Thursday, November 17, 2016

DevLearn 2016 Update - Where ya been, live blogger?

Busy, Busy, Busy Bee

Maybe one or two of you have noticed, but likely not:  I have not been on here as much as I typically am. Well, for once, I don't have to blame it on my inherent laziness or preoccupation with retro gaming...I've been BUSY!  To bring you up to speed, and maybe to pick your brain a little bit about what you saw if you went, here's the sessions I've been delivering, complete with a mini recap, as best as I can remember it:

Docenting...If That's A Word

Professionally rewarding and honored doesn't even begin to explain the fact that I've gotten to be a docent at this DevLearn.  It'd be easy to look at it as another thing I've done, but when my head is the size of a movie screen, displayed next to one of my favorite colleagues (Tracy Parish) and professors (Karl Kapp), sharing the same honor, I can't help but feel awesome about what I'm (apparently) doing right in this field.

Being able to reach out with my message of Community Having Its Privileges was definitely the high note, here, for me.  I know the look...I've worn the look and I've written about the look: The "What Am I Doing Here With These More Talented People" To see this break down in a shared roast of our old elearning materials was amazing.  Plain and simple.  I just said to Julie Dirksen, when she asked me how being a docent was - "I would do this every year, every's fulfilling to an immeasurable degree.

Session 411 - eLearning Dirty Secrets: Our Worst Examples

I can say, without a second's hesitation, that this may be one of the most amazing panels/group gigs I've ever been a part of.  And the main reason for that is probably the opposite of what anyone with functioning logic would think:  It's because of how much WRONG with my work I was able to show, along with my peers.  It's because I was able to use my flawed work to allow a group of people to breathe a collective sigh of relief and accept that their work IS and CAN BE flawed like mine.

The four of us: Me, Brian Dusablon, Judy Katz, and Sarah Gilbert took turns exposing our early efforts, while the rest of us (along with some hearty audience participation) tore it apart.  And it was was almost like a Roast of the four of us.  The audience felt like they were a part of it instantly, and isn't that one of the great things:  That veterans like us always try to get folks new to the conference to chat up, but they typically hesitate due to not being sure where they fit in.  we've all had our work torn up before, we've all been through QA, and it was the perfect gateway to give folks a level of comfort and belonging they might not have had before.

Session 507 - Ukulele Learning: Exploring the Relationships Between Music and Learning

The more I do this session with my guru, Jane Bozarth, the more I fall in love with it.  Part of it is the ability to perform and truly have fun, all while pursuing learning.  But the other part is, again, not to be a one trick pony - But, the Community it creates.  The room was PACKED, standing room only in the back, and everyone joined in...clapping beat patterns, realizing the impact of music on learning, and making music.  Beautiful, educational music...

It's rewarding, too, because you get to see otherwise 'serious' learning professionals drop their guard for a moment and hum into a kazoo, strum a newly discovered chord, and, really, try something that they're likely going to fail at...all in front of their peers.  To allow yourself to fail, to enjoy it, all in the pursuit of new knowledge...that's one of the things I've, professionally, struggled with the longest  and certainly the most intensely.  Funny how a 4-stringed instrument, a dear friend, and a session can shake that right out of you...


Hey, did I mention I like Community?  I've been camped out at the ceremonial, end of conference indicating set of four tables that indicate it's time to do #lrnchat LIVE and in person.  This is where the sad starts to hit (Yes, Jane, I'm an easy crier) and, yet, the professional closeness shines the brightest.  It's almost like a "one...last..." whatever, before I begin the long wait till next year.

And that begins soon.  And I don't particularly care for that fact.


So, there's that - Where I've been, what I've been doing in case you were looking for my live blogging.  You probably weren't/didn't notice, and that's okay, too...expected, even.  Just know this:  I'm glad to be an ever-increasingly busy part of this whole beautiful picture, and seeing the Community I believe so firmly in continue to expand and solidify.

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