Log in

Master of Ceremonies

Jeff Blackman is the creator of yourlearningcareer.com and the Your Learning Career YouTube channel which provide a variety of resources, tips and tricks for anyone in a learning profession or pursuing one. Jeff began his learning and development career at Walt Disney World where he was a trainer within Character Entertainment and then Disney Vacation Club. He also facilitated a variety of Disney University programs including Walt Disney World Traditions. Following Disney, Jeff continued working as a trainer, instructional designer and eLearning developer for several companies including CarMax, IBM and Houston Methodist. Currently, when not asking people to SMASH the like button on YouTube, he works as a Senior Instructional Designer for UnitedHealthcare.

The Modern Learning Mindset – Rethinking the Role of L&D in Today’s Workplace

The pace of workplace change is downright ridiculous! Employees must contend with a never-ending stream of new processes, regulations, products and technologies. Meanwhile, companies struggle to close critical skill gaps that put their future growth at risk. On top of all of that, budgets are tightening as teams are asked to do more with less as the result of ongoing economic uncertainty.

How can we possibly keep up?!?! New technology can help, but it's not the answer. Great content is vital, but it’s not the answer. Every successful workplace transformation begins in the same place: mindset. Join JD Dillon, Founder of LearnGeek and Chief Learning Architect at Axonify, for an exploration of the modern learning mindset. JD will show you what it takes to escape the course mentality, influence stakeholders to embrace new ideas and architect a workplace learning experience that fosters agility and drives results.

An organization can only transform as fast as its people can learn. Let’s kickstart an L&D evolution to get people the help they need to do their best work today while developing the skills they’ll need to be successful tomorrow.

Keynote Speaker: JD Dillon

JD Dillon is a veteran talent development leader, former Disney cast member and dedicated Back to the Future aficionado.

JD became a learning and performance expert over two decades working in operations and talent with dynamic organizations, including The Walt Disney Company, Kaplan, Inc. and AMC Entertainment. A respected international speaker and author of the new book The Modern Learning Ecosystem, JD continues to apply his passion for helping people do their best work every day in his roles as Axonify's Chief Learning Architect and founder of LearnGeek, an insights and advisory practice.

You can find JD riding his Peloton, refusing to stand in line at Orlando theme parks or online at LearnGeek.co.

Welcome to the Metaverse: What Do L&D Professionals Need to Know?

The metaverse: It’s a word we’ve all been hearing a lot of since Facebook changed its name to Meta. But do you understand what it is? You probably know it has something to do with augmented and virtual reality, and you know NFTs of pictures of apes can be very lucrative, but it’s a lot more than that. The concept of a metaverse is not new, but it’s not just science fiction anymore, and it’s not just a buzzword. How will it impact the future of learning and development? You might not think it’s relevant to your organization today, but it very likely will be in the future. In this presentation, I’ll define what the metaverse is and what it isn’t. We’ll talk about what it looks like today, and what the next ten years could hold. I’ll discuss the potential upsides and downsides of this technology with regard to L&D. I’ll give examples of how metaverse technology can be used in L&D today, and talk about topics, tools, and trends you should be paying attention to in order to keep it on your organization’s horizon. You’ll come away with a better understanding of what these technological developments mean for you, your organization, and your learners.

Jennifer Solberg, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of Quantum Improvements Consulting (QIC), an Orlando-based firm specializing in the application of emerging technology to training for coplex skills. A cognitive psychologist by trade, her work focuses on how to design, develop, implement, and evaluate training technology for the Department of Defense and other clients. At QIC, she leads a growing team of learning science professionals.

Implementing xAPI: A Case Study for Beginners

In nine years since the release of xAPI, implementation beyond proof-of-concept is finally becoming a reality for most organizations. Why? Improved support across learning tools and platforms has made accessing better learning data with xAPI easier than ever. This has left many practitioners looking for a realistic, practical process to implementation in their own organizations.

In this session you will learn how to implement xAPI through the lens of a beginner’s case study—a global organization with limited in-house technical experience. Walk through their xAPI implementation step-by-step—from learning how to build and read xAPI statements to setting-up a learning record store (LRS). We will also discuss limitations versus what is actually feasible today. You will leave with practical steps to use xAPI in your own learning ecosystem, and access to resources for continued support.

