Sunday, May 11, 2014

ASTD ICE - Day 3

Ah, the final day of the conference... well, for me anyway. I had to leave a day early unfortunately, but at least I was able to keep up with some of the sessions I missed via other attendees and their livetweeting. All hail Twitter, allower of distance conference attendance!

1) Keynote: General Stan McChrystal
Tying in to the conference theme of change, McChrystal talked about the vital need to adapt. As an example, he pointed to a famous plane crash that happened despite great flying conditions, a functional airplane, lots of safety equipment, and a competent crew.

This seems like the least likely set up for a tragic plane crash story, and yet the crash happened anyway. Why, you might ask? Because of a combination of too many new and complex safety features (which caused confusion) and insufficient crew communication skills (which made the confusion even worse). Things changed with how the plane functioned and how the crew needed to work together, the crew hadn't adapted to this change, and a sad, but likely preventable, crash happened as a result.

So what does this mean to us? The rate of change has accelerated, which makes it hard for us to keep up, but all the more important for us to learn how to adapt to. Unfortunately, we have an adaptability gap... a big difference between how much we're currently adapting and how much we actually need to adapt. But McChrystal says there are three key ways to learn to bridge that gap, so we can learn to adapt at the speed life is actually moving and learn from the experience.

The first part of this bridge is avoiding predictive hubris. Predictive hubris is the feeling that you can always use the same rules over and over to predict what's going to happen. In the rapidly changing world McChrystal described, though, often the rules we think we know can suddenly get shifted, or even thrown out the window entirely. What we need to do is give people the ability to quickly move with this change and figure out what the new rules of the game are, all without having to depend on someone else to tell them what do do.

In the case of the air crash I mentioned earlier, after it happened airlines realized they needed to become more adaptable. To do this, crews were trained on adaptability, situational awareness, and flexibility so they could become better at dealing with unexpected situations. And do you know what happened as a result? Airline safety skyrocketed.

The second part is shared consciousness. Sure, rapid change is tricky, but if you build bonds of trust and common purpose in your teams, that shared pool of knowledge can do amazing things and adapt quickly. That trust and knowledge can make it easier to understand how each person in the team needs to react when change happens, which makes it smoother and faster for the overall team to change.

The final piece is empowered execution. Teams where people feel micromanaged and/or unable to affect change end up being unable to adapt effectively. Empowering execution gives people the ability to do things themselves and to take ownership of their work. That means they'll be more likely to directly point out (and even fix) issues they see and be emotionally invested in the work, both of which lead to better results.

2) Build Your Company Tribe: Engaging Employees Through Online Collaboration
Speaker: Andi Campbell
This session was a case study on how LAZ Parking, a company that specializes in parking lots, leveraged an internal social network for training and collaboration.

LAZ Parking wanted to encourage employees to collaborate and feel connected to each other. That said, with 7800 employees working at 1900 locations across 24 states, sharing between employees was more than a bit tricky. Sure, in-person collaboration was limited, but LAZ Parking realized that there was another option: an internal social network.

In doing some initial analysis of this idea, LAZ Parking realized they had not one, but two ideal target markets for a social network: all employees (for general sharing) and participants in their management training program (for more specialized sharing). And so, rather than try and make one social network try and be all things to all people, they instead set up two separate networks: one for each target audience.

Here's a peek at one of the social sites they created
Both networks functioned relatively the same way. Like a simplified Facebook, they showed posts in a reverse chronological order, and let people share status updates, photos, and other user-created content. The company-wide site focused on sharing community-building content, like team photos and events. The site for the manager training program, on the other hand, focused more on tying in to course assignments and discussions, allowing users to learn from each other. What was great is that because LAZ Parking smartly made two different social networks, neither one got diluted. Both were able to focus on their core goals, which helped them resonate with the people who used them.

So, overall both sites were considered to be successes. But LAZ Parking is the first to say that social networks like this aren't a one-size-fits-all tool. They attributed much of their success to their company culture. They already had a positive work culture with a lot of trust, which made it much easier to get people to feel comfortable sharing with each other. I can't imagine this would have worked nearly as well in a toxic work environment. They also took their learners and corporate culture into account when designing how their social networks would function. A different audience might require a very different set up in order to work well in that workplace.

