I thought this year I’d write down things I’m particularly looking to or that have caught my eye in the build up to this year’s Learning Technologies. Hopefully this will help me review the event afterwards. So in no particular order:
1) Tweeting (obvs) – with my flashy new title of Chair of the Backchannel, I’m excited about working with a crack team of tweeters to try and bring the best of the conference (and the exhibition) to those who either can’t be there, or those who are there but can’t squeeze everything in via #LT14UK. Consolidating things into 140 characters isn’t always easy and I’m wary of just producing a stream of consciousness or a string of meaningless soundbites. For me, every session has a story and I try my hardest to tell that story through social media and point people at useful resources that can be accessed and used beyond the event. If there’s anything I and the team can do specifically to help you, let us know! (Baby Graham won’t actually be joining the Twitter team but he was keen to try out for the job).
2) Catching up with my PLN – this is hands down the most jam packed event of the year for seeing my PLN IRL (in real life of course). I’m looking forward to see people I’ve known for years, people who’ve flown in from overseas and of course meet new people and keep expanding my network. It is a joyous thing and I can’t wait.
3) My sessions – I’m lucky enough to be tweeting from Matthew Syed’s session. I’ve read his book ‘Bounce: The Myth of Talent and The Power of Practice’ and am really looking forward to hearing what he has to say in person. Would ask him to sign the book but it’s an ebook, rats. I’m also covering Julie Dirksen‘s session on learning design and Elearnity‘s session exploring the EMEA market for learning and talent technologies. On day two I’m attending the Evil Jane’s (the fabulous Jane Bozarth and Jane Hart) on collaborative learning. Then it’s Helena Moore and Lucy Ventrice on embedded learning (I’ve met Lucy before and what she’s done at easyJet is fantastic!) And to finish up I’ll be listening to Clive Shepherd on blended learning. A real mix of topics but all of which float my boat – just hope I can do them justice!
4) Seminars – I am going to try and get to some of the free sessions if I can. It looks to me like the suppliers have really put some effort into providing free seminars that have some value and aren’t just about promoting products. I’ve heard really positive things about Saba’s approach to bringing social learning into their platform so will try and get to their session. Hearing how Compass and City & Guilds Kineo are transforming qualifications is definitely one to watch and I am really keen to find out more about Tin Can API in action so hope I can catch Netex talking about this.
5) Being bowled over – whether it’s a new tool, new resources, new blogs, an idea, a concept or a conversation – anything that is interesting and awesome. I want to be really wowed by something. Challenge laid down then, let’s see if someone out there will accept it.
…And one thing I’m not looking forward to: the food. My top tip is to take a sandwich as the options to buy food at Olympia are not good. Failing that, there’s a Tesco Express over the road!
See you there – or online