ELearning Guild AG08 Day 1

What a long and inspiring day it’s been. Being a solo elearning and training developer it has been great to just talk with people about eLearning. The community here is second only to the caliber of the presentations. The eLearning Guild did a fabulous job picking the sessions for this year’s event. I’ve had to make some tough choices about which sessions to attend. A lot of people are blogging the event. You can find many posts here.

Setting an eLearning Strategy

After a day of travel to get here, I started AG08 at 7:15 with this “Breakfast Byte” facilitated by Clark Quinn. Half the reason I choose this particular session was because of Clark Quinn, but equally because my company is trying to figure out how to best use eLearning. I’m happy to say I’m not the only one, but also surprised that getting eLearning started is such an issue for so many. After more than a decade of the Internet, eLearning should be run-of-the-mill. Even with robust tools we still struggle with the basics (like management and IT buy-in).

Keynote Presentation

Next I was off to the keynote by Keith Sawyer. Clark Quinn already blogged about it and has a cool map of the talk, so you can read more about the keynote on his blog. While I enjoyed the presentation, I wasn’t blown away. It was well worth the time and Keith had a lot to offer the eLearning community.

Positioning Your Career in Social Networking and Collaborative Learning

Ray E. Jiménez, Ph.D. started by saying as of today, the LMS is obsolete. He also gave us several new job titles like Collaborative Learning Anthropologist. His point was that social networking is all about people, not about technologies. You need to know about people; you have to understand the nature of your organization and how people behave. His blog is http://vignettestraining.blogspot.com/ if you’d like to read more of his work. He definitely made me think about the skills I need to develop. Technology changes rapidly and tools become obsolete, but people are always going to be social animals.

Learning 2.0: Harnessing the Potential of Contextual Informal Learning

I attended this session because informal learning is the most obvious buzzword currently being used. I also think it holds the future of eLearning. Maybe with mobile tools the buzzword is gaining momentum. Janhavi Padture presented some good information on why informal learning is so important, most notably that 70% of learning is informal. She then showed us FlockPod by Harbinger. FlockPod is a tool that adds social networking functions to learning content using an floating toolbar that sits in front of the browser window. Conceptually, I think it’s a cool idea. I’m not sure I like the implementation, but I did get a lot of food for thought.

E-Learning 2.0: Dynamic, web-based Technologies Enable Personalized Learning on Demand

This presentation covered a lot tools and introduced a lot of concepts that I was already familiar with, but a surprising number of people weren’t. Web 2.0 is old news to me, so I’m surprised when people haven’t heard of Facebook or Twitter. Nevertheless, the session showed how Web 2.0 can be used in learning. I really enjoyed this session. One thing Mr. Shaw said that stuck with is that Elearning 2.0 is, to a certain extent, dependent on Web 2.0 adoption in the enterprise. That seems obvious now, but struck me because it makes so much sense. If your organization is resistant to using the tools or IT won’t support them, their use in learning will be severely limited.

Feeding your Inner Power Learner! Learning to Leverage RSS

I ended the day with this presentation by Brent Schlenker. Again, I was looking at more informal learning tools. Brent did an excellent job of explaining and demonstrating how RSS works. Again I was surprised that more people didn’t know more about it. One of Brent’s points was that if we want to use these new tools (like RSS) to deliver content we need to first use them for ourselves. He encouraged everyone to get a Google account and start using Google Reader, or another reader. I recommend Google Reader. We absolutely have to use new technologies as consumers before we use them as content creators. I took eLearning courses before I developed them. It just makes sense.

That was it for formal sessions. It was a lot for one day. I think the highlight was actually dinner. I connected with B.J. Schone and a group of eight others and went out to eat and talk. We all are one person development shops (except B.J., but he was until recently). Just talking with others about eLearning or family or whatever was the perfect way to end the day. Thanks to everyone.

Now, I need to sleep. More tomorrow.

2 Responses to ELearning Guild AG08 Day 1

  1. Clark Quinn says:

    Thanks! Wonder if what you heard in the Breakfast Byte made sense/helped. And you don’t have my blog on your blogroll?!? 😉 Hope to meet you here.

  2. B.J. Schone says:

    Good wrap-up of a very busy day! I echo many of your thoughts and opinions…and I’m glad we could meet up. I’m looking forward to the next few days, and then lots of catch-up sleep this weekend!

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