with the addition of case study of a solution we developed for one of our clients.
Developing guides from PowerPoint presentations is a time-consuming process. You can convert presentations to Word documents, but this usually results in inconsistent layouts and formatting - requiring developers to spend extra time adjusting formatting and image sizes. Manually developing classroom guides is a tedious process that is susceptible to errors. Wouldn't it be great if you could automate the process of converting PowerPoints to effective instructor and learner guides?
We've been proud sponsors of the Houston chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) for several years. And now, as we build our presence in the midwestern U.S., we're pleased to announce that we are Silver Sponsors of the St. Louis chapter.
We were approached by a global Fortune 500 construction company seeking to revamp some key leadership training. The audience of senior project managers is accountable for the success of very large-scale construction efforts. Time spent away from their projects is at a premium, and as a result many site managers have received little formal training. The existing curriculum consisted of a two-week long instructor-led course during which a rotating slate of guest speakers gave PowerPoint-based lectures.
A recent post on LinkedIn by Anne Taylor, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner at Deloitte, in which she reflected on her participation in Deloitte’s 17th annual Impact Day and corporate volunteerism in general, struck me as a potent reminder of the numerous benefits that community service offers to all involved. "Business as usual" marks a win-win relationship for the company and the client; with the addition of a community service component, company employees and charitable organizations are implicated in the winnings as well.