Learning Technologies Summer Forum was this week and I had the pleasure of attending. Ahead of the event this week, I managed to catch up with and interview Don Taylor organiser of the event. The interview certainly resonated with community member and Digital Learning Designer Niki Hobson who shared this tweet on the morning of the conference. It was nice to hear Don Taylor share this with the huge audience during his opening welcome....
I also took Don's advice along with me and set out to meet at least one interesting person and learn one new thing. However, like a kid in a sweet shop, I got many more than just one of each.
People I met included some who were new to me as well as familiar faces I've grown to love in these circles. In some respects, I always feel like conversations in between sessions over coffee are cut far too short in favour of leaping away for the next session. But as Don eluded to in the interview, you can always catch up and follow up with people beyond the event, face to face, or over the phone. Relationships last more than five minutes. The event has certainly created a 'list of interesting people to speak to soon' in my task list as well as helped me find even more people I'm interested in staying connected with over the months and years to come.
As for learning one thing new, I'm still trying to make sense of ALL the things I learned. There really isn't just one! There was so much inspiration in the sessions and generous sharing from the speakers and participants that my notepad and brain are still bursting with exciting things to explore, develop my knowledge in, experiment with and learn. Continous Professional Development isn't going to be a problem beyond perhaps being stuck for choice as to what to dive into next!
Some of this inspiration came from Don Clark, a guy I've known of and followed for some time. It wasn't until this week that I've seen him present in real life. I couldn't believe that he wasn't actually half human and half robot as his present social media image shows! His session on Artificial Intelligence is certainly an area I'll revisit over the coming weeks, which deserves an entirely seperate post. For now, let's just say I was building my own chat-bot on the train on the way home which was a highly entertaining of making the journey fly. Don, thank you. You are certainly on my list of 'interesting people I'd love to have a chat with'.
Events like this are a rich-source of Continous Professional Development and should be part of the mix of any professional. The Personal Learning Network these events bring about as well as keeping you up to date with what the current trends and practices are will leave you with plenty of opportunity to boost your knowledge and your career. I'm interested to hear from you on what other events you would recommend.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the tweets I received from others sharing their reflections on Learning Technologies Summer Forum. Please do comment below if you have anything to add.