One of the values of a vendor conference (to me at least) is that it allows me to see where my vendor is going. What is their roadmap? Is it worth following?
Thus far - SkillSoft has been pretty good about listening to their customers (more so than any other vendor I have worked with) and keeping their pulse on the greater learning environment.
John Ambrose gave one of his better presentations this year. He argues that 2013 is the beginning of the era of Learner Engagement.
- How can we give people what they want when they want it?
- How can we make the learning experience more engaging?
- How can we encourage them to rent us their hearts, not just their hands?
- How can we leverage the visual experience that makes content more engaging?
- How can we create collaborative experiences that help increase engagement?
- How can we challenge our audience appropriately (since brain activity is highest when anticipating a challenge)?
- How can we use the new opportunities presented through new modes of engagement (like mobile, like wearable computers) and the data these devices collect to improve the learner experience?
We've talked in the eLearning space about the importance of learner engagement and creating learner-centric instruction for a very long time. We've also talked about performance support and just-in-time learning for awhile. This is a nice summary of how these ideas dove-tail.
The big reason why I was excited to attend this year's Perspectives was to hear Seth Godin speak.
He believes that we are looking at the development of a Connection economy.
Connecting is a human act. We, as humans, are the best at that.
To participate in the Connection economy we need to bring 2 things to the table:
- Generosity - because no one wants to connect with the selfish
- Art - which he defines as the "human act of doing something for the first time"
Sharing that art, risking failure - that act leads to connection.
Through connection, we gain AND give value.
As much as I've been resisting the idea of being a connector - I just realized while Seth Godin was talking that I am being thrust in that role whether I want to be or not.
Time to get a lot more generous and perform a lot more art.
"Is this the best I can do?"
The key question Seth Godin asks of himself daily.
I should too.