It took me a week to let the excitement settle from DevLearn and reflect. I wanted to make sure that what I shared in a reflective post was what was more likely to stick with me, and shake loose the bright and shiny that I’m often drawn to.
The week was so packed with people and activities that it deserves its own mix tape, with each day having its own theme song.
I’ll save everyone the big half-hour read below and get to the major take-aways for me:
Think about the last time you coordinated a learning event for 2,800 people over a five day period, with at least 1,200 attendees participating virtually, without you intentionally accomodating them? Not only is it an affordance of the design sensibilities of the eLearning Guild, but it’s very much because of a social bargain that is unspoken but struck between attendees and their counterparts on the other side of the touchscreen.
Face-to-Face is not dead; it’s not even close to dead. It is a vital accelerator of rapport-building because it allows people to share context in the same time, space with full use of the senses. Can it be done with other ways that scale more? Yes, and technology — especially social communication technology — is extremely critical to this. But there’s no virtual replacement yet for the warm fraternal embrace of kindred spirits giving each other a hug after talking to each other online so often and for so long. I was just so happy to be among so many of my tribe last week. I was happy to be there for them; I was happy so many were there for me.
What sticks with me is not the content of the week (I have books by the speakers, contact information, notes on Twitter, reflective blog posts, speaker notes, slides for all of the content). What sticks with me is the context and the contact. What sticks with me is how much my belly hurt because I laughed so much and so hard, how I would tear up at heart-wrenching detail of struggle and the hope that it inspired. What sticks with me is how many friends we have in this space, and how some mediums have allowed us to grow closer in-between events. What this event allowed me to do was add some shared stories for us all to share; and make new friends.
Though it seems trite by comparison, I need to get me a presentation coach, because I saw bars set for public speaking that I’d like to measure up to.
More after the jump…