Ted Talk- “This is what happens when you reply to spam email”

A Ted talk to lighten your day: James Veitch: This is what happens when you reply to spam email. I usually recommend deeper technical or data oriented TED talks. This one is fun and good place to start with TED talks.

Ben Wellington: How we found the worst place to park in New York City — using big data

This is an excellent Ted talk about open data, gives practical examples and raises the need for consistent standards for data provided by Government.

There is a follow on discussion needed here about government making data public and in a form where the public can explore it and draw their own conclusions and effectively debate and discuss government plans and proposals.

If you follow this talk back to Ted, you will find a whole set of Data related talks, I recommend the one by Amy Webb.


Sharing Information vs Knowledge is Power

Watching the Ted Talk: “Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge” started me thinking about the issues he discusses for the perspective of SharePoint trainer, a trainer and an ex public servant.

A major of theme of this talk is that “the organisation will benefit from ready access to information“.  The burned out leftie in me would extend this to “Society will benefit from ready access to information“. But for the moment lets think organisation.

One of the major potential advantages of SharePoint is to allow exchange of information across silos. For this to happen, site owners and admins need to think about permissions in terms of the organisation not just the unit or  silo they are in. If read access to content is based on the silo and reflect management structure not need or community of interest, then no benefits are gained from collaboration. Wheels are reinvented, mistakes are repeated, solutions and troubleshooting tips are not exchanged.

There are a lot of business cultural assumptions to overcome in sharing. I often get comments that as a trainer I am “giving away all my secrets” or that my YouTube channel is “giving it away for free”. In the modern world however, my secrets are not just mine. Microsoft and Adobe and third parties invest a great deal of effort in distributing information about how to use their products in every medium possible. So my “secrets” can be easily found.  This sharing by these firms makes “Knowledge is Power” obsolete and has a business benefit -Support has a cost – so organisations will use software and other tools with support resources widely available.

I can concentrate on massaging this information to give you context and value but secret it is not. Sharing what I learn also has other values for my little business.

There are other issues raised by this talk, this is just one angle.


Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces

If I had the time I’d be a font geek. One of the Create Cloud features I enjoy most is the access to fonts.

Well, maybe I am a font geek after all. I enjoyed this talk by the man who designed Verdana.

In this Ted Talk, Michael Carter talks about the design of fonts to both achieve a purpose and address the limits of the available technology (eg for phone books or early PC screens).

As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Having spent much of my working life working in or for large organisations, and having seen informal processes develop to get around blockages and conflict and the curse of the “silo”, I post this TED talk. I think the theory is good, but I can see large organisations having massive cultural barriers preventing it.

MOOC and the changing nature of end user IT Training

This TED Talk  is by Anant Agarwal on  MOOCs (massive open online courses) and their impact on conventional education. I think we should take 15 minutes and listen to this talk with the future of end-user IT Training in mind.

One of the big features of end-user IT training at present is the decline in standardised scheduled classroom courses. Prepackaged online training videos are one of the tools that is replacing conventional courses. Its cheap, standardised and is of some use to the end-user. These cheaper options lack interactivity and are as a result not as effective. The replacement for the old scheduled course must include interactivity with the software, other students and the trainer.

Some training providers are moving to using Adobe Connect and Lync to provide online training. It is an important step, but only a first one. I think the future replacement of a conventional scheduled course is more along the lines of a MOOC.

Please watch this talk and comment.


Recommended TED Talk: James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime — and what you can do about it

Folks, this is an excellent presentation for a non IT Audience on IT security issues. Good clear non technical language, clear analogies, demonstrations  and examples. I particularly like that James covers Social Engineering and Browser based attacks.

Well worth the 17 minutes!

After watching the video see the discussion here: http://www.ted.com/talks/james_lyne_everyday_cybercrime_and_what_you_can_do_about_it.html

Willful Blindness Ted Talk – To make you think

While this talk is focused on social and political issues, this theme is relevant to addressing change and problems in business and personal relationships.

Well worth the time. Video after the fold Continue reading “Willful Blindness Ted Talk – To make you think”

Standardisation vs Custom, Curiosity Driven

This talk by Sir Ken Robinson questions a lot of the givens in current approaches to Education.

I see parallels in Workplace Training, with  scheduled courses, standardised material and presentations, every course the same vs Every course is custom, emphasis varies based on questions raised, varying the session to address solving actual problems.

Is the future all custom courses?

I think the future is here now and it raises some issues I will discuss in upcoming posts


Amanda Palmer on Asking

I am recommending this TED talk for two reasons (i) Amanda presents an alternative to conventional business models and (ii) It is just a really effective presentation.

I will be recommend  this and the Amy Cuddy TED talk as examples of effective presentations in my PowerPoint courses – any of the TED talks are worth studying to improve presentation technique beyond PowerPoint.

I know every business presentation can’t be like this – but why not just a little bit?

Watch one, Learn something today


PS last few minutes includes an image that in certain cultures may be NSFW. Its a sad world where there is a need for this disclaimer.

Changing Models of Learning Delivery – Opening Post

Last Sunday, I found this talk by Sugata Mitra, one aspect of which is the nature of the current western school model and how children can learn.  Sugata raises an alternative model for educating children, especially in poor communities, but applicable anywhere. After the video I am going to segue this post into training adults in office IT skills, but to get you thinking please watch and learn from Sugata first.  Please also read his TED profile and visit the links to more information there.

I think there is a good community service project in the IT training industry supporting the Hole-in-the-wall project. I will return to that thought in a future post.

While I don’t expect us to be setting up hole in the all learning PCs in the work environment (adults aren’t as adventurous as children – but is there a place for resources the inquiring minds can dive into?) there are strong parallels between the traditional classroom for children and conventional scheduled IT courses for adults in the workforce.

Now I’d if you are a trainer, or training provider I’d like you:

  1. Watch the above talk
  2. Go and sit under a tree and have a think.

I am working on a draft of a post about my take on changes taking place in the training marketplace and the shift to custom/ad hoc/on site training.

More Soon.