#ATD2015 It’s an Explosion?
What can I say about Will? Will was one of those people on my twitter network who I had had been talking to for a very long time but never met. Finally on the second level on Monday over gyro’s (really messy one’s too!) we had a chance to talk. When you “do” social media right, when you present your authentic self – well, you get lots of jazz hands and happy dances. We fell into a conversation like we lived next door to each other. It’s always wonderful to meet up with people whose writing you appreciate and find out they are exactly who they portray themselves to be; smart, funny and no pretense. I know we will be “Working Out loud” together soon. I did find that when you’re with Will, you take your chances. He will talk to anyone, about anything – truly embodying the Learning Rebels mantra of #LetsDoThis!
Share your favorite “ATD Explosion” experience in the comments below!
Who did you meet who exceeded your expectations?
A little about Will: Will Constantine is a workplace learning professional in instructional design, facilitation, and strategy. His company, LearnHaus, specializes in custom elearning and mobile learning, creating solutions that build on the learning strategies of organizations to increase performance. He also serves as the President for the Northern NJ chapter of ATD.
Was ATD 2015 the Happiest Place on Earth?
So I have been back to reality for only a few days (it’s also Memorial Day Weekend) and I am still beaming with all of the excitement from ATD’s International Conference and Exposition.
It’s All About Who You Know
I have to say when you have connected with professionals over social media for a long time, the moment when you finally meet them; all in person, at the time, and in the same place is almost an explosion! That was probably one of the biggest takeaways for me because the value of networking and actually having meaningful conversations about our industry that are way more that 140 characters long adds a much deeper experience overall. The sessions at the conference also set the tone for those conversations because we were literally given a talking point to start from and it just continued all the way through.
Excuse Me, Can You Block Off My Schedule
Not only were the session speakers at the cutting edge of the profession, some of them are colleagues and friends. Of course the keynotes were fantastic from Andrea Jung who spoke about how CEOs should really take the charge to lead talent in the organization, to Sugata Mitra who showed how powerful learning can be when curiosity is preserved and exploration is encouraged. Erik Wahl had an astounding performance. I call it that because the art pieces he created during the keynote were amazing. He also spoke of how limiting fear can be and the rewards of taking risks.
The concurrent sessions got down to the front lines of the professions. Here are some that I attended:
Chad Udell had a great session regarding the mobile learning landscape. I really liked how he fleshed out a lot of the common misconceptions surrounding mobile. He spoke about device affordances and how rapid authoring tools are limiting in all the benefits and features a device has to offer. From the camera, to cloud storage capabilities and even the touch screen! It’s also not just about having the devices to use either; you have to look at the entire organization to determine if you are “mobile-ready”. We lose a bigger part of the term in mobile and that is the word mobility. It’s not just about the device but how you make the organization mobile.
Just as a quick side note, I had multiple sessions scheduled for the same times. There were so many to choose from that I had to be relentless in my decisiveness for learning. Now that’s a Learning Rebel!
The Science of Learning Community Theatre was a change of pace for me as we got to hear from several professionals that are researching how neuroscience affects how we learn and how to use the brain’s capabilities to help minimize the effects of the Forgetting Curve. I myself research neuroscience in learning so it was valuable to hear from others who are doing the same and what their findings have been. We now can take some basic techniques such as the Spacing Effect, reflection and even sleep to help learners retain information and recall it better to greatly impact performance in organizations.
I also attended Cammy Bean’s session based off of her book the Accidental Instructional Designer that gave me a new perspective to looking at my own development in some of the areas of being a well-rounded ID. There were four really big impacts to ID, which are creative, business, technology, and learning qualities. In Ethan Edward’s session, which emphasized the importance of context when building learning solutions, he showed us how to cure the click-next-to-continue epidemic by creating immersive and contextually relevant modules in elearning. I captured a few video demos of this on Twitter that showcase this really well. Those two sessions really fed my inner instructional technologist and gave me some valuable tools and techniques to apply to my work back at LearnHaus.
We Can’t Forget About Harry Potter Can We?!
On of the most anticipated events of the conference was of course the networking night at Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley. I am actually terribly afraid of roller coasters and heights so the only ride I went on was the Escape from Gringotts ride (sorry Melissa Milloway). But I did manage to go through Olivander’s Wand Shop and luckily have my wand chosen for me which was so fun to cast spells around the park (except for the part where I shot water at an innocent bystander, sorry!). It was fantastic!
I had an amazing time at the conference. Applying what I have described here will be the next step for me and I hope that people reading this will gain some insight if you didn’t attend the sessions I did. I have a full recount of my ICE experience on my Twitter page (@willconstantine) if you want to know more.
See you next year in Denver!
Share your favorite “ATD Explosion” experience in the comments below! Who exceeded your expectations?
Watch this space tomorrow for #ATD2015 Perspectives with Brent Schlenker