Interesting case, another one of having to train a lot (250.000) people who are not working in your organisation and where you have no control over. They went for small learning nuggets on an ‘ ordinary’ website optimized for tablets. Most striking for me, they dropped the mandatory registration and log in. Almost all of their content is freely accessible for everyone.
Next week is mLearncon, I’m looking forward to it. I went through the description of all the sessions. I was looking for interesting sessions to attend, but also for some trends.
One thing is clear. There are more case studies than last year and the case studies are mostly about real implementations, not pilots. This is a signal of the progress mLearning is making. But the numbers are not overwhelming. This is also what I read and heard elsewhere. There is a group of early adopters implementing serious mLearning projects, but a lot of companies still have many doubts, especially on security. The majority still has to follow.
One expected trend is missing TinCan (or the Xperience API). It was big last year, version one is out and I was expecting a lot from that. I could find just one presentation on TinCan.
There are a lot of sessions on tools and techniques. It looks like the tools and the methods are ready to help you create mLearning. I will check that out for you.
It is as the Mlearncon website says: “Mobile learning isn’t a question of “if,” but “when.” You need to integrate mLearning into your learning and performance mix, or risk getting left behind by the competition.”
The ‘ when’ looks like the big question. I will attend as many sessions next week as I can to see if I can spot more trends and find more info. And I will try to blog on them. More to follow….
How do you capture a 19 hour day in a post? That is the challenge of today’s blog. I had installed myself yesterday evening in the pool area of the hotel. Laptop, wireless (sponsored by easygenerator!) and a glass of whiskey. I was just starting to write this post, when two guys (Drew and Marc) joined me. We ended up talking until quit late. That’s one of things I really like about guild conferences. There are so many interesting people working on and thinking about the same stuff as I do. I spoke today to dozens of them. Really inspiring.
Project Tin Can: new scorm standard!
In fact I have to start on the day before the conference. I had a meeting with Aaron Silvers (from ADL) and Tim Martin (from Rustici software) about Project Tin Can. They had exiting news, the work they did on project TinCan will actually become our new Scorm standard and it will in a few months time. It will actually focus on learning experiences. Allowing collaboration on courses, include social media; giving us a language to talk to learning management systems, in short it will lift the limitations that Scorm gives us. This is great news, we have a ton of ideas for ‘next generation learning’ that we couldn’t implement because of scorm limitations. Now we will get a next generation standard. Read all about it at scorm.com!
Keynote by John Maeda about leadership
I liked this keynote, but I was not blown away by it. He didn’t really make the connection with learning. On the leadership topic he had interesting remarks. One was that as a leader you have to get dirty hands (literally). You should have passion, get to the core and be about the why.
I liked his thoughts on how you start out with directional knowledge that makes your identity, then you will get conceptual knowledge (the how) and when you apply this you will get experimental knowledge. But these experiences will change your insights, your concepts and your identity. This means that nothing is written in stone, there is room for doubt and failure. he calls this ‘Fail productively’. These are things that aren’t very often connected to leadership. I believe he is right. Innovation comes from a mix of passion and doubt. If you are not willing to discuss the things you know, there will never be any change. John writes a blog called creative leadership.
People, people people
There are 1300 participant at this conference and I think I spoke to a fair share of them. I did two presentations and was at the booth for a large part of the day. I have to say that the traffic at the expo was a bit less than expected. Last year the expo was next to the ballroom where the general sessions were. This year they moved the general sessions to another building (just across the pool). This makes it less obvious to wander into the expo after a general session.
I went to a LINGOs dinner in the evening and I really enjoyed it. Again more interesting people (Lingos staff, members from ngo’s, participants in the global give back competition and sponsors). It really is a special organization. Doesn’t LINGOs ring a bell with you? Please check their website and start participating. Help them to help ngo’s to make this world a better place!
Tomorrow is the start of the Learning Solution conference, but for me it started today. The Ipad/Iphone app is now available and that is a great way to start the conference. You can easily browse through all the session, see the presentations and add them to your schedule with one click. I love it.