3) Sweet Caroline! A Super Set List for Sensational Learning Sessions!
Speaker: Rick Lozano
So this was my last session of the conference and, with its high-energy and practical message, it was quite possibly the perfect way to end my time at ASTD ICE.

Like the stand up comedy session I saw the day before, this was another session that talked about what we in L&D can learn from another set of professionals. In this case, the title tells you all you need to know about what other career we'd be learning from: professional musicians. Here are the main points of the session, in handy dandy photo format!

I *could* recap his main points, but this is even better: the recap Lozano made himself.
While I quite enjoyed the entire session, there was one point Lozano made that really stuck with me: that it's so important to find ways to connect the things we're passionate about outside of L&D to the work we do inside of L&D. Sure, it would have been easy for Lozano to keep his music life separate from his work life. I mean, it's not immediately apparent how they connect and that's definitely the approach many people take to their work life and their personal life. But no, he made the intuitive leap that helped him see how the skills he built as a musician and performer could actually complement and enhance his abilities as a trainer and facilitator. 

When you can find ways to leverage one skill to improve another, that makes your work stronger. But when you can also find ways to combine two things that you love, and to not have to live as though your passions are completely separate, that does even more. It means you don't have to pretend that your life is segmented off into completely unconnected portions, and you can instead work in a way that's authentic to everything you care about. That's some pretty powerful stuff when it comes to helping you feel excited about the work you do everyday.

Sure, not everyone is a professional musician, so we're not all going to pull our inspiration from our work onstage, but we all have things we care about outside of work that, when you do a bit of digging, can actually connect to our work in L&D. Maybe you're passionate about coaching your kid's sports team, and you leverage that to help you lead projects at work. Perhaps you enjoy scrapbooking, so you use the layout skills you learned from that to create beautiful and effective PowerPoint presentations and class materials. Maybe you're like me and you've found a way to turn your nerdy love of gadgets and software into a role where you show others the ways tech can help make training more effective. Where ever your passions are, find a way to tap into them to fuel your work and your passion about that work.

And with that came the end to my time at ASTD ICE. I was sad to have missed the last day of the conference, but at least I got to see the Twitter backchannel coverage of the rebranding announcement while I waited at the airport for my flight home. My thoughts on that? Well, other people have covered it with more historical perspective than I ever could (I quite liked David Kelly's take on it) but I will say this: this early on there's no way to really know what the what the long-term ramifications of the change will be. I, for one, am definitely interested in seeing what comes of it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ASTD ICE - Day 2

Day 2 was a busy day for me. Not only was I all set to watch a bunch of sessions, but I was scheduled to give one of my own too. On top of that, I promised a co-worker that I would hit the Expo hall on her behalf. All and all, a good, but exhausting day.

1) Keynote: Arianna Huffington
Did you know that Arianna Huffington was funny? I sure didn't until this session. Always a nice surprise to find that out about a speaker, don't you think?

Anyway, the point of this session was how do deal with change and succeed in life in a healthy way. Huffington pointed out that society typically recognizes two measures of success: power and wealth. Trying to achieve those two, though, can come at a pretty pricy cost to ourselves though. Huffington saw this happen to her, when her drive to burn the candle at both ends actually caused her to pass out at her desk from exhaustion.

And so, she wondered if there might be a third way we could start to recognize success. One that wouldn't require us to work 24/7 until we burn out. And so, she proposed a new measure of success. One with the following four pillars:

Science falls pretty strongly on the side of "less sleep makes you more dumb," and yet so many workplaces push people to work as much as possible. Huffington compares this to encouraging people to come to work drunk. It's not safe and the work tired people make is not terribly dissimilar to the junk they'd crank out if they were hammered.

To do our very best work, we need to start by being very well rested. Make sure to get a full night's sleep, take time for naps, and for the love of god keep your smart phone away from where you sleep. Beyond catching some winks, you also need to rest your brain. Our world is full of input, and our attempts to multi-task often just leave our brains overworked. Take every opportunity to be in the moment and just concentrate on one thing at a time. You'll be surprised at how much less exhausted it makes you.

Wisdom isn't just knowing facts. It's being able to see the big picture, avoid obstacles, make intuitive jumps and create a vision for how things could be.

Step back and just connect with the mystery of the universe. I think sometimes we take for granted just how spectacularly cool our world is. It's healthy and refreshing to tap back in to that wonder at everything around us that we had as a kid.

