Inspiration and Fun and Music and Mindmaps

My friend, Chief Learning Rebel Shannon Tipton (@stipton on Twitter), recently blogged about The Mystery of Inspiration.

Here is my real-life inspiration, typos and all, via a conversation Shannon and I are having on Twitter right now:

Me:  It’s #DanceDay Friday….first up: Little Red Corvette by Prince.

Shannon: mind map to raspberry beret.

Me: mind map to 99 red ballons

Shannon: mind map to Red, Red Wine

Me: mind map to Heaven is a Place on Earth

Shannon: the ultimate mind map Stairway to Heaven

Shannon (she cheated and got in THREE while I was in a meeting….harrumph): mind map knocking on heavens door.

Shannon (yet again): Magic Carpet Ride

Me (finally my turn): We’ve Only Just Begun by Karen Carpenter #MindMapSongs


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Best Advice I’ve Received

“Dear phone, it’s not you…it’s me. I love you, but I need you to leave my bedroom.” ~Arianna Huffington

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Why Do I Get Dolls and Boys Get Action Figures?

Why do girls play with dolls while boys get to play with action figures?

The difference is subtle but powerful.



The words we use shape our thoughts, dreams, and our reality:

Belinda Parmar, founder of Little Miss Geek, shared this graphic during her closing keynote speech at DevLearn 2014.

Belinda Parmar, founder of Little Miss Geek, shared this graphic during her closing keynote speech at DevLearn 2014.


According to

A doll is a small figure representing a baby or other human being, especially for use as a child’s toy.

Doll is slang for: (a)  a pretty but expressionless or unintelligent woman; (b) a girl or woman, especially one who is considered attractive; (c) a boy or man who is considered attractive; (d) an affectionate term of address, as to a child or romantic partner (sometimes offensive when used to subordinates, especially by a male to a female).

An action figure is a toy figure with jointed, movable limbs, representing a character in a cartoon, movie, etc., or a real person or animal, often one known for exciting action or extraordinary powers.

From Neil deGrasse Tyson's keynote speech at DevLearn 2014.

From Neil deGrasse Tyson’s keynote speech at DevLearn 2014.


These words are the invisible molds that shape how we see ourselves and others.

Links to videos:
Neil deGrasse Tyson:
Belinda Parmer:


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Mobile Informal Learning: Sis-in-Law Needs Help Please

Hi everyone,

My sister-in-law Allison…well, she and my brother divorced, but it was an amicable …is getting her PhD in Human Resource Development from the University of Illinois.

She’s at the dissertation stage, and interested in informal mobile learning in the workplace, and she needs your help. In her own words:

I want to do my dissertation on mobile learning. There are a lot of avenues to pursue, but right now I’m leaning toward mobile, informal learning in the workplace. Evaluation is an interest and it would be really cool to know how organizations are accessing / tracking formal and informal m-learning.
But here is the catch: I really don’t know that many people working for companies that are doing much in this area. If they have m-learning, it’s very limited and their focus is all formal (like a responsive course that also runs on tablets). You have a crazy big network of L&D people, so I’m wondering if you know anyone who is doing anything in this space. I’d like to talk to them just to see what kinds of things they are doing and what challenges they grapple with.
Do you know people that you can put me in touch with? I would be forever grateful.

Can you help Allison? Please?

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10 Things Instructional Designers – Well, Me Anyway – Don’t Like to Hear

not-hear-2862309_640Every week, Dave Anderson of Articulate poses a different e-learning challenge. This week, the challenge is “10 Things Instructional Designers Hate to Hear“. Click the link to read the essences of the challenge.

Off the top of my head, here is my list:

  1. No, you don’t need the SME’s contact information. Everything you need is in that 495 page PDF I just placed at your desk.
  2. When? How long do you think you need to just make that 495 page PDF on your desk into a course? I could do it in a day! (and I’m always thinking…fine, you do it then).
  3. Talk to the actual users? Why? That 495 page PDF on your desk tells you everything you need to know in order to train them.
  4. Of COURSE we need a course! If we just emailed a job aid, how can we tell they actually learned everything in the 495 page PDF on your desk?!?
  5. Yes, I agree you should probably touch on what they need to do with this information. But the really interesting stuff is the first 490 pages of the PDF on your desk describing the history of everything.
  6. Can you dress up the course with some pictures or clip art…you know, those string people? I couldn’t figure out how to include them in that 495 page PDF on your desk.
  7. Why do we need a kick-off meeting with the SMEs, actual users, and everyone? Everyone already knows you’re going to take the information in that 495 page PDF that’s gathering dust on your desk.
  8. I know you just finished turning that 495 page PDF document into a course, but I just learned from the SME that was an obsolete document. You’ll need to start over with this 1023 page PDF.
  9. Soft copy? Of the 1023 page PDF? Why do you need a soft copy of anything? Can you just copy and paste?
  10. Oh yeah, we’ve just decided that people need to pass quizzes at the end of each of the 50 chapters in that 1023 page PDF. You can just whip that up tonight, right?
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