It was recently dubbed ‘the greatest show on earth’ – albeit by someone who, in his own words, needs to get out more – but yes, it’s time for the annual Learning Technologies conference and exhibition. As chair of the backchannel, I’m looking forward to a busy couple of days bringing you all the latest from the world of learning and development, whether you’re attending in person or following from afar.
The back channel
There are multiple ways to tune into the backchannel. Firstly there’s the Learning and Skills Group community sit where members will be posting and links will be available to resources from the event. Anyone can join the LSG for free so if you’re not already a member, sign up here: http://learningandskillsgroup.ning.com/
Myself and other members of the backchannel team will be live blogging, or reflecting on what we’ve seen after the event. Relevant links will be publicised as soon as they become available. And the main place of interaction will be on Twitter. You don’t have to have a Twitter account to follow the back channel, just search for www.twitter.com/#LT14UK.
Although now’s as good a time as any to sign up if you’re not already on Twitter. Even if you only start by following what is happening at the event. I know so many people who now get so much value from being a part of the interactions and conversations that happen on Twitter. It’s a great opportunity to reach out worldwide and build a PLN (Personal Learning Network) – and this is such a good excuse to take your first steps into the Twitterverse.
As well as following on Twitter, you can also register on Lanyrd as a way of connecting with other attendees: http://lanyrd.com/2014/lt14uk/
I’m joined by a fantastic team of learning professionals this year who’ll be helping me cover what’s going on during sessions and across the event as a whole. My next post will details who’s covering which session, but for now, if you’re not following the people below on Twitter, start now so you’re all ready for next week.
Don Taylor (Conference Chairman) – @DonaldHTaylor
Learning Technologies official feed – @LT14UK
Me – @kategraham23
Nic Laycock – @alc47
Alex Watson – @s0ngb1rd
Joan Keevill – @designs_joank
Kim George – @kimsgeorge
Susie Finch – @susiefinch
Lee Jones – @ljones8500
Hannah Gore – @HRGore
Sukh Pabial – @sukhpabial
Jo Cook – @lightbulbjo
Ollie Gardner – @olliegardener
Also, check out:
David Kelly – @LnDDave (curator of resources and all round L&D guru!)
Each of us will be in different sessions throughout the conference, live tweeting and bringing you all the latest.
To follow the action
To focus in on what’s happening follow the hashtag #LT14UK. And if you’re tweeting (whether you’re there or not) use #LT14UK in your tweets. The team and I would love to be able to bring your thoughts and questions into sessions even if you’re not able to be there. So if you’re following the back channel, don’t be scared to pipe up and join in!
So we can cut through some of the ‘noise’ on Twitter, each conference session will also have its own individual hashtag so you can just tune into what Itiel Dror or Matthew Syed or any of the other speakers are saying. Again, details will be posted here so you can plan in advance which sessions you most want to follow.
And if you’re attending the event, the organisers have arranged for big screens all around the exhibition and the conference so you can follow the back channel and see who’s saying what in real time.
What else is happening?
More is to come over the next few days, but on top of conference sessions, visiting the exhibition and catching up with your fellow L&D professionals, here are some activities taking place that you might want to check out:
- Towards Maturity eXchanges: a unique, free opportunity to get up close and personal with the speakers at this year’s event brought to you by @TowardsMaturity and @TrainingJournal. Check out this link for more details: http://www.towardsmaturity.org/article/2013/11/26/learning-technologies-exchanges-2014/
- Free seminars: If you’re not going to the conference, there are some brilliant free seminars in both the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills seminar theatres. Visit here: http://www.learningtechnologies.co.uk/free-seminars/ and here: http://www.learningandskillsevents.com/free-seminars/#tab2 for the full schedule
- Ignite: The guys at WeeLearning are hosting a series of Ignite sessions in the spirit of ‘enlighten us but make it quick’. Some great speakers have answered the call and these rapid fire talks are being held in Theatre 10 at 3.15pm on both days of the event. Find out more here: http://weelearning.co.uk/2014/01/the-ignite-lts-line-up/
- Fringe: Not an official part of the event itself, the fringe event this year is entitled ‘Inside Out’ because organisers LearnPatch are bringing some of the conference speakers out to the masses in a nearby pub for more sharing in an informal, bar camp style. You need a ticket but be quick, there are only a few left: http://learnpatch.com/2013/12/learning-tech-insideout-a-fringe-event-for-learning-technologies-2014/
I’ll be posting more over the next few days building up to the event with details of speakers (including Twitter handles and where to find them) and conference sessions (including individual hashtags) and more details on how we can make the most of the back channel together.
See you next week