Personally, when I'm in need of a bit of a wonder jump start, I always watch this video. It really is my happy place sometimes.

You know what's cool? Research currently shows that giving time and/or money can give you the same boost in happiness as an increase in income. So we need to remember to make giving a priority. It's good for other people, and it's good for us too.

To wrap up, Huffington insisted that we all have a place of strength, peace, wisdom, and joy and it's time we live life connected to that place... time to choose to live life not with stress and burnout, but with compassion, creativity, and rest.

2) Telling Your Story With Infographics
Speaker: Bianca Woods
I had an awesome time facilitating this session, in large part due to a fantastic audience who was willing to participate (and ignore the occasional odd flickering of the room overhead lights). If you weren't able to make the session, you can still check out the in-depth session reference website I created. It's got links to the tools and sites I talked about in my session (plus a few more I thought people would like), my PowerPoint deck, and all my speaking notes. Enjoy!

3) Train Like a Rockstar: Speaking Tips From a Stand-Up Comedian
Speaker: Jeff Birk
When you think about it, it's not surprising that presenting to a group and doing stand up have more than a bit in common. Sure, the content is different, but the set up is the same. In both cases you have an audience (in some cases, a hostile one) that is counting on you to keep their attention and tell them something they didn't already know. And so Birk, a professional comedian, decided to share his tips for leveraging the skills one needs in stand up to make you a successful presenter.

I should start by pointing out that Birk mentioned early on that this didn't mean that in order to learn from stand up you had to make your content funny. Some content just doesn't hit right if you make it into jokes. Make light of something like diversity or sexual harassment and you're likely to make your audience ticked off, not engaged. But there are other techniques comedians use that you can try out in even the most serious of classes (and you can always pull out the jokes and light heartedness in the right occasions). Here are some of the key tips he mentioned:

  • Find a good balance between not being dull, but not being over the top either.
  • Don't make the session about you (the facilitator). Make it about the audience and the content.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse... especially your first 3 minutes of the presentation so you can be sure to start out solid.
  • Rehearse enough where your presentation is so second nature that you can actually riff and improv off it based on the room.
  • What can often work better than just straight humour? Mentioning something poignant that's strongly related to your topic.
  • Have trouble memorizing things? Use visualizing to connect images with what you need to say. Then recall that imaging when you need to present.
  • Use self-deprecating humour to connect to your audience.
  • Don't let intimidation get to you. Always remember that you are the expert! 
  • There's a lot of power in memorizing at least a few audience member names and using them throughout the session. Repeat people's names to commit them to memory.
  • You've got to have a little ego as a presenter.
  • Nobody cares about your product or service: they care about what it means to THEM.
  • Use light banter, both before your session and at the beginning, to get people comfortable and friendly.
  • Be aware that if people are tuned out, it's not always because of you. You don't know what else is going on in their life that could make them not feel engaged at the moment.
  • Audience is unattentive? 1) Stop talking. 2) Light-heartedly call them on it. 
  • Every great speaker still has quirks/tics. Have someone watch you speak and let you know about yours.
  • Know your audience so you can connect with them. Also remember that knowing your audience requires emotional and cultural intelligence. Not everyone reacts/converses/interprets everything the same way.

Finally, Birk made a strong point that I think he did a great job of following in his own talk: use humour to make impact, but be careful not have it override what you're trying to teach.

4) Even a Duck Can Drown: The 6 Keys to Building Career Resilience
Speaker: Maureen Orey
Did you know that ducklings aren't born able to float? It takes a bit of time for them to develop the skills they need to stay buoyant. In a similar vein, none of use are born magically able to be resilient. That's a skill that takes time to build too. And, from the stories I heard in the room about layoffs and job cuts, it's a skill that you'll want to hone fast.

So how do you go from an easy-to-drown newbie to a seasoned veteran whose career can stay afloat no matter what challenges they face? These 6 steps!

Build a supportive network
Staying connected to others, both in our industry and outside of it, will help you stay inspired... and also help you out when you have a problem. There were a lot of people in this session who mentioned how the power of a great network can help you find a new job rapidly, but it can also help you in smaller ways too, like fixing an issue on a project or hearing about a new tool or technique to try out. I adore my network so, no surprise, I just maybe have written about the value of a strong personal learning network in the past.

