Learning & Development Professional Development Opportunities: Virtual & Central Ohio

This week is STACKED for professional development opportunities in Central Ohio and virtually. Here is my shortlist for the week:

Tuesday, August 13:


This event is held by the Human Resource Association of Central Ohio.  Jennifer McClure is a frequent guest on Catalyst Sale podcast hosted by my friend Mike Simmons. She has some exciting news to share about an event coming to Columbus and I’m sad I’ll be missing this event at the Boathouse. The event starts at 11:15AM ET and Jenn is hosting a personal brand workshop afterwards.

Building Knowledge Management-7 Tangible Steps to Creating a Culture of Peer to Peer Connection and Mentorship

This event is a Central Ohio ATD event and is our monthly program. Daniel James from Instructure is our presenter. I’ll be the webinar host and you should tune in because I have some super exciting announcements about future programming. This webinar starts at noon ET.

Wednesday, August 14:

TLDCast, the EMU Experience

Wednesday’s TLDCast is hosted by my friend Toddi Norum. I’m really interested in knowing what EMU means. Maybe I need to host a show called the CAMEL experience ūüôā This webinar starts at 11:00AM ET.

Personalization: Branding Your Learning Program(s)

This TrainingMagNetwork webinar features Allen Partridge. I really like this topic and I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say about how to brand learning programs. This webinar starts at noon ET.

Future of Work Networking Event, Sponsored by Desire2Learn

I’m super excited the kind folks at D2L reached out to Central Ohio ATD to host this event. All are welcome by kindly RSVP. Food and beverage are provided. This event starts at 6:00PM.

Thursday, August 15:


If you have an Association for Talent Development membership, this webinar looks like a good use of your time on Thursday. I enjoy hearing how others approach performance gaps.

Friday, August 16:

Learning and Development Mystery Series: The Case of the Disengaged Learner

I’m excited about giving this presentation for HRACO. This is version 3.0 of my presentation based on a literature review about learner engagement. This version will be tweaked one more time based on feedback to create my final Devlearn version. To see version 2.0 of this presentation, check out the TLDC conference archive.

Other Learning Opportunities:

Here are some of the things I’m listening to (when it’s not task playlists and The Jonas Brothers)

Make It Stick The Science of Successful Learning

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Hosted by my dear friend Jac Hutchinson

Kickstart for next week

Join me with the amazing Mike “The Toolman” Taylor on my monthly Learning Technologies show on TLDCast.

So what about you? What are you looking forward to this week? How are you going to continue to grow in your own learning? Sound off in the comments!

Read More

A Tools Faceoff! Google Slides VS Microsoft Powerpoint-Which is Best for Closed Captioning?

Did you know that Microsoft Powerpoint and Google Slides do live closed captioning during presentations? Last year was the first time I used the feature in a presentation and I’ve been hooked on using it ever since. Why?

  1. I talk fast sometimes.
  2. My southern accent comes out on certain words (pen, roof, pain). My husband’s favorite words to hear me say are “hill” and “ten”.
  3. Often times people may not be able to hear and miss out on key points.
  4. It’s helpful for English language learners to see subtitles.
  5. It can provide a more accessible experience for attendees
  6. It can provide a way for folks on a webinar to watch without audio.
  7. I think it makes me a better presenter as I’m not as likely to say silly things or sailor words while I have closed captioning on.

There are other benefits as well but those are some of the reasons I like to use it. I’ll never forget the magic of the first time I used this technique. Attendees wanted to know how I was doing the live closed captioning so, of course, I shared how I use Google Slides.

More About Google Slides Live Closed Captioning

I first became aware of Google Slides live closed-captioning in October of 2018. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to try it. Google Slides works on any type of system since it’s cloud-based. I also love the fact that it takes just two clicks to get it active. See it in action in the video below:

If you’d like to try it for yourself, here is a Google slides presentation for you.

Pros and Cons of Google Slides


  • Easy to use
  • Device agnostic
  • Keeps up with speaker pace for captioning


  • Only captions in English
  • Cannot save .txt file of captions
  • Audience cannot control the translation language

More About Microsoft Powerpoint Live Closed Captioning

Soon after I became aware of Google Slides closed-captioning, I learned about Microsoft Powerpoint offering the same service. Powerpoint offered new options such as letting the audience control the language they see and allowed presenters to download a text file of the captions. To use this, you have to use Microsoft 365 Powerpoint and download a plug-in that you must configure before you use. For a while, this only worked on a PC and didn’t work on a Mac. A few months ago they rolled it out to Macs too.

