#TECHdate with Ashton Kutcher

Thanks everyone for your help! I have been very fortunate enough to get tickets to the Lenovo Ashton Kutcher event in Sydney tomorrow! Thanks so much Internet Chef! I promise to tweet and instagram the event so make sure you follow me! #kirtTECHdate

To follow the event follow #TECHmyway #INSPIREmyway

I am surprised the response I received from people when I say that I am seeing Ashton Kutcher talk about TECH innovation. Most people go, ‘THE Ashton Kutcher’, like there are others!

I understand that he is well known for his acting and pranks, but he is also a product engineer for Lenovo and a bit of a start up guru. Looking forward to seeing the new Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro tomorrow!

To dot point or not to dot point?

I had a client yesterday ask the question, ‘Why am I using dot points and not numbering?’. Today I was asked the same question in an Instructional Design forum.

I prefer using dot points to full paragraphs because:

  • it is cleaner and simpler for the learner
  • it creates white space
  • it only provides the learner with the information that they need.

puzzledWhen should we use dot points? Dot points should be used when you need to list items, ideas, fragements of sentences or concepts in no particular order.

Numbering on the other hand should be used wehn you need to demonstrate a sequence or process; for example when showing a process or procedure, an agenda, or legislation.

It begs a bigger question though. Are dot points an effective tool for engaging learners? When used correctly they are a great way to organise content and increase readability. However, Instructional Designers do tend to misuse and overuse dotpoints.

Here are some creative ways to reduce dot points:

  • rewrite as a question and allow the narration to answer the question
  • shorten bullet points from full sentences to a phrase or even a word
  • use one bullet point per slide
  • use an image, graphic, chart or animation in place of each bullet.

For more examples go to eLearning Heroes.



The opposite of NETwork is NO work!

A part of any job whether it be a start up, freelance or even working for a corporation is networking. These days there are so many ways to network whether it be face to face, virtual (Skype, webconferencing) or via social media (Facebook, LinkedIn).

So what characteristics makes a great networker?


Characteristics of a great networker as reflected by Jimmy Fallon:

  1. sincere
  2. genuinely interested
  3. positive
  4. enthusiastic
  5. team player
  6. humble
  7. confident
  8. current
  9. respectful
  10. thankful


Or according to Entrepreneur:

  1. ask insightful questions
  2. add value
  3. learn ‘their’ story
  4. share a memorable fact
  5. keep a list
  6. make small promises and keep them
  7. reward your ‘power contacts’

What are you doing to build your networks?


Creatively organised

I find it hard when I am in a creative burst, particularly when I am in ‘dream big’ phase to keep my thoughts ordered. I have recently discovered Trello. A fantastic list/organisation tool. It is fairly generic and can be used in a multitude of ways. I have separate boards for work and home, but you could create particularly boards for each of your projects!


It’s also really useful to use for group projects as you can share boards with colleagues or family members! There are also mobile apps so that you can use Trello on the go!


Acting on my principles

I probably haven’t shared to much about my work. I am an Instructional Designer which means I live and breathe, design, educational theories and engagement.



But I truly believe that without an engaging design and familiar but exciting user interface, educational theories and instructional design principles mean nothing. Hence I am an avid fan of Dieter Rams, know for his innovative designs in the 1950s and 1960s.


Dieter developed 10 rules for good design.


They are something I always try to follow when designing learning experiences.

Humble, proud, rebellious or conservative; the paradox of creativity

creativity_is_boundless_by_pixelnase1This blog is dedicated to creativity in all its forms, dreams and goals and achieving success.

But when I talk about creativity and creative people, what do I mean?

Research by Mihaly states there are 10 contradictory personality traits of a creative person.

1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.

2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.

3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.

4.Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.

9.Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.

You can read more here.

Science and art merge!

colour-finger-1440x900Colour for every creative is so important. Whether you be a fashion designer, artist, writer, poet, sculptor or any other creative dreamer, colour plays a tremendous part.

A neuroscientist in the US, Beville Conway, has studied the relationship between neuroscience and colours. Imagine studying colour for a living!

His studies have value for artists and designers alike as he unpacks the neural properties of emotion. The article can be read here.

Maybe your dream will include science and art?

Unleash the storm within

I have seen Frozen a number of times. It is one of the most progressive Disney productions I have ever seen.

Elsa has the most incredible creative talent; that can also be her curse. She can turn things to snow and ice. In the movie she banishes herself to the mountains so that she won’t hurt anyone. In this isolation she explores her gift and learns to master it.

Creativity is just the same; it can be a double edged sword.  But do you want to go through life without knowing what you are capable of?

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Crash course on finding your dream job!

2-minutesDick Bolles has just written an article on how to find your dream job/career in 2 minutes!

He says ask yourself these 10 questions and you will know what makes you come alive!

  1. What kinds of problems do you most like to solve?
  2. What kinds of questions do you most like to help people find answers to?
  3. What knowledge of yours do you most like to display, to other people?
  4. What are your favorite hobbies or interests?
  5. What are your favorite words, that you most like to be tossing around, all day?
  6. What’s your definition of ‘a fascinating stranger’?
  7. What newspaper or magazine articles do you most love to read?
  8. What Internet sites do you most often gravitate to?
  9. If you watch TV, and it’s a ‘game show,’ which categories do you hope the contestant will pick?
  10. If you could write a book, and it wasn’t about your own life or somebody else’s, what would be the subject of the book?

What career or job have you dreamt up by answering these questions?

Share your responses!