Develop new skills and resources
You can't just do things the way you've always done them and expect to continue to succeed. Things change, and you need to change with them. Learn to adapt by developing new skills, being open to new ideas, identifying new resources, being flexible, and changing your mindset.

Apply and practice your new skills daily
It's not just enough to learn new skills, you also need to use them on a regular basis or they'll atrophy. How can you do this? Make it a priority to practice your new skills, be proactive, take risks, believe in yourself, then REPEAT!

Take care of your health
This seemed to be a bit of the the theme of the day, now didn't it?! No surprise, though, because personal health is so vital to keeping us sharp and energized. Of course, this isn't just our physical health that we need to take care of, but our emotional health too. So take care of yourself (physically, emotionally, and financially), eat right, exercise, avoid toxic people, get rest, and stop any negative self-talk.

Follow your instincts
This is the one that, personally, I think a "your mileage may vary" warning needs to be applied. I agree that you need to push yourself outside your comfort zone and be brave enough to trust your instincts once and awhile. But don't do it to the point that you don't take logic and/or research into account too. 

As well, this ability to take a risk on a gut feeling requires having a certain amount of privilege, don't you think? For instance, someone with no nest egg and dependants has a lot less wiggle room to take big chances than a single person with a decent savings account.

And, as always, don't let the mantra of "follow your instincts" feel like it gives you permission to violate Wheaton's Law.

Work hard and use grit
Be tenacious and scrappy. Sometimes, let's be honest, life is kinda crummy. When things get hard, work even harder to keep them from getting you down.

But was that the end of Day 2 for me? Not a bit. I did what was one of my favourite things from the entire conference: I went out for dinner with a few other attendees and just chatted for the rest of the night over tasty food. Really, is there anything better than great company and nerding out about learning? I think not!

Plus, I got some great tips for how I can start learning to play that ukulele I've been neglecting. Who would have guessed?!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

ASTD ICE - Day 1

Hello and welcome to my very first ASTD ICE! Thankfully, the weather in Washington DC has decided to make my first ICE conference (and my first trip to DC) just stunning. I got in early on Saturday, which meant I was able to spend a day checking out the Air and Space Museum as well walking around to see all the major monuments. That was over 6 hours of walking, not including my trip to in to town earlier in the day, so needless to say my legs were more than a bit sore today. Of course, I didn't let that stop me from walking over to the Dupont Circle Farmers Market early this morning (I can't recommend it enough if you're in DC for a weekend).

I regret nothing!

So, how about the conference? Well, Day 1 was a good day, but a short one too as there were only three sets of sessions today. Here's what I saw...

1) Four Ways To Use Digital Curation In Learning
Speaker: Ben Betts
Curation is a pretty big buzzword in learning right now, but it's one of the ones I actually think is worth the fuss. What exactly is curation? Well, to hyper-simplify a bit, curation is the process of carefully sifting through information and then thoughtfully putting together just the pieces that contribute to a specific story or theme. Museums do this when they put together exhibits and collections. I do this when I make Pinterest boards on cheap design assets or things I think are cute. There's probably less of an audience for my cute things Pinterest board than there is for the work the Smithsonian does, but it all still counts as passionate curation where the sum is greater than the individual parts on their own.

But what makes a person a great curator? This question was posed to the audience and got back answers such as:

  • having enough knowledge to ask good questions about content (but not so much specialized knowledge that they can't see things from other points of view)
  • being able to evaluate content well
  • curiosity
  • passion
  • an understanding of their intended audience
  • the ability to see the big picture of how content comes together
  • a knack for building collections
  • analytical skills
  • storytelling
Betts had his own answer to this question. He believes a good curator stores items, transforms them through context, and shares them with others. They add value by aggregation, distillation, and reflection.

So curation clearly has to be done with skill and purpose for it to work well. It's not just mindlessly collecting everything in a certain theme like a Pokemon trainer. It involves finding just the right pieces of content and enthusiastically putting them together in a way that brings even greater meaning than the pieces had on their own.

So, back to learning and curation. Many companies have this mindset that in order for our learning content to be good, we have to make it all ourselves (and cover it entirely in our own branding to boot). The thing is, as Betts put it, that the world is actually full of content, so we should move away from constantly creating content and consider curating it instead. Why do we always have to reinvent the wheel? Why can't we leverage the hard (and valid) work others have done using curation skills?