Once configured, you can choose from a few different languages it will live closed-caption including English, Spanish, and Chinese. Here’s where it gets a little bit complicated. Each presentation you use this on, you are given a code that is displayed as a URL in the presentation that audience attendees can go to and select the language they want to receive captioning in. I admit this feature is pretty robust as it supports more than 60 languages. This takes a bit of education on the part of the speaker for the audience to understand how to use it. Also, it requires the audience member to have a device in their hand to watch the closed-captions on. The presentation only supports one language closed captioning during the presentation (from the presenter’s screen).

Here is an example of how the subtitles look in presentation mode on a PC. You can see in the upper right-hand corner the URL to access local control of the subtitles.

It also looks different on a PC vs a Mac. Here are some screenshots I took from my PC:

Once the plug-in is enabled, you will access the captioning feature under the “Slide Show” option on the ribbon.
You have the option on PC to have this go in front of your title slide to encourage audience members to have control of the language captions on their own device. I did not see this option for a slide on the Mac version.
Here are some of the options for the way the closed captioning will be displayed in Powerpoint.

Want to see this in action on a Mac? Check it out!

Want to try it? Don’t forget you have to install this plug-in and be using Microsoft Office 365 Powerpoint. Here is a Powerpoint presentation for you to test it out.

Pros and Cons of Microsoft Powerpoint


  • Provides an option to mute the audience so it is only picking up primary speaker
  • Supports multiple languages for captioning
  • Saves captions as a text file for future captioning use


  • Doesn’t keep up with the speaker’s voice as quickly as Google Slides (in my experience)
  • Takes extra time to educate the audience about set-up and usage
  • Must install an extra plug-in, it isn’t native to the software.

Who wins the face-off? Ultimately it is up to you to determine which best fits your needs. I’m biased towards Google Slides but I appreciate the additional features in Powerpoint.

So there you have it, two tools you can use for live closed-captioning. Let me know if you’ve used these features before in the comments below.

Read More

It Started With A Tweet (#ISWAT) How to be more representative in stock art

I love social media, especially Twitter. I was a relatively late adopter but joined Twitter in 2016 after attending a session for Central Ohio ATD by Mike Taylor. In this session, Mike talked about the value of Twitter for professional development. Fast forward to today and Twitter has helped me grow my network and gain knowledge and skills to make me a better L&D professional. For me, Twitter is my version of golfing, having coffee, and going out to lunch with my peers. Twitter gives me instant access to learning and development professionals all around the world. I’m able to ask questions and learn from them and with them.

This kicks off a series I’ll be publishing on Wednesdays called It Started With a Tweet or #ISWAT. I hope to share the conversation and some additional tips and resources. In this inaugural blog, I am going to dive into a huge problem: lack of diversity in stock art for design.

It Started With a Tweet…

I posted this out of frustration as I looked for a photo of leadership. All I saw were men. Smiling white men. I thought I couldn’t be the only person who had this problem so here is how the conversation unfolded.

Joe has a great point here. It reminds me of a situation that Sean Hickey and I had a few years ago where a stakeholder told us that using diverse names can confuse test takers. Luckily, someone else fought that battle for us.

I’ve sent a direct message to both Tricia and Judy to see if they have any resources posted I can link to from their session.

There are so many jokes I could make here but I’ll let someone else do that for me.

Stop what you are doing right now and connect with Amy. I met her at the Association for Education Communications and Technology conference last year and I have learned so much from her. She shares great resources about accessibility and inclusiveness. She also has a great point here, why do so many stock art examples not show real life?

Yes, yes, and YES!!!!

These photos have a Creative Commons license and I love this snippet from their website:

Stock photos that accompany articles do more than illustrate subject matter. They have the power to shape perceptions of entire communities. When used critically, they can chip away at harmful stereotypes, pushing more accurate perceptions and understandings to the fore.


YES! We should be having these conversations and asking vendors to be more inclusive. In this conversation, there was a vendor that someone else called out for their lack of diversity in their stock art. The vendor responded by acknowleding the issue and sharing their committment to resolve it.

So what are some ways you can be part of the solution to make learning and development artifacts more inclusive?  Here are some tips:

Use ROYGBIV for skin colors:

ROYGBIV is an easy way to remember the colors in a spectrum. It’s also a fun and easy way to take the emphasis off of race of characters. You are more likely to do this with vector images. My pal Jonathan Rock and co-worker Casey Rinehart have done this successfully in recent eLearning. Casey created a lunchroom scene where the kids had green, purple, and pink skin. It was well done and didn’t distract from the content of the module.

Create your own stock art/library:

I know this can be hard to do on a limited clock and budget but hear me out. If you take the time to re-work a vector to have different skin color or if you find a free-use stock image that is representative, hoard it! Treasure it. SHARE IT WITH THE COMMUNITY! We all have a responsibility to be part of the solution here and I know I’m not the only L&D Gollum scooping all those links and resources shared on social media.


