Thursday, March 19, 2009

AG|09 - Another Great eLearning Conference

While the current recession kept a few eLearning practitioners in the office, the rest of us were sharing/learning from our colleagues in Orlando at The eLearning Guild's Annual Gathering Conference.  AG|09 LIVE provided virtual attendees with a connection to the action as well as connecting colleagues with each other at the event.

Of course twitter was the social glue that kept everyone connected.  I don't have a photo of it this time, but we used the Twittercamp bigscreen again so that everyone could follow the conversation in the halls of the event. 

I only saw the first 2 keynotes (Jeff Howe and Bill Tancer) and followed the 3rd (Tod Maffin)via twitter.  The idea of crowdsourcing is exactly what the future education is all about. And the incredible stories created from data is shockingly different than what you might think.  People will tell you one story, but their actions will tell you the true story.  Can we begin to use Internet data as BETTER form of eLearning needs assessment?  I think so.  Let's start working on that.
I'd love to have someone add something in the comments about Tod Maffin's keynote.  I'm very disappointed that I missed it.

Dinner Groups
The dinner groups are always a big hit.  Unfortunately I didn't make it to any of the dinner groups, but I did follow the action on twitter and heard rave reviews the following days.  If you haven't figured it out yet, attending conferences is more about the UN-official conversations...hallway, dinner, drinks, etc.  And then if you have a talented artist, like Kevin Thorn, sitting at your table you end up with a GREAT image to remember all your new friends.

At DevLearn there is the Serious Games Zone, so for AG|09 the Guild created the IDZONE.  It was an amazing collection of mini-sessions held in the expo room focused on the MANY aspects of Instructional Design.  The wonderful and amazing Jean Marrapodi hosted this epic journey into the world of ID and it was incredibly well received.  Thanks Jean!
Kevin Thorn also posted a great list of IDzone resources.

I also missed this event, but I think these tweets sums it up: 
madsit: #AG09 Loved the Espresso Learning sessions! Definitely made you step out of your comfort box and get involved in the discussion.
annemscott: #ag09 First espresso learning (fostering informal learning) was excellent. Now on to social-media & user generated content.
There was SO much more, but you really had to be there.

Overall, It was a jam-packed, brain-filling EDventure as usual. It was great to see so many old friends, new friends, and virtual friends face2face.  The world of elearning is truly changing in many ways.  And I can tell you that there is no better way to be in this game than to meet, IN PERSON, with your peers.  But then to stay in touch virtually throughout the year until we meet again.  Please stay in touch!!!

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