As well, Betts says the work we do in training has changed and is now more focused than ever on finding new solutions rather than using existing ones. And what better way of doing this than collaborating with others through curation?!

So what does this "curation for learning" actually look like in practice? Well, Betts suggests four starting points to try out:
  1. Inspiration: Use curated content to spark learner curiosity and thoughts
  2. Instruction: Take a look at how you can leverage curated content in your formal courses
  3. Integration: Have learners curate content themselves
  4. Application: Encourage learners to create their own content from their real life experiences that can be curated by others
And what's the best way to get a handle on curation? Why, by curating content yourself!

As a complete side note, the slide deck used for this session was stellar. The slides were clear and to the point, and the hand drawn chalk graphics were delightful. See for yourself:

How charming is this?!

2) Calibrating Your Confidence Meter!
Speaker: Barbara Roche
Have you ever been to a session that just doesn't livetweet well? This was one of those sessions. I rather enjoyed it, but with the more touchy-feely topic and the large number of activities, I get the sense it came across as more flaky and dry than it actually was. I'm hoping I can blog about it in a more engaging way, but if I can't, just know this: I felt it was well worth attending.

So, confidence. Some people have it in spades, some people really struggle with trying to have any at all. Full disclosure, despite appearances I often fall pretty far into the latter camp. Distressingly far.

We also can have varying levels of confidence in different situations. One of the session activities was to look at a list of ten situations, ranging from public speaking to taking on a project that requires skills you don't yet have, and rate your confidence in them. When my table discussed our results our numbers were wildly different. Some of us were rather self assured in the work situations, and terribly unsure in the social ones, and then some of us were the polar opposite. It really is an individual thing.

But, regardless of whether you get into a crisis of confidence about taking a vacation by yourself or while asking for a raise, that crisis can really get in your way. And a crisis of confidence can happen to anyone, no matter how outwardly successful you may be. If you want to overcome whatever your personal confidence barriers are, there are a number of general tips that you can apply to help you along the way.

First, you have to actually have a growth mindset: a belief that you're continuously learning, are willing to try, and your qualities are malleable (terrible related joke - Q: How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: One. But the lightbulb has to really want to change). You also have to become more aware of you inner monologue and what it's telling you. The things you tell yourself can frame how you interpret your own abilities, so you have to be careful not to accidentally sabotage yourself with beating yourself down.

Next, you need to become more aware of what makes you awesome (my words, not Roche's) and get comfortable thinking of yourself (and presenting yourself to others) that way. This is essentially figuring out what your personal brand is: what awesomeness you bring to the table. To get started on this, Roche put up a huge list of potential words you could use to describe yourself and then asked us each to select the three that we felt described our skills the best.

I picked passionate, humorous, and expressive. How about you?
Those words are the start of being more mindful of what you actually have to offer the world. Use them to figure out how to play to your strengths in a situation you're less confident in (or consider using the broader list to try and figure out where you and another person might be having a disconnect because of drastically different skills).

Next up is taking a look at the people you surround yourself with. Roche mentioned the Jim Rohn quote "We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with." That can be a scary thought if you look around you and see yourself regularly in the presence of people who tear others down, don't support anyone but themselves, or always see the world as out to get them. It's no wonder that people in that situation don't feel overwhelmed with confidence. So what can you do? You need to change the people you're around the most. In some cases that may be as extreme as leaving a job or a relationship, but it doesn't always have to be. You can simple refuse to let those people be whiny, mean, insufferable, and/or energy sucking around you. You'd be surprised how well just shutting down negative conversations right when they start can be for changing how people talk to you (or encouraging negative people to go whine somewhere else).

Next is how you project yourself to others. Your body language does a lot to shape how people view you. It also subconsciously shapes how you view yourself too. So stand up straight and use confident body language. Even just faking-it-til-you-make-it can change how you feel about yourself and how others interpret you. As well, be thoughtful about what you say and how you say it. Things like mitigated speech and upspeak can lead people to believe you're confused or unsure of what you're saying. Trying to correct yourself out of those habits can do a lot to convince others to see you as someone who knows what they're talking about.