In this session, you will learn:

  • A step-by-step process to implementing xAPI
  • Enterprise-level benefits and limitations
  • Ways to create xAPI-enabled content
  • How to set up a learning record store (LRS)
  • How the LRS and LMS/LXP can work together
  • Critical data strategy decisions, such as vocabulary and naming conventions

Technology discussed:

Learning record store (LRS), learning management system (LMS), learning experience platform (LXP), Experience API (xAPI)

Sarah Mercier, CEO at Learning Ninjas, specializes in innovative learning technology and strategic implementation of learning solutions. Sarah is an international facilitator for the Association for Talent Development’s E-Learning Instructional Design and Microlearning certificate programs. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and business events in the areas of instructional strategy, learning technology strategy, and learning solution design and development. Her work has been published in ATD’s 2020 Trends in Learning Technology, The Book of Road-Tested Activities, TD Magazine, Learning Solutions Magazine, CLO Magazine, and a variety of other training and workforce publications.

A Snail’s Pace: The Long and Sometimes Painful Implementation of xAPI

This session is an honest retelling of the harrowing tale of implementing xAPI at an insurance organization. Stories of the epic highs and soul-crushing lows will help you be prepared for your own implementation, no matter where you are in the process

    Don Becker, Learning and Development Specialist

    As workforce trends evolve, maximizing employee knowledge, skills, and know-how has never been more important. I drive a learning culture within small, medium, and large organizations with a background applying adult learning theory and andragogy, blended with a rich expertise infusing gamification technology into training programs.

    With a unique work history as a Technology Program Director, Middle School Teacher, College/University Professor, small business owner, and experienced Project Manager, I have led and influenced transformational changes at each stop. I am currently a Learning and Development Specialist with American National Insurance Company.

    Get PERSONAL! Using Personas as the Foundation of Learning Experience Design Focus on WHO (not WHAT)

    As we’re settling into the new ways of reaching learners who have remarkably different workplaces than a few years ago, the industry still struggles with creating high-impact, relevant experiences that resonate with their learners. And to complicate things further, we often have so many stakeholders (SMEs, business consultants, area and L&D leaders) who are trying to define what good looks like for our learners. What if we sidestepped the noise and started with our learners FIRST?

    In this session, we’ll deep dive into the first phase of a Design Thinking approach, Empathize, and focus on the use of Personas as the foundation for learning design. By exploring our learners – where they are, their work environment, what motivates them, what gets in their way, and more, we can derive a solution that will resonate and will work for them better than more conventional approaches. Come ready to build out a persona for one of the learners from one of the target audiences that you serve! We’ll provide examples and templates for you to take back and share at work.

    Ann Rollins is a modern learning champion. Unintimidated by global scale, she always has her eyes on the technology horizon to see how to improve and effectively scale leadership development experiences for her clients. As the Chief Solutions Architect and Vice President of Custom Solutions at the Ken Blanchard Companies, she leads a team of Solutions Architects and Production Specialists who create world-class, custom leadership experiences by mapping client values, strategic pillars, leadership competencies, and DEI work to Blanchard’s solutions, and building custom program elements served up in any or all of the modern modalities.

    An engineer turned designer to innovator in the field, Britney Cole is the Vice President of Innovation and heads up Blanchard’s Experience Center, and the Innovation Lab, a space committed to innovating “how leadership development happens,” which includes creating new ways of reaching learners, accelerating Blanchard’s external practitioner communities, experimenting and formalizing emerging technology into the Blanchard portfolio, and providing strategic direction in Blanchard’s transformative new offerings to companies and individuals.


    Association for Talent Development, Houston Chapter
    1321 Antoine Drive, Houston, TX 77055
    Email: feedback@tdhouston.org

    P 713-839-1757

    F 713-839-1453

    CHIP Code: CH7032 - Use for every purchase at the ATD Store

    Media Policy:

    By attending events, you consent to be photographed, filmed and/or otherwise recorded. Your entry constitutes your consent to such photography, filming and/or recording and to any use, in any and all media throughout the universe in perpetuity, of your appearance, voice and name for any purpose whatsoever in connection with the event. You understand that all photography, filming and/or recording will be done in reliance on this consent given by you by attending events. If you do not agree to the foregoing, please let the event photographer(s) know that you do not wish to be photographed, filmed and/or recorded.
    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software