Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Before Making that Donation

Before you make your holiday and year-end donations, make sure that the money you are sharing to strengthen the world is really going to do that--and not line someone's pockets.

In his November 21 column in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof warns about "When Donations Go Astray," identifies some poster children for charities that purport to help people but, in the end, might not be, and suggests sites donors can visit to check on charities of interst.

BTW--I was pleased that one of my favorite charities, the American Jewish World Service ( was lauded by Kristof for doing what it says it will do--and doing good work.

View Kristof's comments at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Copyright Dos and Don'ts

Instructors: are you wondering whether you will be able to freely copy materials for your students under Canada's proposed new copyright law?

iPod, iPhone, and iPad users: are you wondering whether you'll be able to legally make backups of your media?

And copier-sharers: are you wondering what types of fines you might face if you get caught?

Then check out Separating copyright facts from fiction (, in the Toronto Star, in which Ottawa University professor Michael Geist, Canada's resident expert on copyright, explores answers to these and 3 other questions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

CSTD Thought Leader Presentation

Last winter, the planners of the 2010 CSTD Conference asked me to give a "Thought Leader" presentation.  Although my ego was boosted by the invitation, my mind was a bit flummoxed, as the conference planners let me choose the topic.   So someone considers me a thought leader, but about what  no one has any idea.

Of course, the planners wanted a topic soon after inviting me so I made up something broad and general--staying relevant--hoping that clarity would hit me as I actually prepared the presentation.

That was last spring, when I was finishing up my sabbatical and immersed in data from others' and my studies that paint a startlingly different view of the current state of training than is generally acknowledged.  That data points to a training system in which employers are increasingly less invested in developing their employees and in which workers assume the balance of the investment--that is, if they want to remain employed.

Although the situation scares me a bit, I also see a lot of opportunity for training professionals, although much of that opportunity will be outside of the employer-provided network of trainers.  I also think that this situation can empower workers to take more control of their own careers.  That, in turn, can lead to more satisfying careers.  But I think that we also need a system that provides that support and, as far as I can tell, no such system really exists.

At least, not yet.

The result was a presentation about whose technical content I feel quite secure.  But I had no idea how others would react to the presentation.

The e-Learning Guy posted the first reaction online and it's generally positive. 
I'm anxiously awaiting the official survey responses to get a sense of how the rest of the audience felt.

A copy of the visuals is provided here, though I'm not sure that, on their own, they fully deliver the message.

CSTD Research-to-Practice Day

I hosted the second CSTD Research-to-Practice Day this year.

Responses generally seem positive.

Check out this thorough review by the e-Learning Guy at:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Professional Memberships--Fees Worth Paying

As part of its series, "Beat the Fees," Toronto Star reporter Chris Carter identifies 10 that are actually worth paying.

Among them:
10. Professional fees

Paying an annual fee to belong to a professional organization in your career field can provide valuable networking, educational or information-sharing opportunities. It also looks good as a résumé item.
See the entire list of fees worth paying at