There are a lot of session that I want to attend, I hope that it will be possible, because I have to be at the booth as well. There is another innovation at the LSCON; Map Deck. All presentations are online and Map Deck enables you to pick out slides and put them in your own collection: Either online or in PowerPoint. I took a short glance at it and if it works that is really an added value. At first hand it looks a bit complicated because it is not integrated into the guild website and app. See this link for instructions.
This evening I will join a session for vendors on project TinCan. Project TinCan was a research by Rustici software (sponsored by ADL) into the next generation Scorm. It now looks like this project will be the next Scorm standard. As far as I understood they will enable all kind of social inter-activities. I will find out more this evening and will let you know tomorrow (I plan to write a post each conference day)
And I will meet with my colleagues Steve Harz (from the US) and Sasha Chernenko (from the Ukraine). We don’t meet a lot face to face and I’m really looking forward to sit down with them instead of all the virtual meetings we have all the time. Dan Richards and Ron Wincek from our US partner Interactive Advantage will join us for dinner. All in all a good pre-start of the conference.
I hope to meet a lot of you tomorrow, here is where you can find me: in our booth #409 most of the time. I present from 2.30 to 3.30 on learning maps (International center) and from 4 to 4.45 on The next generation of e-Learning (Grand Ballroom, emerging technology stage). I will join the Lingos dinner in the evening.
This was my second Guild conference (been to Learning Solutions in March) and one thing that really struck me at both conferences is the atmosphere. It’s a world of difference if you compare it to the Online Educa in Berlin or the Learning Solutions in London. Both guild conferences have the feeling of a gathering of peers. I really like that, London and Berlin don’t have that at all.
For easygenerator it was an important conference too. We set out in a very specific direction and this was the first time we could actually find out if it was any good. Well we got that confirmation and more. It will be interesting to see how many leads will convert into customers and hopefully fans in the end.
For me on a professional level the biggest take away is the curation of content. I knew the phenomenon being a user of the sites of Jay Cross and Tony Karrer but up till now I wasn’t really aware of the strategic impact. And it’s something that will affect e-Learning development. It is something we need to take into account in our road map. I do believe that it is not a threat for e-Learning authors but a great change to get a greater and even more meaningful role. I believe that you have to add moderation to curation in order to be effective. I you point me in the direction of a new book that’s helpful, if you tell me what the content and the relevance is, it has a greater value to me. I’m still processing this, but I will definitely come back on this.
It was a great opportunity to network and I did meet and speak with lots of interesting people.
I’m a huge fan of an agile approach (I wrote about that in previous posts) and this was the first e-Learning conference that I heard people talking about it and where presenting on it. That’s great, I really believe that such an agile approach has great advantages over ADDIE and other methods. I hope it catches on. I’m even considering adding support for the agile process to easygenerator. Another point I will come back on.
The initiative of LINGOs to make learning and education available to everyone in the developing world is really amazing. I really hope that this will succeed. Another topic I will definitely get back on.
It was a great conference, very valuable from a business perspective and from the perspective as an e-Learning professional. The people, the organization and the facilities where great, the only negative thing I can come up with is the location. O boy, do I hate Vegas.
I started the day with a Morning Buzz session about management and leadership by Michelle Fanfarillo and Bill Harisson. They are from Intel and told us how they try to connect to the business. At Intel learning is a support organization (as always) resorting under HR so they have to work hard to connect to the business. Intel is huge, 96000 people, 200 plus countries, 15 main sites, 10.000 managers. What they did was to give each HR director of a business group a learning consultant. They also have country organizations with a HR director, they got a learning consultant too. They now are setting up a steering committee in order to have a central point of direction.
This is how they manage their managers. I asked them how they manage the increasing needs of individual learners and they told me that they haven’t figured that out yet. The conclusion was don’t work from learning goals but from organization/business goals. Insure access to the business leaders and use a steering committee.
