Here is my recap of LSCon day 1.
I kicked the day and the conference of with a morning buzz session. These sessions are not presentations but an opportunity to talk/discuss/share experiences on a certain topic. We talked about agile development under the guidance of Don Bolen. We had a very good attendance (about 25 people) and had a nice conversation. My best recap is:
- All the attendees do see the problems and limitations of the current working methodology (ADDIE or other waterfall models)
- They have heard of agile (thanks to Michael Allen)
- They know they have to change
- And they took their first sniff at agile.
After this we had the formal opening (1500 attendees, 30% up from last year) by David Kelly and the Keynote from Soren Kaplan about Leapfrogging to learning breakthroughs and innovation. The essence of his story is that good breakthrough business ideas always have a form of surprise in them. He had an example of a café in Paris that is regarded the number one place (from 30,000 competitors) to be. He found to his surprise that is was a café, that the owner bought all her beans directly from the farmers. That she had made a whole business of selling these beans and that she had an academy where she was training people from all over the world to learn her concept. Not something you would expect in a café. This sparked the idea of surprise that he investigated more. Other examples are a clothing shop that sells cloth by the pound, a cinema that sells monthly subscriptions et cetera. His conclusion ‘Surprise is essential for all breakthroughs. And you will find that surprise outside your normal comfort zone. He gave a number of nice tips:
- Fall in love with problems not solutions
- People love innovation but they hate surprises
- Rethink your role (what is your added value)
- Learn to live with uncertainty
- Look outside your own culture
- Get your customers inside your processes
- What is your business really about?
For more check his presentation, you can download it from his website. Interesting reading and he is an entertaining presenter.
Next was a presentation from Marty Rosenheck. He jumped the 70:20:10 bandwagon. Core message the formal learning (10) is served by the LMS what do you do with the 90%? He is really big on apprenticeships and has a nice vision of that (learning in the real world without the bog claim on experienced people so you can make it scalable).
He has created a solution (Trek) based on TinCan that supports this kind of learning.
I attended the serious elearning manifesto session. As expected it was a recap of the launch from last week. I really do support this initiative and I do thing that we should do a better job. At the ame time you hear more and more critical sounds: that the initiative brings nothing new to the table. They made it very clear that their goal is the raise the general level of eLearning in order to make it more effective, it is not about innovation, but about applying the stuff we already know (or should know).
This year there is a second conference next to Learning solutions: Ecosystems 2014. It is more on a strategic level. You have to have a special upgrade in order to attend the sessions, build the guild was kind enough to allow me to party crash a session. The session I attended was about ecosystems and was presented by Lance Dublin. For him the term ecosystem was also new, so he took us on a journey to discover it with him. I got from it that an ecosystem is a living and ever changing thing that enables and facilitates learning. It should contain four elements: Process, people, Technology and content. So it is not an architecture (that is part of the ecosystem) but the whole thing. The reason we have to thing about this is the increasing speed of things, our old ways (LMS learning with courses) do not work anymore. We need something that delivers Performance at the speed of need. He gave s an impressive list of opportunities/changes, developments that should be part of an ecosystem: Mobile, Moocs, Cloud, social learning, serious games, Big data, personalization and much more. He also defined the goal of an ecosystem: Performance. He promised to share his presentation, but is is not available now. I will share it with you when I can.
This was a really nice session although it didn’t bring me what I expected from it. It was presented by Megane Torrance. I did expect her to make the connection between agile and lean. I do know about agile, I wrote a whole bunch of post on it. I know a bit about lean and was curious about the connection. Instead she took us through the eight wastes of lean (Transport, Over-processing, Time & Intelligence, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Inventory, Defects) and she challenged us to come up with waste on these topics and solutions for them. Based on the info she gathered she will create an article for the learning solutions magazine. So we sort of crowd sourced an article in an hour. Really inventive and informing.
So this leads up to the conclusion of day 1. As I wrote in the beginning of this post. I have the feeling that change is reaching eLearning. But I see only the first signs of it. People are aware that they need to change and that raises more interest in topics like TinCan, Agile, innovation. But most of them are just investigating, it will take a while before they can act on it.