Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Game Design and UX Design are about Learning

I'm really looking forward to today's #TLDCast because I'll be hosting a book review of one of my favorite books: A Theory of Fun by Raph Koster.

Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a book for newbies in the world of training and/or L&D, this is my #1 recommendation.


Because Raph takes very complex neuroscience, cognitive psych, and other complex studies and applies them in a narrative of discovery. A journey into why some activities are fun and others are not.

In corporate spaces "fun" is often frowned upon. I believe that is the case because it is misunderstood. Fun is misinterpreted as the opposite of work.  Having fun can often times be very hard work.  And working hard is often fun.

But at the heart of the fun of games is learning. I've embedded this UX/UI presentation by Raph directly to his statements about learning. Click play and listen to about 3-5mins. If that doesn't intrigue you then you're done. But if it does, rewind to the beginning and watch the entire video.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

TLDCast Tuesday Topic is eLearning Projects

How Do You Manage eLearning Projects?

How many eLearning development projects are you currently working on? One? One hundred?

Many training departments are overwhelmed with eLearning projects that need to be delivered. The demand for content is growing as is the need for continuing professional development.

Today's #TLDCast conversation is about addressing these concerns. 

What is a TLDCast?

TLDCast is a live streaming collaborative conversation for the entire Training, and L&D industry. TLDCast will always be FREE as is the 24/7 TLDChat conversation occurring in slack.

It's not a webinar. It's a collaborative live streaming broadcast running Monday thru Friday 8am PT - 11am ET - 4pm UK. We've embedded the platform here for your viewing convenience, or you can participate at http://crowdcast.io/tldcast.

TLDC18 is coming up January 29th & 30th in sunny Phoenix Arizona. Join your training, and L&D colleagues for 2 full days of networking, learning, sharing, and fun! Contact me directly for a discount on your registration. Let me know you saw this post.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Congratulations TLDCast! Today is the 200th Episode for Training Learning and Development Professionals


Thanks to everyone who joined us today! Luis and I appreciate all of you. If you'd like to continue the TLDCast conversations, please join us in the slack group. #TLDChat will continue in slack making the connection between live streaming broadcast and text-based chat conversations.

TLDC18 January 29-30 Phoenix, AZ

We're also looking forward to seeing everyone in Phoenix January 29th, 30th for TLDC18!
It's the best for a professional development opportunity that you will find. Join us for TLDCast and ask others why they're going. You don't want to miss this!

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A Hero's Story that MUST be told!

This is my friend Alison Levine and her wonder dog, Trooper!

Alison is an amazing woman... for many reasons. You may even remember her keynote from DevLearn 2012 or hundreds of other events.

But Alison isn't the Hero in this story. She is doing what great leaders do,  and highlighting others...the unsung heroes. In this documentary, it's one special hero from Nepal that inspired a nation of women to be bold and break through the glass ceiling.

The indiegogo campaign is ending and the documentary still needs funds to become a reality. Please help make this movie happen. 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

TLDChat - Video Friday - Guest Brian Fanzo talks Live Streaming

Welcome to #TLDChat!

Today we are talking with the amazing Brian Fanzo, aka @iSocialFanz !

You can view it here or click the video screen below and login at crowdcast.io for the event. 

Be sure to get updates on future #TLDChat guest by signing up for the newsletter at TLDC.us     
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Monday, March 20, 2017

TLDChat - Another First for the L&D Industry

Last year we experimented with a daily live streaming show called L&D Talk. It was a fantastic experience, and convinced me that this crazy idea of daily live streaming was now possible. I've been thinking about this since my days in broadcast television back in the early '90s. The live streaming tech that exists today makes it possible within a simple interface. And we are looking forward to moving the L&D industry forward and seeing the future. But we are also focused on how you can do the work of training today and provide immediate business value.


There are many new apps, tools, services, launching in this space, but we've decided on Crowdcast.io to get us started. So far the tool has been wonderful. The Q&A and polling features are simple to use and add an interesting element to the conversation. The screen sharing is simple to use as well, and now that I have tested it I am looking forward to using it more often in unique ways.


#TLDChat is a part of the TLDC brand experience. TLDC is the Training Learning and Development C...: Community, Conference, and Chat. All aspects of the experience revolve around YOU, the members of the community. Technology has given us all the ability to organize more efficiently than ever before. TLDC is here to facilitate your success through interactivity with your peers and the experts the you want to hear from.

Rings of Focus

Are you familiar with the Rings of Focus yet? Maybe not. This is just one way that we looked at designing the TLDC experience. There are 5 rings: YOU in the center, Projects, Team, Organization, and Industry in the outer rings. These 5 areas make up the work in your career. You focus on yourself in order to produce great projects within teams for organizations or clients. You then have the ability to share key learnings and experiences within the industry as a part of giving back to the community that most likely helped you succeed. It always comes back full circle.

TLDC.us and TLDC.events

Check out TLDC.us to see a list of episodes and review the notes and archived recordings. If you want to participate in the live streaming conversation you can find us at TLDC.events.

The TLDCommunity is yours. Tell us what you want to discuss, learn, and share. We will figure out how to facilitate that for you. Because we probably want the same things. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Brent Schlenker Says Good Bye to Litmos!

The Big Idea

Today Litmos is announcing that I am no longer working as their Chief Learning Strategist.  We still plan to work together in the future, but currently have no specific plans to announce.

A Quick Look Back...

I remember meeting the Litmos founders via twitter back when they launched. And seeing them exhibit for the first time while I was Program Director for DevLearn was a highlight. I remember being so excited to finally see a SaaS based Learning Management System disrupt our industry. Of course today, just about all LMSs are SaaS based, but as far as I know Litmos was the first.

