Friday, March 15, 2013

Learning Solutions 2013 - Virtual Attendance

Despite a hectic week at work, I was able to participate virtualy in the eLearning Guild's Learning Solutions Conference this week. Their new app is amazing with functions similar to what I'm already used to in other mobile social apps.  I think this is the first eLearning Guild event that I've not attended in 6 years.  It was a very strange feeling NOT being there.  But I got a first hand look at what it's like to be a virtual attendee.  It was a good experience, but for those who say the face-to-face conference is dead, I MUST insist you are wrong.

LSCon Hashcaster Home PageThere is nothing like connecting with people in person and technology will NEVER make that go away.  Technology can enhance our lives but never take away our need for connecting with others in real life.  I don't want to have this argument with anyone, so don't even start.  I've had enough experiences in my life now to just know this is true.  Inevitably this may be why MOOCs will someday require connecting with local attendees in smaller groups, but I digress...

Hashcaster was a great resource for tracking images, videos, and other event content however, I kept wishing more attendees would post more media using the #LSCon hashtag so that more content was there.  I think creating digital content is still not as common an activitiy as we might think...or wish. Yes, many of you are comfortable with it and create/share content readily, but I'm just saying that it's not the widespread practice that we think it is.

Despite wanting more content as a virtual participant, I do know that those on site had WAY MORE content than they ever thought possible.  The eLearning Guild has mastered the art of the conference and is always innovating and improving the experience for attendees, speakers, vendors, and virtual attendees. 

Recruiting the master of the conference backchannel David Kelly was a brilliant idea.  He is a passionate elearning professional with many years of experience in the trenchs of "real world" learning solutions.  And if you haven't heard, they also have Reubenn Tozman and Kevin Thorn chairing the 2 main Guild events.  Awesome!  I'm REALLY looking forward to attending events again very soon.  I probably won't make it too mLearnCon but I'm hoping for DevLearn 2013.

I'm still looking forward to reviewing the rest of the content that I missed. I know there is a lot in the form of handouts, twitter stream, etc. Being a virtual attendee was fun but I would prefer to be there. I hope to see y'all soon...in person.


 

5 comments:

Jenise Cook said...

It sounds like you're on new adventures, new directions. :-) Thanks for your feedback on their mobile app for the conference. Those tools do help when we can't attend.

Tyler Campbell said...

I agree with you that face to face communication still cannot be duplicated through technology, and most likely never will be. The amount of communication that is transmitted through body language, tone, eye contact, and other subconcious signals is simply not duplicated in an online environment. Yet, It seems that our educational systems are trying hard to find the right mix of interaction and convenience. Particular subjects can be taught completely online though, without face-to-face interaction. I am sure that something is lost, but some aspects are definitely gained.

Anonymous said...

DO you think you'll actively look to virtual participation for conferences and events that you wouldn't normally attend? Too often time and distance are the main factors that keep us away from these types of functions. Additionally, being able to review content at your own pace is a plus! I agree that in person is much more engaging, but having the option for virtual attendance opens up so many more opportunities.

Telia Bolden said...

Hi my name is Telia and I am a RU TRDV (training & development) graduate student. I agree that face to face connection is great but I also like the virtual aspect. It’s great to have this tool when needed. With people on the go constantly, it’s great to be able to connect when and where every. Thanks for sharing this information and feel free to check out our blog at rutraining.wordpress.com

Telia Bolden said...

Hi my name is Telia and I am a RU TRDV (training & development) graduate student. I agree that face to face connection is great but I also like the virtual aspect. It’s great to have this tool when needed. With people on the go constantly, it’s great to be able to connect when and where every. Thanks for sharing this information and feel free to check out our blog at rutraining.wordpress.com