DevLearn 2017 Review

DevLearn Debrief

Ready to Present at DevLearn 2017
Ready to Present at DevLearn 2017

Even though DevLearn 2017 conference has wrapped-up, I’m still reeling from the whirlwind of activities, events, and fantastic discussions.

Still riding the wave of social energy from my webinar series (Webinar Series – How to Create Great eLearning Content), I was vastly fortunate to attend and humbled that iSpring Solutions invited me to speak about all the cool things you can do with iSpring Suite.

Despite the various challenges of presenting on one of the stages in the exhibition hall, my presentation, “Create More Advanced Content Using iSpring, Right Out of the Box”, went well with no technical hiccups or glitches (whew!). All the links and resources mentioned in my talk are available at the aNm website at

Here are some loosely collected thoughts about the eLearning Guild event.

The Good Stuff

As always, one of the best experiences was the informal chats and discussions that occur in-between (and sometimes during!) scheduled conference events.

One such discussion occurred between me and another conference presenter, as we chatted about Microsoft PowerPoint 365’s ability to insert, display, and transition entire 3D models. The dialogue led to a discovery of shared interests in innovation, pushing content further, and ways to incorporate more 3D into eLearning & training content.

"Spicy" Lia
“Spicy” Lia

This conversation with Lia “P-Spice” was a highlight of the conference and my ‘ah-ha!‘ moment occurred when I recognized her from her many how-to YouTube videos on the subject. I encourage you to check out her “Spicy Presentations” website – – where she provides tips, tricks, and advice on “Spicing up your presentations with PowerPoint animations and special effects.”


As always, the conference’s DemoFest did not disappoint – there were many fantastic entries and various demonstrations of coolness.

Jeff Batt explains his interactive video framework
Jeff Batt explains his interactive video framework
Kevin Thorn & Tracy Parish showcase the Tower of Hanoi game
Kevin Thorn & Tracy Parish showcase the Tower of Hanoi game

As a bonus, there were a lot of friends with entries in DemoFest this year as well as many new faces and cool demos to see.

Sessions Galore

Guild events are always top-notch and this year’s DevLearn was no exception. From entry-level topics on instructional design & development, to hi-tech how-tos, to presentations on the exciting future of eLearning – the presentations were rich, plentiful, & well attended.

Opening a New Dimension with 3D Objects in PowerPoint

Yulia Banakova starts her presentation on 3D.
Yulia Banakova starts her presentation on 3D.

Yulia Barnakova, Principal at Heidrick & Struggles, gave a fantastic overview of how to leverage 3D models into your PowerPoint content. In addition to outlining PowerPoint’s new insert 3D tool, Barnakova showcased her process to actually create rudimentary 3D models, using Microsoft’s 3D Paint tool.

Banakova is a fantastic speaker and brings first-hand, real-world experience to her topic. In addition to her demonstrated expertise, her energy for innovation is infectious.

Check out Yulia Barnakova’s YouTube channel – PowerPoint Spice.

Using Social Media for Analysis and Designing Around Corporate Culture

Katie Stroud deftly answers participant questions
Katie Stroud deftly answers participant questions

Katie Stroud, President, CEO Incremental Success, is well-known for her presentations and insight on creativity, storytelling, and innovation. This year’s presentation continued in this vein, with Stroud focusing on ways to dig-deeper and finding out more about the eLearning target-audience.

Stroud shared her real-world experience on leveraging Twitter, Yammer, Salesforce, Microsoft SharePoint, SurveyMonkey, and many other internal/corporate/portal tools to uncover learner motivation and backstory for more effective learning.

Follow Katie Stroud on Twitter at @KatieStroudPro.

Learning and Development in the Internet of Things

Anthony Altieri in discussion at DemoFest
Anthony Altieri in discussion at DemoFest

Anthony Altieri, President and Founder Omnes Solutions, flexed his expertise and techie “geek cred” during his talk on IoT and it’s effect in learning.

Altieri discussed the basics of IoT as well as the associative technologies that surround it, including: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Particle Photon, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more. His talk included several examples of how IoT is being used – and abused, in some cases – and what lessons can be learned from each, reminding his audience that this great ‘power’ that IoT brings must be handled with great responsibility.

Follow Anthony Altieri on Twitter at @aa_altieri.

Use the comments section to tell us your thoughts and experiences at DevLearn 2017.

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