Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's my DevLearn 2013 session about anyway?

It's conference time again, and you know what that means... trying to figure out if sessions are right for you based only on a paragraph or two of description! Now that sounds easy, doesn't it?

Oh wait. No it doesn't.

Anyway, to do my part to make the choices a bit easier for DevLearn attendees, I thought I'd do my usual summary post to give all of you a bit more info on what to expect from my session.

What is it & when it is happening?
My session is Not Just For Superheroes: Exploring Comics Through Learning and it's taking place on Thursday from 1:15-2:15pm (I haven't heard yet what room it'll be in. I'll update this as soon as I know).

What's it going to be about?
As usual, the session description is delightfully accurate.

Comics and graphic novels are an engaging and immersive way of communicating information and stories, but not one that we often see used much within learning and development here in North America. Personally, I think we're missing out on a great tool, which is why I decided to talk about how we can use comics effectively for learning.

More specifically, I'll be covering the following main topics:

These topics will help you think about how you can use comics yourself. First, I’ll show you examples of the specific ways comics have been used as a learning tool, often with examples you can easily pick up and read on your own. Then I’ll discuss some basic rules and tips to consider when you go about writing and drawing your own comics. Finally, I’ll touch on tools that everyone can use to handle the visual aspects of making comics. And yes, I realize that not everyone in the audience will be a trained artist, so we’ll discuss tools and ideas for every level of comfort with drawing, from people who have been drawing for years to people who couldn't draw a stick figure if their life depended on it.

Who's the right audience for this session?
Do you love storytelling and are looking for new ways of doing it? Do you have large amounts of dense content you want to distill down to the essentials? Do you have scenarios and case studies that just aren't cutting it in text form? Do you want the immersiveness of video but just don't have the budget? Do you need a training solution that works well on mobile?

Well, then this is the session for you!

Also, this is a great session to check out if you don't have a sense of how comics could fit into L&D, or if you already love comics and need to build a business case for how you can use them at work.

Do I have to already "get" comics in order to enjoy this session?
Not at all. This session will make sense to you even if you haven't read a comic since the Sunday strips you might have enjoyed as a kid. I planned this talk so that it would be useful for anyone, regardless of their experience (or lack thereof) with comics.

If I'm already a huge comics geek then will this session bore me senseless?
Nope. We're going to looking at comics from the more unusual perspective of how they can be used for learning. Chances are you'll still get some good pointers on how you can use comics in training and performance support. Plus, it would be super helpful to have some fellow comic fans in the audience to give recommendations for what the newbies should read.

What if I'm still not sure if this session is for me?
Definitely feel free to ask me more about it. Email ( and Twitter (@eGeeking) are great ways to reach me, but I'm also happy to chat about it if you happen to bump in to me at the conference.

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