Although US learning conferences often have some international presence, most of what we discuss relates to what we do in the US and Canada. Globalization has changed learning and work. It's not enough to know how workplace learning supports organizations where you live. Globalization means understanding work globally and how to support it.
The conference is a great place to meet, discuss, and learn from others. Donald Taylor knows how to put together a terrific conference and personally understands global workplace learning. The Expo is 10+ times larger than any you've been to in the USA. The conference is medium sized and you don't become a small dot in a sea of dots. It's easy to walk up to just about anyone and ask about their work (and it's a great way to learn).
I spent most of my time either talking to people, preparing for our presentation (Mirjam Neelen and I discussed how technology and globalization are changing the workplace and how that changes L&D's role), or answering questions about my work. Here are some impressions from the sessions I was able to attend.
- A LOT of people are investing in microlearning like it's THE ANSWER. I'm writing an evidence-based (research-driven) response and it'll be out soon.
- There is a wide disparity among organizations in the use of learning technologies. Some are just getting started and others are looking at ways to use virtual reality and augmented reality. We need to be very careful to meet organizations where they are.
- There was a terrific session on globalization and women in our field. I saw that globalization has impacted the careers of other women just as has affected and is continuing to impact mine.
- Connie Malamud, Will Thalheimer, Mirjam Neelan, and I discussed research-driven approaches! Thank you, Don Taylor, for allowing us to put forth our research-driven L&D practices coalition (I just made this term up... it's not a thing. Yet.)
Jo Cook @LightbulbJo
Kate Graham @kategraham23
Mirjam Neelen @mirjamn
Lesley Price @lesleywprice
Julie Drybrough @fuchsia_blue
Barbara Thompson @CaribThompson
Rob Hubbard @RobHubbard
As usual, the best part of conferences is learning from each other. Learning Technologies is an especially good conference for this!