Internet time alliance, Interactive review of DevLearn
The second session I attended was run by the Internet time alliance. All five of them where there. They did a review of the conference results. They gave their findings, showed interviews with conference attendees and asked the people that attended the session. I made a mind map of it:
But the most important insight was the curation of content.
After this I had a final meeting with my colleagues Chris and Steven, they both had to leave.
I had some meetings in the afternoon. One with David Holcombe (president and CEO of the Elaerning guild) and Heidi Fisk (Executive director) about the possibility of an European Guild conference. Conclusion it will happen, the question is when.
But by far the most exiting meeting was with some people of LINGOs. They now support Ngo’s who work in developing countries. Eric Berg came up with a plan to up the stakes a bit, the new goal is to make knowledge and learning available to anyone in developing countries. I just checked how many people live in developing countries and found the following figure: 5,727,771,964 (give or take a few). This is a mind-blowing initiative. If they pull it of it would be worthy of a Nobel Prize. Imagine if all people have access to learning and they could really develop them selves. It would mean less poverty, less hunger, less war, fewer people dying, more people having to chance to a better life. They formed a steering committee that will work out the plan in further detail and Eric has asked me to be part of that committee. I’m very honored that I can be a part of this great plan and I hope that I can contribute to it. I will be writing more about this initiative in the future. Wow!
I have five hours left before I have to pack my bags and go home. I will try to get some sleep before that. For now preliminary conclusion of DevLearn is: it was a great week!
I started with a morning buzz session with Jay Cross. He told us how he deals with the information overload that is flooding all of us. The message is simple. You go from push to pull, with RSS feeds you pull information in instead for searching it on the web. The second step is that he uses software (Aggregage) to store, organize and publish the information he pulls in. This way he creates a place where people can go to see his selection of information for certain topics. This means that people are replacing search engines. Instead of looking things up with google you plugin to the knowledge of somebody who is an acknowledged specialist in his field. Jay does this on workingsmarterdaily.com. Another example is the Elearninglearning the site of Tony Karrer. This blog and the easygenerator blog are ‘republished’ or aggregated through that site.
And that covers the keynote of the day too. Steven Rosenbaum presented ‘the future of learning is context’ and his story was an exact copy of Jay’s. Steven calls this ‘curation’ and told us that by publishing (like this blog or a twitter feed) we are all curating information. Funny coincidence to have those two session back to back with exactly the same message.
After the keynote the expo demanded our attention, I wasn’t able to go to other sessions. That is the flip side of being an exhibitor, you are there for others and not for yourself. I wished I was able to clone myself and do both.
The expo has been very good for us we have a ton of leads en the coming weeks will be packed with following up, giving webinars and assisting people who signed up for the 30 day trial. It’s great, it is why we are here.
I also presented on the ‘Emerging technology stage’ together with Marten du Prez of aNewSpring. I showed how you can create individual learning paths within an e-Learning course, he explained how they make it possible to create individual learning paths between courses. I told how frustrated I got when I was creating e-learning courses. You work from learning objectives and design a course based on that. Then you go into your authoring tool that doesn’t have any support for learning objectives and you loose it all. In stead you end up with a powerpoint like course that reports based on page progress. It turns out , frustration is shared by almost every developer. I compared page progress with giving a car key to somebody and telling them that they have to stick it in the contact of the car for 10 hours and then they will get their drivers license. You don’t do that, why should we approach e-learning like that. By the response I received it seems that we have found a working solution for this problem and that we are adding real value for both the developer and the learner. Michael Allen, the CEO of Allen interactions came over to me in a bar and told me that he loved our approach of learning objectives. That’s another sign that we are on track.
