An early post on MLearncon in San Diego, the eLearning Guild conference on Mobile learning. I know it is still a week before it starts but I will be leaving for the USA already this Thursday. First a few days New York and then San Diego and Mlearncon. I will probably not have any time to blog before the conference starts. I will be blogging from the conference on all the sessions I attend.
The fun for a conference always begins with viewing and selecting the sessions. While doing so, I took some notes, they should give you an idea about what the conference will be like.
How does MLearncon score on the Spiro Index
I’m becoming a real conference veteran. This will be my fourth major eLearning conference of 2014 (Learning Technology London, Learning Solutions Orlando, ASTD ICE Washington, and now Mlearncon in San Diego). Before I go to any conference I will download the app, go through all the sessions and add all interesting sessions to my Agenda. When I have double bookings on time slots I will make a second selection per time slot. Works like a charm. I also discovered that the number of double (or triple, or more) booked time slots is a good indication for the conference quality. Based on this I came up with the “Spiro index”; the average number of sessions that I have selected for a time slot. Two or higher is a good score. Mlearncon scores a 2.375 so that is a good sign! I will also rate all the sessions I attend and based on that I will create a final score. I will also do that for future conferences, it might be interesting to see if this helps to compare them.
MLearnCon Session topics and trends
I’m also always looking for trends at each conference. Step one in finding them is grouping all the sessions in categories. At MLearnCon there are approximately 100 sessions in total, here is my division in categories:
What does stand out is that there are 33 tools and technique sessions, that is one-third. Add the 14 basics/getting started to that and a part of the strategy/framework sessions and it means that about 50% of the session aim at organizations that are starting up with mobile learning. That looks like a trend. The other thing that stands out is that there are 14 Case studies, that is more than last year. This shows that more and more companies have deployed MLearning. Finally a newcomer for MLearnCon is the performance support (6 sessions), I can’t recall any from last year. This means that the ‘ePerformance’ trend has also reached to mobile space. I will check at the conference if these trends will be confirmed or that I detect other trends.
The guild conferences are known for their great keynote speakers, I loved last years Keynote at Mlearncon by Tamar Elkeles. I have to say that I’m not convinced yet by the descriptions of this year’s keynotes: Larry Irving, on the mobile revolution and the fact that this is the first technical revolution that is taking place globally. Karen McGrane about the fact that there are so many devices out there that your content should adapt to all these devices and that you have to develop a matching content strategy (cool title by the way “Content in a Zombie Apocalypse”). And a panel with: Imogen Casebourne, Clark Quinn and Chad Udell on the successes and failures of MLearning. Interesting but nothing mind-blowing or surprising, but who knows….
As said, I will be blogging on all sessions I attend and I will write a conference recap at the end. Summery reports will also be posted in the easygenerator blog. But the best way to keep track is the back channel by David Kelly.