Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learning Solutions 2011 - The Brain, Presentations, and Culture

The Learning Solutions 2011 conference and expo was another amazing experience produced by The eLearning Guild. I spoke on Games and Simulations for Training, and Social Media for Learning, at the eLearning Foundations Intensive. The Intensive was a 2-day crash course on all major aspects of e-Learning. If you are new to e-Learning or just need to get the big picture fast, then this was the place to be. I also Hosted a panel of experienced e-Learning professionals in an Ignite format of fast-paced presentations. It was quite an experience to be sure.

For an AMAZING collection of resources from the event you should check out David Kelly's blog Misadventures in Learning. He's compiled a page of resources that will keep you busy for quite some time. He did not attend the event but was able to learn and participate simply by following the backchannel of social media coming out of the event. Nice work David!!!

The keynotes were especially powerful this year. Since David has all of the resources nailed down I thought I would just add my own commentary and thoughts on the keynotes.

Dr. Medina - Author of Brain Rules, and Brain Rules for Baby - BrainRules.net (great videos here)

He is one of the most amazing presenters I've heard in a long time. He is also, in my opinion, the MOST relevant name in e-Learning that is not in our industry and mostly ignored by our learning institutions and all those pretending to know about how learning works. As Dr. Medina will say...we know very little about learning and the brain, but we DO know a LOT more than we did 10, 20, or more years ago.

He took the LS2011 audience on an amazing journey through the process of how the brain takes in information, stores it in shortterm memory and how it converts to long term memory. Here's the gist. A piece of information is received and you have 30secs to repeat it before short term memory kicks it out. After that you have 2 hours to repeat it again before shortterm memory kicks it out. The key is REPETITION. Read the book for more. The most amazing fact is how long it takes for shortterm memory to let go of information to be perminently stored in long term memory:

"It takes a DECADE for information to reach its happy hunting ground in long term memory. And if that doesn't say something about your job...I don't know what does." - Dr. Medina

Here is a great blog post recap of Dr. Medina's Keynote.

Nancy Duarte - Slide:ology, and resonate

Nancy is an amazing woman that has stumbled into the training world after making a name for herself in the world of presentation creation. Her most famous presentation being Al Gore's on global warming. In her new book resonate Nancy defines a pattern for successful presentations. She studied the "I have a dream" speech and the "iPhone launch" speech and discovered that both fit the pattern. And now YOU can learn this pattern and become a master presenter.

Great communicators are great story tellers and from the earliest storytelling frameworks we begin to form the pattern that is the same for all great presentations.

Michael Wesch - The Machine is Us/ing Us

Dr. Wesch delivered a compelling, emotional presentation about how when create technologies those technologies then begin to re-create who we are. They shape our culture and they shape who we are. The most popular video he created is embedded below will open your eyes if you have not already seen it.

New media has given us all the ability to do something great. And maybe not even great, but merely simple enough to move just one person. That in and of itself is GREAT! The people side of technology is often overlooked. And what I often remind my audiences is that its not about the technology...it's about the people. It always has been and always will be.



Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for connecting us with Professor Wesch. I love both his work and the way he communicates it! The concept of crowd-sourced curation creating collaborative ideas is really interesting. I have to think more about the implications for learning.

Nancy Duarte said...

Thank you, Brent! I appreciate your post.