The rest of the day was filled with meetings and working at the booth. I had lunch with Eric Berg, he is the Executive director of Lingos. They are a great organization that supports ngo’s with e-Learning facilities and knowledge, they really make a difference with their work and I’m a fan. Easygenerator is a sponsor of LINGOs, offering easygenerator for free to all associated ngo’s. On a personal title I’m an ambassador for them, trying to gain more support in Europe. I will represent LINGOs at the online Educa. It’s always an inspiration the meet Eric and I’m happy that I can make a contribution to his organization.
We had a quit evening dinner with our team and evaluated the expo and made plans for how to follow all those leads in the best possible way. For us DevLearn is a huge success and we will be back next year at the expo.Yesterday was the last day of the expo so I will have some time to attend sessions today. That and some meetings will fill the last day of the conference.
The actual start of the conference and what a day it turned out to be. It began early at 02.00. I woke up after just two hours of sleep (the jet lag hit me) and I was wide awake. At three I decided to go down to the casino with $100 in my pocket and I played black jack for half an hour. And it paid off.
I’m not a gambler at all. It is my second time in Vegas and it was my second time in a casino. The previous time I won $1200, so it is Las Vegas 0 – Kasper 1700! I went back to my room and did some work, at five I discovered that my colleague Chris was awake to. We went for some coffee and went to the gym.
Then I went to my first session of the day. At Guild conferences you have so-called Morning buzz sessions, they start at 07.15. Crazy initiative, but it works. I went to the session of Charles Jennings in the management track. It was about governance, how do you connect your learning department to the business. His main point was that you should have a sort of board who makes decisions about the ‘What’ of the learning. He told about his experience as a CLO at Reuters where they had a board with business leaders, HR and Learning. He told that he did some research and found that about 50% of the companies have boards like that, but only 12,5% of all companies had business stakeholders in that board. His point is that you should have them. We discussed about the experiences of other attendees and every interesting point was made by Jay Cross. He said that you have to do a performance analysis instead of a training need analysis. That way you can tie the learning better to the business. Sounds logical to me.
Then it was time for the opening and the keynote by Michio Kaku, I had really high expectations because the keynotes I attended at the guild conference in Orlando where of an exceptional high level. He disappointed me. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and basically he told us that computers would become so small in 20 years time and so cheap that they would be everywhere (but invisible) and completely change our live. Instead of computers you will have contact lenses that will connect you to the internet and project relevant information into the real world (augmented reality). His talk didn’t bring me any new insights. Clarck Quin made a mindmap of this presentation, so you can check that out.
After the keynote the expo opened and we where flooded by people who wanted to know more about easygenerator. This interest continued until the expo closed (at 7.00), we worked our stand with the four of us and it was hectic. We got great responses and great interest in easygenerator. Hopefully this will lead to loads of new customers.
At 9.30 Bill Brandon published his article about easygenerator in the Learning Solutions Magazine, great stuff. I will let him interview me any time he wants.
At 12.00 we had a product presentation at the big stage in the expo. It was supposed to be presented by my colleague Chris and Dan Richards (of our US partner Advantage Interactive). But yesterday evening Dan became ill and had to go home. We decided that we would improvise and I got on stage and did a demo of easygenerator. I think it worked out OK.
At 2.45 I had my session on Outcome Learning, there where about 35 people in the audience and I really enjoyed sharing my ideas. It was the first time I presented about this in public and I got good responses. All sessions are evaluated by the audience, it will be interesting to see how I actually did in their eyes. I tried to embed the Prezi, but I didn’t succeed. So here is the link to it.
It was so busy at the stand that I completely missed the second keynote of the day by Tom Koulopoulos. The title was Living and Learning in the cloud. I’m sorry that I missed it. Clarck made another mind map of the presentation. What I understand from the mind map that he focuses on the effect of the cloud on behavior and not on the technique. Sounds interesting enough. I will buy his book and tell you later what his story is.
At the end of the day I was invited to an informal dinner with some interesting people. I enjoyed a good dinner and dito conversation. I was back in my room at 23.00 and dived straight into bed. I woke up at 04.00 and wrote this post. The gym will open at 05.30 I will go there and have a good start of day 2.