Thursday, December 13, 2018

Pictures From Berlin (#oeb18)

I just returned from Online Educa Berlin 2018 (#oeb2018), a conference that brings together higher education and workplace learning practitioners from mostly Europe. I’d heard of the conference and knew it was considered one of the best adult learning conferences in the world. So, I was super excited when they asked me to present and knew it’d be a great experience.

The trip to Berlin for the conference began with me leaving my coat in my home airport. (Yep. Extra dumb. Walking around Berlin in the winter without a coat is a bad idea.) When going through security, the TSA took out my coat and some tools from one of my bins. Everything else came right through and I didn’t realize that the coat and tools were missing. I picked up my luggage and purse and walked off. I remembered about 10 minutes before boarding my flight that I didn’t have my coat. Too late to look for it.

The first morning after arriving, I met up with my friend Mirjam Neelen (twitter @MirjamN). We went coat shopping :-) and did some walking around the city. That night Will Thalheimer (twitter @WillWorkLearn) met up with us and we walked around looking for dinner.

The next day, Thursday, I was involved in the OEB Plenary Debate which was about whether all learning should be fun. There were two people debating each side. I debated on the “Against” side with Alex Beard, the Director at Teach for All, UK. The “For” side included Elliott Masie, the head of the Masie Center, USA, and Benjamin Doxtdator, an educator at the International School of Brussels, Belgium.

My answer in a nutshell: Learning can be fun, but deep learning (for skill and expertise) is often a lot of effort and often requires pushing through the not-fun. Here’s a picture from the debate. The room was large and each of us was on camera when we talked. I was nervous (massive understatement). You can watch a video of the debate here.

The following day I did a short workshop on Managing Memory. Here I am at that session with two workplace learning professionals who traveled to the conference from Poland. They asked to take a picture with me and I clearly needed to stand on a chair so I didn’t look child-sized. The picture belongs to Tomasz Jankowski (Twitter: jankowskit), who is on the left. Tomasz wrote a blog post about my session. It’s in Polish but Google Translate does a good job of making it readable in other languages. The person on the right of the picture is Bartlomiej Polakowski (twitter: @b_polakowski), a long-time twitter friend.

Before leaving, I got the chance to meet Donald Clark (Twitter @DonaldClark, blog in person, who is one of the best minds in our industry.


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