Litmos was acquired by Calliduscloud back in 2011 and I joined the growing team in 2014.  Up until that point I had experienced corporate training, and L&D, from just about every angle. As a practitioner that included instructional designer, eLearning & virtual reality developer, Director of Training, and other titles across different organizations like HR, logistics, manufacturing, IT, and corporate universities. My passion for technology as an early adopter and evangelist for what we called Learning2.0 launched my industry career beyond my corporate career as a practicing L&D professional which led to my role in programming DevLearn for 5 years.

Why Did I Work for Litmos?

The piece of our industry that I had not yet experienced, on the inside, was the vendor community. So, in 2014, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the vendor I saw disrupting the industry the most. I learned so much and enjoyed offering them leading industry knowledge, thought leadership, and playing a role in their tremendous growth. Through my industry presence blogging, being active in social media, presenting at events, and marketing campaigns, I provided Litmos visibility across many different channels giving them a voice, and face, in the larger community.

So, What's Up?

It's been a fantastic 3 years.  Experiences like this have given me a more complete picture of our L&D industry that is unique and valuable. I'm looking forward to taking this experience, and new vision of the future of training/learning into my next role. I'm grateful to the Litmos leadership team for the amazing opportunity. We plan on continuing our relationship while I continue to pursue opportunities helping other corporate training and L&D organizations optimize their training systems and processes.

As always, you can find me on twitter @bschlenker, or on snapchat as @schlearning. And my Facebook page is http://fb.com/brentschlenker .

Friday, March 03, 2017

Corporate Trainer as Knowledge Broker

I've often referred to the corporate training professional as a Knowledge Broker.  And not in the academic sense (Google it and you'll see what I mean), but in the framework of the corporate training profession. In all honesty, in the corporate setting that just seemed more closely aligned with what training professionals did on the job, and the value they provide to the business.
A Knowledge Broker connects those that have the knowledge with those that need the knowledge. - Brent Schlenker

The Knowledge Broker & Their Solutions

Designing and developing courses as solutions is only one part of the job. Actually some of your most valuable solutions to the business do not involve the creation of training content or courses. The Knowledge Broker has a much larger bag of solutions to choose from than the traditionally defined training professional. But don't get too caught up in the semantics of it all.  No matter what your job title is, thinking differently about how you provide value to the business is the ultimate goal.

"Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!"

It may seem over simplified, but here's the reality: Some employees HAVE the knowledge and other employees NEED the knowledge.  New employees, often overwhelmed, approach the training department looking for answers, for content, for training... but mostly just for help. And more often then not, just connecting the new hire with the subject matter expert is all they need to get started.  It's 1:1 training. And it's the most valuable thing you can do.
That may not sound like "your job", and that you didn't really do anything because you didn't design a solution. But I would argue that you did.  In fact, you designed the most elegant and, likely, most effective solution.
"A designer knows when he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Remember To Keep It Simple!

Remember to keep your solutions simple, and always look to add value to the business.  Part of your job as Knowledge Broker is simply being a matchmaker. Try adding Matchmaker to your toolkit of solutions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Remembering L&D Entrepreneur Leader Don Pierson

The L&D industry lost another member of the community last week. Don Pierson died in a car accident last Friday.  Read In Memory of Don Pierson here.

This month last year we lost Jay Cross who was such a visible and outspoken advocate for learning and development. But Don was not part of that side of our industry. He was a strong member of the Phoenix entrepreneur community and a builder of software products. He was part of the L&D vendor community. Most ISDs, and practitioners of training and eLearning, probably didn't know him. But many of you have used the products and services he's built for us over the years.

Don was a co-founder of Learning-Edge, and founder of Interactive Alchemy. Then went on to launch Flypaper which was acquired by Trivantis 3 years later. He then jumped outside of L&D, but not by much, and started a business that could track and predict sales performance based on activities (at least that's how I understood it.) He most recently joined the Indecomm team providing software services for some of the largest companies you can think of.

I met Don in 1997 when he hired me to work for him at Learning-Edge. That was my first experience working with a small company and the entire team he assembled was top notch. I was honored to be a part of that team. I didn't end up staying long, because I was just starting my family and Intel was pulling me back with offers I couldn't refuse. I was only there a year, but that year built many great relationships.

I lost touch with most of my Learning-Edge colleagues during my Intel years until I discovered the Interactive Alchemy offices a half mile down the street from my house. Then he and I met for lunch and he introduced me to his latest project, Flypaper. It was very cool! I was programming DevLearn at the time and I remember their first appearance in the expo...they had the coolest stickers. Those were the golden years of eLearning to be sure.

Don and I had just recently started meeting for lunches again and talking L&D.  I was actually looking forward to our next lunch today. I will miss him. And my heart goes out to all of his family and friends.

Don was a big part of the Phoenix startup community. StartupAZ #yesphx has created a memorial fund in his name that will support the StartupAZ Foundation. Please consider giving a small donation in his honor. http://startupaz-donpierson.strikingly.com/

Friday, August 26, 2016

Video Friday - Scoping Video Projects for eLearning

Today we're joined by the President of Cine Learning Productions, Diane Senffner, for a fantastic discussion about all things Video Learning!

You can find out more about Diane and Cine Learning Productions at: http://CineLP.com/

Some fun tangents videos we referenced:

Keep this conversation going on LinkedIn:

Also chime in with your 140 characters of comments on Twitter!

...And we'll see you here every weekday at 8am Pacific / 11am Eastern