Report from San Jose: TechKnowledge 2011

Report from San Jose: TechKnowledge 2011

I spent last week in San Jose with the OpenSesame team for the American Society of Training & Development’s annual TechKnowledge conference, enjoying beautiful weather, great discussion and connecting names (or more likely, Twitter handles) with faces.

OpenSesame looks forward to conferences for the opportunity to connect with the elearning community to better understand how we can unlock elearning and create connections between buyers and sellers in our marketplace. We were proud to release our new SCORM video player, which enables organizations to view and track simple videos in their SCORM-based learning management systems.

We also love to play our Unlock Elearning (and iPads) conference game. We deck attendees out in OpenSesame hoodies and give them key chains with keys that may or may not open a locked briefcase carrying an iPad. Four TechKnowledge attendees won an iPad last week:

TechKnowledge was also a momentous occasion for me, as I met some of the great folks I enjoy tweeting with: Aaron Silvers (@mrch0mp3rs), Damon Regan (@damonregan), Cammy Bean (@cammybean), Ellen Wagner (@edwsonoma), Terrence Wing (@terrencewing), Meg Bertapelle (@megbertapelle) and Justin Mass (@jmass). I recommend following all of these guys for insights, advice and general friendliness.

Aaron, Damon and I had a long conversation about the value of communities of practice and discussion, and the ways in which community managers can facilitate useful conversations among our communities. I’m still thinking about a blog post based on Aaron’s advice on creating and sustaining trust in open membership networks. (The short version: “Solve people’s problems.”)

I also met some smart and fun elearning leaders during the informal networking that follows any good day of learning: Kris Rockwell (@hybridkris) and Koreen Olbrish (@koreenolbrish). After reading through Kris and Koreen’s Twitter streams, I know I’ll learn a lot from their ideas on learning gamification and alternative reality games specifically.

In general, I was incredibly impressed and inspired by how creative, learner-focused and experimental TechKnowledge attendees are. It’s not easy to take risks on new technology to empower learners, but every snippet of conversation I overheard or participated in was focused on removing barriers, connecting people and making the future possible. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation online and in Vegas next year.