This blogpost is my long overdue trip report for the ASTD TechKnowledge conference Las Vegas, NV January 26-29, 2010. For the first time in a number of years I attended TK10 as a stakeholder and participant, rather than as a vendor or industry observer. I was a member of this year's TK10 program committee, one of the people who volunteered to wrangle a small piece of the program dealing with Authoring and Platforms.
How did THAT ever happen??
Well....You may remember that there was a point last spring, around the time of the ASTD International Conference and Exhibition, that the learning blogo/twitter-sphere was sparkling with breezy gossip about how badly new media was being used at ICE. Well, I love gossip as much as the next person, so of course I scrolled and scanned and searched to get my fill. Tsk, tsk, meow.
Even so, at the time I remember thinking just how precious we elearning gods and goddesses can sound when we rail about the flawed life forms around us who aren't as good at this stuff as we are. And in that weak moment I made a resolution to be part of the solution, if I had a chance to do something proactive to help training and development techie newbies.
As sure as the sun rises in the east, Jim Javenkowski got in touch with me right around that same time with an invitation to join the program committee. I knew it was fate. And so I said yes.
ASTD puts a lot of effort into creating a strong program for its attendees. It starts with an experienced conference coordinator. Uses session evaluation data. Presentation proposals from members are submitted to peer review by program committee members with expertise across each and every part of the "learning and development meets eLearning" ecosystem. I personally was involved in proposal reviews, days of discussion about proposals and presentations, providing orientation webinars and sitting in a number of concurrent sessions. Committee members tweeted during the conference, and offered brief summaries of our closing session "TweetFest" experience during the closing session.
Yes. You heard me right. We closed this year's ASTD conference with a TweetFest. (And yes. We had wireless. Everywhere.)
I was very sad that @marciamarcia (Marcia Conner) was not able to be in attendance at the opening session. I so appreciate her social media sensibilities, and was looking forward to hearing about her and Tony Bingham's upcoming book. But of course family emergencies trump just about everything. Glad that things have resolved well.
Michelle Lentz, also known as @writetechnology, was one of my fabulous fellow program committee members. She inspired us all into getting a relatively good #tk10 Twitter back channel going on!! There were a number of prolific tweeters, thanks to those who shared. I especially want to recognize @carmean (Colleen Carmean), @stevier (Stevie Rocco), @technostats (Phil Ice,) @WWWayne (Wayne Hodgins), @arossett (Allison Rossett) and @eugenelee (Eugene Lee) for being among my favorite tweeters. I also met a number of new favorites to follow at Colleen Carmean's excellent Tech Intensive. You know who u are :-) Thanks for giving Twitter a shot.
I loved getting time with @WWWayne, also known as Wayne Hodgins. I love his work on the Snowflake Effect. These days, he is usually found on the good ship Learnativity, somewhere in the South Pacific. That I had occasion to hang with him three days in a row, in person, was exceptionally great.
During the past several years, I have taken the eLearning Roadtrip to a lot of conferences and events. I have really come to appreciate that different parts of the learning and technology ecosystem really do need unique solutions for developing competencies needed for workplace success. #TK10 helps the learning and development communities stretch toward being more effective users and managers of teaching and training using technologies.
ASTD TechKnowledge may not turn you into an elearning expert....but hey, isn't that what the eLearning Guild is for? TechKnowledge will help you engage more meaningfully with eLearning experts that you will depend on to execute on your learning technology goals. For so many people beginning the journey into the world of technology-mediated learning and performance support, and with eLearning becoming a part of the mainstream, #TK10 is a worthy place to begin the immersion.
Just wait until you see what we are cooking up for next year. And yes, I AM on the program committee.