Learning 2014 Reflections - Tuesday

Today began with an early session learning about TED Ed. The TED Ed platform is pretty incredible allowing you to easily create and share lessons on just about anything. The platform integrates with youtube and allowing anyone to search for a video, then create a lesson around that video complete with knowledge checks, discussions, and links to other relevant content. you can even track who has completed the lesson and who is still working through the lesson. Oh, and best of all, it's FREE!

After that, I attended a session on creating and editing video using your iPhone and iMovie. I'm already very comfortable with video and editing but I still learned a ton! There are some cool rigs for the iPhone which help to make the video more stable. This session confirmed for me the iPhone 6 Plus was the right choice. For video and photos, the larger screen is simply invaluable. I was also able to download the iMovie app for FREE! Can't wait to start playing around and making movies.

The morning general session included keynote talks on Brain Science by Ann Herrmann-Nehdi and a cooking demo by Chef Bobby Flay.

After lunch, I attended a session on making On-the-Job development part of your daily habit. While I found this session to be informative and interesting, it wasn't entirely what I was hoping for. None the less, the discussions were good and focused on the importance of daily employee feedback, debriefs, and regular 1:1 meetings on development not status.

The next session included good discussion on disruptive learning and a demo of a video portal where employees upload their own user generated learning videos. I was surprised to find there is no review of the content prior to upload. Employees commit to the organization's code of conduct and are listed as the video author. This appears to be working for the organization. Adoption is high and overall use of the platform is growing.

I am finding this to be the direction more and more companies are going. I've heard similar stories from other organizations who launched a very similar platform with high adoption. In each case, the level of control and review over the content is different. Some are strict and have to approve the content before it goes live, some have no review process. Some groups even require a periodic review of the video to ensure it is still relevant. I like this approach.

The afternoon general session included more keynote speakers. Paul Leblanc joined us virtually and spoke about a new approach to education that is happening in some higher ed institutions. At the Southern New Hampshire University, the more traditional model of credit hours has been replaced with a competency-based model where students have to demonstrate mastery in 120 competencies. Time is variable that is removed as a requirement and it's the learning that becomes non-negotiable. In this model there are no letter grades and the opposite of success is not failure, it's try again.

This is an interesting approach that will no doubt generate a good deal of healthy discussion.

After Paul, The Second City improve comedy group performed several very funny skits around training and learning. This is a talented group of individuals. They spoke about the importance listening plays in Improvisation. You have to be ready for what the other person may throw at you. The takeaway for us was to listen like an improvisor and listen creatively. As learning professionals, this is a critical skill to have an an important part of what we do.

The general session continued with an interesting discussion by Marc Hodosh on the next generation of medicine. Fascinated with the question of why we age, Marc studied medicine but eventually left that path to become an entrepreneur. Mark whet on to establish several companies, products and television shows. He is currently working on a show called Longevity which explores the implications of living longer. He believes aging to be a disease and wants to find a cure.

The general session ended with a brief talk with Larry Israelite on Lies about Learning. He has a book of the same title which I am interested in reading. We need to consider the affordances  a new technology provides. Think about the application of that technology to specific problems that need solving. Remember when Second Life was going to revolutionize learning?

Overall, today was another successful day! I met so many new people from different backgrounds and industries. It's so good to be part of such an amazing industry. Everyone wants to learn from each other and they are so passionate about their work.

I'll leave you with some photos from the day.

Learning 2014 Reflections - Monday

Today was a great day filled with interesting speakers, discussions, and learning. I was fortunate to meet up with a fellow employee from another Division and connect with a few alumni!

The agenda included two general sessions separated by several smaller learning sessions and meetups. The general sessions included keynote speakers including:

Nick Pinchuk, CEO of Snap-On Tools
Passionate about talent, training and development. Believes companies have an obligation to upscale their employees. The more capable your workforce is, the more successful you will be.

Metra Mehran, Afghanistan Student
Inspiring talk by an extraordinary young woman from Afghanistan. Dedicated to improving access to learning against all odds.

Sir Ken Robinson, TED Talks
Awesome speaker with a gift for telling great stories. Strong advocate for creativity and the arts in education. The wellspring of human achievement is the capacity for imagination

Logan Smalley, TED Ed
Shared the vision of TED Ed and gave a brief demo of the TED Ed platform, a free tool to create and share educational lessons. I definitely need to look into this further.

Robin Roberts, GMA Host
Spoke about her life, family and how she became the head anchor at GMA. A very funny and genuine speaker.

Between general sessions, I was off attending a few of the many learning sessions scheduled for the day. These sessions were:

  • From one-size-fits-all to Flexible operations-managed & on-demand learning.
  • Leveraging video for learning: On-the-Job, Peer-to-Peer, and more
  • Instructional Design: New Approaches & Roles
  • Learning Tech: Back to the Future

These sessions were engaging, interactive and generated lots of great discussion among the participants.

Once again, I'll leave you with a few photos from the day.

Learning 2014 Reflections - Sunday

It's good to be back!

After 7 long years since attending my last Elliott Masie Learning conference, I'm back this week in Orlando at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort with 1,700 participants for Learning 2014.

Learning 2007 was great. But when I look back, I can't help but think how different things were. Remember the 'Web 2.0' buzz? How about the original iPhone? Twitter was just getting started and Facebook was a very different animal.

Fast forward 7 years and everything has changed. It's a whole new kind of experience. The technology of 2007 has matured. I'm walking around with my iPhone 6Plus taking 8MP photos, connecting with other attendees, even meeting up with Alumni via twitter. The conference is also experimenting with iBeacons, QR codes are all over, meetups are everywhere and everyone is connected.

Learning 2014 is packed with 13+ keynote speakers, 175 sessions, and dozens of experiences to participate in. Tonight's general session was packed with lots of great topics, thought provoking guests, a Capella singers, and a giant 110 foot curved screen that would make any gamer drool.

While the conference doesn't officially kick off until tomorrow, I'm already engaged and meeting new people who share my same passion for learning. I'm really excited for and looking forward to the next three days.

OK, time to plan my schedule of sessions for tomorrow. I'll leave you with some photos from an afternoon walk and this evening's general session.

Look for another reflection coming your way tomorrow night.