LEARNING LIVE shows that curation is key
A guest blog from Kate Graham of Ascot Communications
Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Learning and Performance Institute’s annual conference, LEARNING LIVE. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event set in a very modern space in the City of London. I was there both as the official ‘tweeter’ and representing the eLearning Network so was flat out for much of the event! But I wanted to try and distil some of the main highlights and take aways.
Overall, the main message I took away from the event is that curation in learning has been underlined as a key activity for L+D professionals. And hopefully this blog post will demonstrate why.
The packed programme covered a variety of topics with breakout sessions hosted by learning providers and an International Think Tank exploring how we can collaborate across the global learning community. On the first day I attended a couple of the workshops hosted by learning providers which covered mobile learning and examined Facebook as a learning tool. The message I took away loud and clear is the shake up that’s coming in elearning standards. Project Tin Can is set to replace SCORM and that’s going to affect a huge change on those of us creating and deploying elearning, particularly on mobile devices.
Following an enjoyable evening event which included dinner and a webinar style session with Elliott Masie beaming in live from the States, the second day began with a keynote from Professor Greg Whyte. Whyte is best known for his work with the like of Eddie Izzard and David Walliams on their crazy physical challenges for Sports Relief. Using sporting and athletic achievements, Whyte explored the importance of coaching, training and effective leadership. Success, he told us, is not a chance event. He advocates having great vision and not being afraid to set audacious goals. But in order to achieve these goals, we need to plan carefully, prepare for every eventuality and ensure we have the right skills and experience to get the job done. He was very inspirational and really brought home that we should never limit ourselves and strive to be the ‘best we can be’.
Other sessions then included the exploration of learning trends and technologies from the likes of Nigel Paine and Steve Wheeler. Andy Tedd busted some myths around the concept of the digital native very successfully. Jane Bozarth, who jetted in from the US, revealed some of her social learning tips for trainers, whilst David Perring and Neil Lasher asked if mobile learning is finally becoming a reality. All interesting topics and hard to do justice to in one blog post.
Which brings me around to one of the most pertinent sessions, which was from Ben Betts on curation. This is an area we’ve seen rising in importance and increasingly embraced by L+D professionals. And the LPI really put an emphasis on capturing as much of LEARNING LIVE as they could, with dedicated official tweeters such as myself and a live Chat2Lrn taking place right at the end of the event. Such was the focus on curating the event for use afterwards, and the interest from the back channel (i.e. those following the event online but not actually present) that the Twitter stream became the top trending topic in the UK! David Kelly (a.k.a LnDDave) has done a marvellous job of curating resources from the event which you can view here.
Betts emphasised that curation is not about creating perfect content, it’s about helping learners to make connections, to collaborate and learn from each other. He discussed the ‘rule of thirds’ in relation to learning content; one third is content we create from scratch, one third is utilising content we already have and the final third comes from outside our organisation. At a time when budgets are being cut, we need to be smart about how we provide access to and share learning content – making sure we’re maximising everything at our disposal. Whether that’s something we’ve created ourselves or utilising what someone else has created (adhering to all copyrights etc in the process!).
The lively backchannel and ongoing curation of resources from LEARNING LIVE really demonstrates how this can work in reality. I’ve been able to revisit my own thoughts from the event via the Twitter stream and catch up with sessions I couldn’t attend through the blogs and reflections of other attendees. Other L&D professionals who weren’t even there have found it useful because of the wealth of user generated content that has emerged both during and after the event. And that, I think, is a pretty marvellous example of curation – and learning – in action.