Following #LT11UK, it’s back down to Earth…

Posted on Jan 29, 2011

…. with a bump!

At least it will be on Monday morning when I’m back in work, having left behind the visionaries, disruptivists, forward-thinkers and all round ‘good eggs’ that I was surrounded by at Learning Technologies (LT) 2011.


Following last years attendance at LT 2010 I went back to work envigorated, inspired and with a spring in my step, so much so in fact that my organisation created a Communications Technologist role (it’s a Learning Technologist role… don’t ask its complicated)!

Unfortunately, what they didn’t create was any strategic support or vision to accompany that new post! In order to reduce the sense of frustration that arises from that situation, I made a deal with myself to ‘reign in’ my excitement following LT11.

That said, I still find myself ‘buzzing’ 48 hours after the conference finished so in order to make best use of that ‘buzz’ before it disappears (i.e. Monday morning) I thought I’d blog about my experiences at LT11.

As regular readers will be aware I always try to commit to a couple of action planning points from any event that I attend, in the hope that they will assist me in transferring any learning back to my workplace. I have outlined those actions in blue below.

Day 1

Keynote – Roger Shank, Getting it right: how the corporate learning world must change

Roger Shank making his keynote address at LT11UK (try and zoom into the signage on his slide for a giggle)

  • Never sit at the very front left of the auditorium at a future LT for 2 very good reasons
  1. If Roger moved more than a metre from where he was stood I couldn’t see him!
  2. The event photographer seems to take up residence in this area and his camera flash is brighter than the surface of the Sun (my retinas will bear testament to this!)

Exhibition nosey on Day 1

  • Recommend that my organisations project team look at the digital room booking displays that were being exhibited by Steljes, ahead of a new-purpose built learning centre being built on my site.

    Room booking facility seen on the SMART exhibition stand at LT11UK

Prof Steve Wheeler – e-Learning 3.0 – Learning with the extended smart web

A somewhat underexposed Steve Wheeler giving us the benefit of his crystal balls with a glimpse into that Web 3.0 aka 'the future' might hold for us.

  • Consider how AUgmented Reality might be used as part of a new-starters induction tour. This approach (if we ever get handsets this side of Alexander Graham Bells prototype), could also be of benefit to all employees as part of their standard workphone handset package.
  • Obtain a copy of the book Distraction by Mark Curtis.

Clark Quinn – Using games for effective learning

Serious gaming is something that has only just started to seriously register on my radar so I was extremely keen to find out a little more about it and how it could enhance what I am currently doing as well as enhance my skillset for the….. future 😉

Unfortunately for me, I found that the session seemed to be pitched at those who already made the decision to go ahead with gaming and not those who were just entering the fray. I also thought that a great opportunity was wasted to prove the value of gaming by actually running the session as a game itself, an example of using the concept to sell the concept.

I assume (there’s the gaming naivety in me coming out) that this would have taken some time to prepare and given that Clark very kindly stepped in at the last moment to cover for another speaker, maybe this would have been his choice with more preparation time?

Day 2

Exhibition nosey Day 2

  • Consider whether the Moodle off-shoot Totara LMS offered by Kineo may be a better option for my organisation than Moodle itself.
  • Ascertain whether the Elluminate tool that we have just acquired a licence for is able to

James Clay & Maj Richard Gill – Mobile and Immersive learning

I have been following James Clay for some 12 months via Twitter, his blog, his podcasts and have even attended a couple of his workshops on the subject of Mobile Learning and podcasting, but I had never had the opportunity to see him speak live…. until LT11!

I gather from his blog posts, that he has never been an advocate (who is?) of bullet-point riddled slides and he certainly proved that point by providing a visually engaging presentation allowing only single, full-screen images or perhaps the odd word or two to adorn his slides as opposed to lines upon lines of text (this approach received very positive feedback via the Twitter backchannel)

    James Clay discussing the evolution of mobile learning

  • Accept that the Innovation Prevention Department isn’t always IT, even though it feels like it sometimes!
  • Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

  • Revisit Gardners Multiple Intelligences (this action point has come about as a result of discussion within a blog post by Steve Wheeler in relation to Richard Gill’s session)

Craig Taylor & Paul Simbeck-Hampson – Taking the next step

Yep, that’s right folks I was priviledged to speak at LT11, but I’ll cover my session in a future blog post. I shared my session with Paul Simbeck-Hampson who spoke about the opportunities that QR codes present. It became apparent quite quickly that for many of the audience QR codes was either completely new to them or they had only a fleeting understanding. Paul then went on to explain how QR codes were not only being used by large organisations to promote their brand but also how they were able to connect a learner from a static learning resource such as a book to a more dynamic resource such as a webpage. Whilst the video below shows how I have dabbled with QR codes in the past

I still gained an incredible amount from from Paul’s session, so what am I going to do with it?

  • Contact Paul and ascertain which of the many QR code producing engines is the most feature-rich.
  • Encourage the use of QR codes on the exhibition display stands for Nuclear TV (a project I am involved in), as well as visual reference to other social media streams.
  • Encourage the use of QR codes on the exhibition display stands for my own organisation, as well as visual reference to other social media streams.
  • Use QR codes on my own business cards.
  • Experiment with ‘pimping up’ my own QR codes.

There has been a great deal of discussion elsewhere on t’internet as to the disconnect between the exhibition and the conference in terms of what is being offered, what is being asked for, what is being sold and what is the ‘right’ thing to be doing. Whilst I am not in complete disagreement with this sentiment, I think it is worthwhile to add that whilst I saw plenty of examples of forward-thinking innovative practice downstairs in the exhibition, Curatr, Cofacio and Lightbox to name but a few, I also saw some old-school, discounted methods and practices being used upstairs in the conference; bullet-point riddled slides Powerpoint slides for starters!

So that is Learning Technologies over for another year, or is it just the start of lots more innovative, inspiring, challenging work for me within this……. I’ll let you know on Monday morning 😉

One Comment

  1. Craig, sorry you felt that the session didn’t meet your needs. I thought that the first part, laying out the elements that aligned effective educational practice and engaging experience was pretty clearly aimed to entice those who hadn’t entered the fray to understand why they should, and then laid out how you could go about making progress.

    I admit I wouldn’t actually *try* a game in an hour, in an unknown venue, on short notice, but then I haven’t done it in the past, either. To get the meaningful decisions done in that short a time would be too hard, and as I mentioned, I’m not interested in tarted up nonsense. Though when I run it as a workshop, there is hard fun, where teams do have to make decisions, but that’s a whole day affair.

    A pleasure to meet you, however, and enjoyed your session.


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