DevLearn 2017 – Day 2 Recap

I’m at DevLearn all week long, so I’ll be recapping each day/session I attend.

Morning Buzz: Building a Partnership With SMEs – Ashley Chiasson

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Keynote: Technology and Storytelling: Making a Difference in the Digital Age – LeVar Burton

DO I EVEN HAVE TO TELL YOU WHO LEVAR BURTON IS?! Star Trek…Reading Rainbow?! GET IT TOGETHER, FOLKS! I cannot explain how excited I am for this session. SO EXCITED! Look at all those capitals and exclamation points!

It is difficult for one to reach their full potential without being able to read in at least one language – LeVar Burton

LeVar kicks off his session by explaining that he believes literacy paves the way for lifelong learning – and he is so true. He explains that the definition of literacy needs to continue to evolve. STEM and STEAM are more well-rounded approaches to educate our children. They need a broad range of literacy.

He wants to take STEAM one step further by including Reading, STREAM. LeVar is an incredible force to promote literacy, and he self-identifies as a storyteller. He genuinely believes that storytelling has the power to fuel children’s development. He explains that it is our imagination that allows use to conceptualize, devise, and design any invention that has ever propelled us in our human journey!

Star Trek should be viewed as paving the way for the world in which we live. The Enterprise had iPads before we did, and Apple should be paying them residuals!

I cannot get over how fantastic LeVar is at presenting…which seems like an odd statement toward someone who self-identifies as a storyteller, but I’m immersive in everything he’s telling us! He explains that his mother passed away a month ago, but whenever he has the opportunity to speak her name in public, he does. She was instrumental in allowing him to reach his full potential in life. She had standards and consequences if you did not meet those standards. She had hopes, expectations, and dreams for LeVar because she knew the power of being educated. His mother taught him there were no limits in terms of what he did with his life, expect the limits he self-imposed.

There are some stories that can impact the trajectory of society! Roots shifted the frame of reference about slavery in America.

He explains that we’re only just beginning to learn how technology can impact education in today’s generation, so he has reimagined Reading Rainbow for today’s children by creating Skybrary School, which can be tailored to individual classroom needs. He wants to meet his audience where they are – smart!

He closes with an exercise: close your eyes for 30 seconds and think about a teacher or someone who saw your potential before you did, and helped you become the person you are today. Who was that person for you?

Session 1: Changing the Face of UI Design for eLearning – Melissa Milloway

Mel has a PACKED house! Giiiiiiiiirl. I love your very respectable numbers, and you don’t sound like you’ve consumed too much coffee, so you’re doing great! AND YOU’RE ON CAMERA – CRUSHING IT!

Mel’s session kicks off with some Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope, so obviously it’s going to be amazing. She talks about the difference between UX and UI, provides us with some Ryan Gosling getting therapy because of the Papyrus font:


And now everyone will start to see the papyrus font in EVERYTHING. In the sketch, Gosling laments the fact that there seemed to be no design thinking when the folks who created Avatar chose the font they were going to use.

April Ludgate takes us into our UI design pet peeves. Mine is autoplay videos because I don’t need your videos foisted upon me. That and popup opt ins…which I know is a marketing strategy…but damnit, GET YOUR LIFE!

Other pet peeves:

  • Stock photos with watermarks
  • Ads with the fake Xs
  • BULLETS ARE TOO VERBOSE (and this wasn’t my submission)

After this exercise, she explains why it’s so important to have good UI: you want to earn  your learner’s trust that the training will be effective, you want to showcase your culture in order to build your culture, it allows you to focus on the content, it allows you to save resources, and it minimizes cognitive load.

Ron Swanson’s party dance takes us in to design systems, and Mel demos several examples of these, such as Trello’s Nachos design system. Mel really knows her stuff!

End Note

Mel’s concurrent session was the only one I attended today, because jet lag is really hitting me, and I wanted to take some time to really focus on preparing my presentation materials for tomorrow – it’s been awhile since I’ve given this one!

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