The Learning Technologies event is over for another year…and what a year it was! As I’ve blogged about in a previous entry, my role this year encompassed providing the official rapporteur coverage. This meant I spent the majority of my time in conference sessions, getting downstairs to the exhibition floors whenever I could.
There will be a full review including video interviews with the speakers and attendees, plus curation of the Twitter stream and the various resources, blogs and links that are emerging post-event on the Learning and Skills Group website shortly. I’ve also written a review for the next edition of E-Learning Age magazine. However, I did just want to reflect on a few things here and share some piccies.
The keynote speakers were truly inspired choices this year. I was lucky enough to meet Dr.Edward de Bono before his session which was a real highlight for me. He has a great sense of humour and his sheer presence is unbelievable. Everyone in his session on creativite and innovative thinking hung on his every word. Jaron Lanier and Ray Kurzweil were also innovative and inspiring, with some attendees saying they ‘blew their minds’. And the themes of all their talks were addressed in other sessions throughout the conference. For me, three key themes emerged:
* Challenge: we in L&D *need* to challenge the status quo
* Engagement: learner engagement and their emotional connection to learning is key
* Technology: sounds obvious for a conference like this….
….but the technology discussions were about more than authoring tools and the LMS this year. Jaron Lanier and Ray Kurzweil talked about technology and its impact on us both now and in the future from the highest level perspective. Elsewhere, the use and adoption of social and informal learning technologies were explored. But not in a ‘use Twitter’ sort of way. It was from more of a strategic standpoint and how to try and implement social and collaborative practices into our organisations.
I must also give a mention to Ben Hines and Jamie Treadwell for their session which included a five piece wind quintet! They use music as a metaphor learning and how teams work together in organisations. It was a fantastic session that I’m glad I attended. The shame of the conference for me is that I couldn’t get to every session. Happily I was aided by Nic Laycock, Julie Wedgwood, Denise Hudson Lawson and Susie Finch who were invaluable in providing insights on the back channel.
The Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills exhibitions were absolutely buzzing. Every time I crossed the floors the seminar theatres were packed and the stands were busy. My only regret is I didn’t get enough time to see everything that was on show! I must also mention the launch of the eLearning Network’s new Campaign for Effective Elearning. Chairman Rob Hubbard launched the campaign in his seminar…and even took his shirt off for the cause! You might have seen this sticker around the show (or possibly had one stuck on you by me or one of my fellow eLN board members) and we’re aiming to improve the quality of elearning and move it on from the same old ‘click next’ stuff. Stay tuned to the new eLN website for more details. I also wanted to mention the work Laura Overton did for the new eXchange, which brought speakers from the conference and some of the free seminar programme, onto the exhibition floor for face-to-face question and answer sessions with attendees. This was a great idea to bring the themes of the conference and the exhbition together and one I hope will be back next year.
What would a conference or event be these days without my PLN? It was absolutely brilliant to see so many people who inspire, teach and motivate me on a daily basis. I know many attendees share this view and feel it really adds to their experience of this sort of event. It certainly made my Learning Technologies even more worthwhile.
I must thank Don, Mark, Ian, Annie, Jo, Jonquil and the team for putting on another thought provoking and inspiring event and for inviting me to be involved. It was a real privilege and I hope I managed to convey a real flavour of everything that was going on. I’m looking forward to the ongoing curation of resources and bringing them to you via the LSG.
If you have anything you’d like to comment on, add or feedback please let me know in the comments!