Wednesday, June 03, 2009

#ASTD09 More random thoughts

My post from the Disney creativity session I attended will appear later tonight or early tomorrow. I drained the battery from the laptop I brought to the conference right as the session was ending.

Oh yeah - and I managed to win a free 3.5 day seminar at Disney in Orlando. All I need to do is figure out airfare and timing.

Coolest thing I've won since the (now deceased) video iPod from eLearnDevCon 07. The same conference where Brent Schlenker inspired me to start this blog.

Hey Brent - have I thanked you recently ;' )
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I had a fantastic lunch with Clark Quinn at Chinatown First (the place with the guy making noodles in the window). It was the closest to "Old Chinatown" I could get.

Despite the noise in the joint, Clark and I had a fantastic discussion. And, as usual, he gave me lots to think about.

- Developing a social network. My immediate concern has been to just get people to share information internally, but he's thinking many steps ahead. Why keep the network just internal? Why can't you build the social support structure at the same time as the information support structure? Why not see if the vendor already has something in place for the end-user (do the "experts" really need to be the gatekeeper)? I did the knee-jerk "implementation-thinking" before really mulling over the idea - which made my reaction initially more negative than it should have been. Hmmm....

- We rambled about core assumptions that may still need to be uncovered.

- Talked about Cathy Moore's Action Learning model. I am in the process of using it as a facilitation tool for instructional design among the various training departments who have asked me about eLearning (my workplace has many many training departments under different umbrellas). He things the model is solid. I agree and also think her tools are solid. Will keep you all informed about how that works.

- Discussions of the wonders of free help desk tools. Being able to see another person's computer when you are talking - absolutely invaluable.

And lots and lots of other stuff. The type of free-ranging conversation that occurs when two people with similar interests get together to bounce ideas.

Thanks for lunch Clark. Hope to break bread with you further during the Innovations in eLearning conference. And hope your transition to Fairfax is uneventful.

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Also had a chance to talk to Scott and Ethan at Allen Interactions about the development tool they are working on.

Again, it is a research stage thing and it sounded like they were getting some fantastic feedback from some of the more technically-minded learning developers. The big crux here is that they are working on all of the things that have frustrated those of us who develop online tutorials for a living. Particularly some pretty sophisticated branching mechanisms. And I think they may be walking away with the realization that they have something very powerful.

Out of respect for Allen Interactions (I've been pretty impressed with the work coming out of that company), I'm going to stay a bit cagey on the details of the tool until they give me permission to blog about what they are working on. Besides, it is still in way early prototype. They haven't done any eLearning production using it yet and they haven't decided who their final audience is (or if they are even going to release it into the wild to grubbers like me).

Scott, Ethan - thank you so much for your time this morning.

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I am now sitting at home hoping my legs loosen up for me to get through my second CrossFit class without completely embarrassing myself. So if you see me walking very gingerly during Innovations in eLearning, you know why.

To those of you already at George Mason University - see you tomorrow!!!!

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