As those who talked to me at DevLearn found out - I haven't had much blogging or eLearning mojo lately. I've been so busy that times I would normally use to reflect - I just couldn't.
I couldn't decide whether DevLearn came at a perfect time or at the worst time.
On the one hand, it came at the perfect time. I got an opportunity to briefly catch up with my eLearning buddies, get away from the office (something I DESPERATELY needed), think a little, and make sure that my plans meshed with where the industry is heading. I am also thrilled that I FINALLY got a chance to meet Harold Jarche (@hjarche) in person. Albeit way too briefly.
On the other hand, it came at the worst time. I had my SO and a friend with me and couldn't focus the way I normally do during conferences. Some of the sessions seemed too familiar - only because I followed the ideas as they were fermenting in the blogosphere. And because I had been so busy and so silent on the interwebz, I didn't feel like I had very much to contribute to the party this time.
I think I needed the time away from the office more than the fantastic information DevLearn provides. I was
To the relief of my employers, I did manage to walk away with two things of value from the week (besides a reduction in burnout).
1) Biggest takeaway - as a profession, we need to be focused more on creating learning environments and systems and less on building courses or creating content. Courses, training programs and the like are just a very small piece of what needs to be a larger support system for our organizations.
As trainers - we are the voice of the end-user. We can leverage this to our advantage and expand our role to be organizational engineers, not just "trainers".
I've started arguing for a consideration of support systems in a couple of my projects. Not just wikis, online tutorials etc - but the human systems surrounding assisting the end-user at the time of need. Who is responsible for what? Who can people talk to? When? How? What tools will we need to help the end user as they perform x task? Is this process sustainable or will we need to come up with a new process / design for later stages as the product / project matures?
Interestingly, my clients are often still stuck on "training"
And I keep asking them "So what happens after that?"
Maybe if I keep asking, I will see a glimmer of light behind the blank stares.
2) Josh Little and Nemo Chu's workshop on Building High Impact Learning Communities gave me an opportunity to at least start the strategic planning for aspects of a support system for a couple of projects that I am working on. One for a very mature product, one for a fairly new implementation.
A major weakness of mine is marketing. I keep hoping that people would magically start taking advantage of the resources we have available at the University. The workshop helped provide some direction in the creation of strategy.
This, I hope, will prove to be invaluable.
BTW - New DevLearn 2010 link on the blog and this post.
Click it to see all of my DevLearn 2010 notes.
Next conference: Educause Mid-Atlantic in Baltimore, MD.
I am actually PRESENTING at this one.
Poster session currently scheduled around 1pm on Thursday, January 13. If this goes well, you may see variations on this theme at other conferences.
Part of that pesky personal growth thing.....