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 🙂 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!

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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.

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