We have this plastic Christmas tree for ages, but his message is still actual! Merry Christmas and a happy new year from me and Kinne.
DevLearn 2014 is over. I’m sitting in the pool area of the Bellaggio hotel writing this evaluation. Beautiful wheater, the temperature is in the eighties (29 Celsius). In an hour I will leave for Indianapolis to visit a partner of easygenerator. I will go from crazy Halloween Vegas to a serene lake house and from 84 degrees to night frost. That is quite a difference to bridge. In a way this is an analogy for my experience at DevLearn and the state of our industry.
During DevLearn I found that there is a huge gap between the presenters and the audience. I did notice that gap at other conferences as well, but in my opinion that gap is widening. And I believe that the gap with the real world and the business reality is even bigger. Let me explain.
The majority of the presenters is telling the audience that we need to integrate learning into the business, that we need to move from courses to performance support and knowledge management, that we need to go from designed content to user generated courses. The audience are L&D managers that are planning next year’s curriculum and instructional designers that want to create pixel perfect courses. They hear these stories but it is my impression that many of them even do not know where to start. Maybe this is a bit black and white image of the reality, but I’m afraid that is not far off from the reality.
Is this a bad thing? Yes and no. Yes because our industry is at risk becoming irrelevant to the business. No because a crisis is the only thing that will bring radical changes and in my mind we need at least radical changes, you might even call it a revolution.
Does this mean that this was a bad conference, no not at all. I learned a lot and got some new insights. I attended some great sessions and had great conversations. One of the most inspiring presentations was from J.D. Dillon on how Kaplan switched from 700 courses and PDF’s to a 70.000 page user generated wiki in two years time. An example that radical change is possible. So there still is hope.
Here is an overview of the sessions reports I wrote these last three days:
Morning buzz session on knowledge management
Keynote: Niel de Grasse Tyson: Science literacy and the future of work
Session: Learning and performance ecosystems
Session: Trends leading to the end of the LM
Keynote: Beau Lotto. How perception shapes the universe of the mind
Session: Graig Weiss: top 10 authoring tools of 2014
Session, Lisa Minogue: What organizations can learn from the MOOC experience
Session: The impact of wearable technology on performance support
Morning buzz: WYSIWYG is dead
Session. Transform users into contributors
This morning I hosted a morning buzz session on WYSIWYG versus WYSIWYM. In a WYSIWYG environment you work as an author in an application that will show you the content in exactly the same way as the learner will see it. INstructional designers like this because it gives you control. You can determine per pixel where something will be. But with the rise of mobile devices the responsive publications came. The publication software will determine, based on the device and screen size where to place content on the screen, so it will fit that screen. At easygenerator this led to the decision to base our new web based authoring environment on a WYSIWYM interface. This is more a like a form that you fill in and the template you choose in combination with the responsive software will determine where to put your elements. It mean loss of control for the author, but responsiveness and flexibility for the learner.
We discussed this issue in the morning buzz session. Everybody agrees that all designs should be responsive so you should go for the WYSIWYM interface. The funny thing is that right now it is not a big issue, because developing for a tablet, a laptop or a PC is not that different. People don’t create courses for smart phones, if they do create content for a phone, is will be specific content that is created separately. So right now everybody could still use a WYSIWYG interface. But our conclusion was that in the future that will be different and therefore although Instructional designers like WYSIWYG more and right now it still works for them, we should move to WYSIWYM anyway. An interesting conclusion for me.
This morning buzz session was triggered because I attended Karen McGranes keynote Content in a Zombie apocalypse at Mlearncon earlier this year. Check that out, brilliant presentation and ditto book.
Two hot topics covered in one session. Wearable devices and performance support. David gave a whole bunch of examples with the warning, this is happening today, make sure that you are aware of it. It will come fast and will change our world, start preparing. David has a page with all the details and more. My notes:
This was my own session. I had a great attendance and I enjoyed giving it. I discussed trends that I see in eLearning that will rock our world. The disappearance of the LMS will just be one of the consequences. The way we create content, the content itself, the way we deliver it, the way we organize it, all this will change rapidly and fundamentally. My presentation is in the conference app for download, but it mainly contains images and a video. Therefore we created a white paper with much more detailed information. You can download the white paper at https://www.easygenerator.com/13-trends-leading-end-lms/