So that was the session in a nutshell. If you want more information on becoming more confident, then I recommend checking out Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Yes, it's technically a business book, but she talks a lot about how to overcome a lack of confidence (in particular, how to cope with one of the bigger confidence disruptors I know of: impostor syndrome).

3) User Experience Design for Learning
Speaker: Julie Dirksen
Defining user experience is reasonably simple (at least, if you forgive some massive oversimplification): it's the experience someone has through the journey of interacting with a thing/product/service/etc. User experience is somewhat subjective (my experience may be different than yours simply because we're different people with different expectations and experiences), but there are ways to craft great user experiences based on what we know, on average, about our target audience. There are also some broader best practices in user experience design that pretty much apply to everything.

The remote on the right is, no matter what the audience is, just plain crummy user experience design
So, and here's what appears to be the question of the day, how does this apply to learning? Well, whether we realize it or not, we all design user experiences on a regular basis, be it with designing eLearning lessons, putting together participant guides, or making resource websites. The thing is, if the design gets in the way of how your audience wants to interact with it, then a bunch of their brain is being used to figure out how they're supposed to interact with it instead. Want to bet that this means less of their brain is available for... you know... the actual learning?!

And so, we need to be aware of when we're designing or influencing user experience in our training and put our end user in mind when we make design choices. This can be tricky when you're in the dreaded "order taker" position, where your SME, stakeholder, or client just tells you what they want you to do and expects you to simply comply. But hey, who said our job was easy and stress free? We need to convince these people (and, let's be honest, ourselves too sometimes) that thoughtfully creating an experience that focuses on the audience's needs makes for better, stickier content. And what better way to do that than to learn from the industry that's been tackling this problem for ages: user experience (UX) design.

So here are a bunch of the tips you can learn from UX:

First, don't design in a tunnel. You need to go outside of your own experiences when you make something for others or else you may end up blinded to the problems it has (the whole "it's hard to edit your own work" issue).

Next, if you have the opportunity, go out and actually observe your users in their real world setting and simply talk to them. Often subject matter experts are great at telling you how things should happen, not how they actually happen. Observations and conversations with your users will tell you a lot about how things actually work in the real world. Observing also provides another benefit: people sometimes leave out telling you about the steps/tasks they've personally automated. This is like most of the math teachers I had in school: they know how to do the task they're trying to teach you, but they skip steps because they're so knowledgable that they don't even think about those parts anymore. So they tend not to tell you some things just because they're second nature to them now.

Observing has one additional benefit: it shows you the triggers that tell a person when they actually need to use the content you want to train them on. Knowing that can help you better decide how to present that content. It also tells you how to make sure your training resembles the real word application as much as possible. Never let it be forgotten that the closer a practice experience is to the real thing, the better that practice translates into being able to use that skill or knowledge in the real world.

Another thing that UX does that we in L&D could stand to leverage is personas (or, as we call them at work, learner profiles). These are documents that summarize one or some of the different target audiences for what we're creating. Obviously not every one of our learners will be exactly the same, but it's worthwhile to figure out what things most of them have in common so that you can build your user experience with them in mind. Remember, good design isn't the same for everyone, so you need to have general understanding of your audience in order to build something that works well for them.

Something else to try is prototyping and user testing. Build mockups of what you're creating, then let a small group of potential users (always make sure they come from your target audience) try it out and give you feedback. Observe what was easy for them, what didn't work well, and where they got confused. Reflect on that feedback, suggest changes, make those changes, and test again. You'll be amazed at what will seem easy and straightforward to you and your team, but will make your audience stumble.

At the end of the day, the simple truth is that design changes behaviour. Bad design can lead to flawed learning. But great, audience-centred design can make mastering your content so much easier for your learners.

On a related note, I felt like a lot of what we talked about in this session related back strongly to great product design. Dirksen acknowledged this by recommending we all read The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. I also suggest checking out the documentary Objectified and the podcast 99% Invisible.

So that's it for the first day. I actually kind of liked this more mellow start to a conference. It makes it a bit easier to ramp up and get into conference mode than the ones that just fill the first day up to the brim with sessions and content.

Join me tomorrow for more blog coverage of this event. Also, shameless plug, if you're at ASTD ICE and looking for a Monday afternoon session, definitely consider popping over to my talk on infographics at 1:00pm in room 144BC.