I actually mentioned this idea at Learning Solutions in March this year during the Guild for Good meeting as something that would be a great project for the community. It’s that important that if we all do a little, we can make a big impact

Know where to go:

Here are some great places not mentioned yet to get started:

Nappy, Beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people.

Women of Color in Tech,Images of women and non-binary people of color in tech that are free for use with proper attribution (#WOCinTechChat)

Lean In Collection, a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them

Hexatar, a flat icon avatar maker

If you found value in this post and/or you’d like to add some resources, feel free to leave a comment below or share using the #ISWAT. Let’s continue the conversation and continue to grow as a community.

Read More

Where to Find Me In 2018!



I am so blessed to say that 2017 has been the best year of my career.  Here is where I can be found in 2018!

January-April 2018

  • Applied Instructional Design, online graduate course at The Ohio State University.¬† This is the 2nd level of instructional design courses offered in OSU’s College of Education and Human Ecology.¬† I am serving as a practitioner mentor, meaning that I provide students feedback and help guide them in the instructional design process.¬† Students also have the option to work with real clients on real instructional design projects.¬† I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be a part of this.¬† The course’s professor is Dr Ana-Paula Correia
  • I’m also enrolled in two courses:¬†Scholarly Perspectives in Learning Technologies &¬†Learning Technologies Diffusion, Innovation, and Change.¬† These are my first two brick and mortar classes since 2014.¬† It will take some getting used to physically going to class and let’s face it, Jan-March in Columbus can be a brutal time to be outside.



  • ¬†Ohio Educational Technologies Conference¬†Columbus, OH February 13-15, 2018.¬† I’m doing a solo presentation, a presentation with work colleagues, and a presentation with my research group.



  • Learning Dev Camp¬† Salt Lake City, Utah June 11-14, 2018.¬† I’ll be presenting and tweeting up a storm ūüôā
  • EdMedia¬†Amsterdam, Netherlands June 25-29, 2018.¬† Hoping to present and of course being a typical tourist.



  • ATD Chapter Leader Conference October 11-13, 2018.¬† Arlington, VA
  • AECT 2018¬†Association for Education Communications and Technology.¬† Kansas City, MO. October 23-27, 2018



Read More

Where to Find Me The Rest Of The Year!




The last part of my year is filling up quickly so here are some places to find me if you want to hear me speak or see me in the flesh ūüôā


  • July 25, 2017. Ohio Association of Career Technical Educators (Ohio ACTE). ¬†Columbus, Ohio. ¬†WebXam Updates: End-of-Course Testing. ¬†Co-presenting with Brooke Parker and Richard Huggins. ¬†Connections to Education Conference
  • July 31, 2017. Ohio Association Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences (OATFACS). ¬†Columbus, Ohio. ¬†WebXam Preparing Students Through Classroom Assessment. Co-presenting with Brooke Parker. ¬†Impact 2017: New Courses, New Opportunities


  • ¬†August 22, 2017. Ohio Podcasters Monthly Meetup. Columbus, Ohio. ¬†So We Started A Podcast: Lessons Learned and Live Show. Co-presenting with Joseph Suarez. ¬†Columbus Ohio Podcasters Meetup



  • October 5-7, 2017. ¬†Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) and Ohio Association for Adult and Continuing Education (OAACE) Regional Conference. Cleveland, Ohio. Speaking proposal pending¬†Building Your Brand Using Social Media. Regardless, I will be attending this conference.
  • October 23-26, 2017. Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). New Orleans, Louisana. Tentatively attending¬†(I am working towards my Credentialing Specialist Certificate and if I earn it, there is a recognition ceremony at this conference). ICE


  • November 3-5, 2017. District 40 Toastmasters International. ¬†Lawrenceburg, Indiana. ¬†Social MEdia: Cultivating Your Personal Learning Network and Extending the Virtual Handshake¬†(Educational Session). D40 Website
  • November 6-11, 2017. The Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT). Jacksonville, Florida. ¬†Evaluation of the Duolingo English Test: Implications for K-12 English Language Learners (ELL).¬†Pending conference journal publication and first authorship. ¬†Co-presenting with Anna Leach, Natalie Gintert, Tim Nunn, and Dr. Ana-Paula Correia. ¬†Roundtable discussion


Nothing planned yet.


On The Horizon:

  • Instructional Redesign Podcast. ¬†Co-hosting with Joseph Suarez. Launching soon I promise!!
  • January 29-30, 2018. The Training Learning and Development Conference. ¬†Phoenix, Arizona. ¬†Registration confirmed. ¬†http://tldc18.com
  • June 11-14, 2018. ¬†Learning Dev Camp. Salt Lake City, Utah. ¬†I plan on submitting a speaking proposal once the conference website is up. ¬†Conference Website



Read More