In what has become the seminal event of my year in learning for the past three years, tomorrow I arrive in Las Vegas for the annual DevLearn conference. I have enjoyed seeing the conference grow over the past several years and once again I am both honored and humbled to be a part of it. Almost all of the people across the industry I admire are in attendance this year, and I will reconnect with people that I work with everyday across a vast supportive network and community, and finally put faces and hugs to even more people I’ve only known so far as avatars.

It’s pretty much my favorite time of the year.Aaron, planning the visual alphabet

I am on a full tour of duty this year and I am excited to pull from all my interests for this conference. I’ll highlight below the events at which you’ll find me.

Tuesday, November 1

My very good friend, Dr. Alicia Sanchez (@gamesczar), asked me to help her with her workshop on Designing Serious Games for Maximum Impact. We’re going to play some games, talk about technologies, various game types, and learning outcomes at the outset of game development. Since I’m there, I will guess we’ll do some interesting activities to get your game design juices flowing, generate some pretty sweet big ideas and in addition to having a good time, frame what we learn together into a larger context, like what can you do with this back in the office. This workshop goes all-day as a pre-conference activity and while there is no shortage of awesome pre-conference offerings, this one will be “teh awesomeness.”

Wednesday, November 2

Reuben Tozman (@reubentozman) of edCetra Training asked me to help him with a presentation on How Experiential, Social and On-Demaind Learning Trends Impact Your Design. We’re taking a very active approach by shifting out of presentation mode and modeling a very intentionally designed learning experience.  Together, we’ll explore each of the three modalities in the session title with opportunities to Grok, Inquire and Design. Grok, if you don’t already know, means “to absorb completely” — in our case, as completely as one can in about five or six minutes. With an opportunity to inquire, we’ll work through some guiding questions collectively to expand on what we’ve grokked. Finally, we’ll have an opportunity to design individually or in small groups given what I’d consider to be a wicked problem about experiential, social and on-demand learning activities. It should prove to be a powerful sixty minutes, starting at 2:45pm, Wednesday.

Thursday, November 3

When The eLearning Guild invited me to be a featured speaker, they asked me to present on overarching technology trends that I see coming. I have an interesting position with an organization that’s had some considerable impact on how online learning simply works. Since I don’t necessarily sell anything but ideas for mass consumption (and I’m not supposed to market anything), this became a really interesting opportunity to give a talk about technology that isn’t necessarily for the techies. In the span of an hour, I will share with you some of the bigger Technology Trends on the Horizon: Where eLearning is Headed. This will be put in context of what it’s going to mean to YOU as a designer, a developer, a one-person army, a project manager — and I’ll put the different trends in context of what it will mean for your company (ie. talking points for you to take back to the office). This talk will surface things that are already happening that might be cloudy to you, and I’ll make it clear how this is going to impact you and your work in the very real future. 3pm, Thursday.

Friday, Noveber 4

Iron Mike Rustici (@mike_rustici) of Rustici Software (SCORM.com) and I are presenting together on a topic I’m very passionate about: Project Tin Can (@projecttincan) and, specifically, going Beyond SCORM: Supporting Future Learning Experiences. Many in the eLearning community already know about Project Tin Can. What they may not know is that Project Tin Can was enabled as an research & development effort supported by ADL. Earlier this year, ADL published a wealth of material on what were called Future Learning Experiences. Mike and I will go into details in our hour together, sharing how Project Tin Can works, how it supports learning experiences (like serious games, experiential learning… you see the common thread?), and… how it fits into plans for a future beyond what SCORM does today. This will be a great session. Grab a strong cup of coffee or Yerba Mate and see us at 8:30am, Friday.

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