So the curtains have drawn on what was a very successful Learning Live and I thoroughly enjoyed the two days and all it had to offer. I caught up with some of my lovely network and got to meet some fab people in the flesh who before the event had only been represented by 140 characters and a 150 x 150 avatar. There are too many to mention in this post but I feel like these relationships have been strengthened as a result and I enjoyed meeting in person and chatting immensely (and stealing Haribos). I also met some great new folks who aren’t on Twitter, don’t worry I will track you down on LinkedIn and I hope these conversations continue and we stay in touch until our paths cross again.

I’ve had a lot to think about since last week as it was my first speaking opportunity and (this isn’t a Golden Globe acceptance speech don’t worry) I would like to thank everyone who attended my session in person and for those that attended online for making it what it was. Your support and feedback was really  appreciated and I hoped you enjoyed the session just as much as I did. A special thanks goes out to @Philipgreen who chaired the session and of course everyone’s favourite virtual flip chart fairy @ColinSteed.

To be honest I only summed up the courage to listen back to the recording last night when I saw it on Learning Live Conference Backchannel: Curated Resources by @LNDDave. I thought I better give it a listen as it’s now out there in the big wide world for anyone who is interested to listen to and to form an opinion on it. For anyone who wants to listen back to it or take a look the recording link is below

Live Online Learning @ Learning Live

While the artistic talents of the online participants are a joy to behold I would recommend you skip to 11mins & 30 seconds as that’s when the session begins.

I remember leaving the session with mixed feelings; overall relief and a sense of accomplishment but also a feeling that the session had been a rough version of something that could be much slicker and more interactive for both sets of participants. Like anything you do the first time it’s a learning experience and I’m pleased I did it and I’ve learned a lot. Next time I run a session like this I can think of ways to improve it and iron out any technical issues I experienced like echo and other audio / video issues. I have to say I like the format but found it difficult to cram everything in to 30 minutes and found myself rushing at the expense of the story. Having two audiences to consider was also something that I knew I’d be doing but until you’re actually up there doing it you never truly understand what impact it will have and looking back on the session it’s all a bit of a blur.

So it’s great to have the recording to refer back to and this brings to life a key point I was making within the session around the benefits of online learning. Having the ability to record the session including any conversations the group were able to have so that these conversations can continue in a shared place e.g. this blog, and it also means those who were unable to attend can also benefit from the session and the conversation.

Harnessing this sort of approach within an organisation is very powerful and can start to shift the emphasis from face to face delivery to a more collaborative approach, developing online communication skills at the same time. I’m a big advocate for making live online learning interactive and the exercises I used within the session were very successful in taking the fear away from this technology and getting people interacting with the tool and having fun at the same time. This approach will develop over time and as I mentioned in the session will not give you over night success, people need to become comfortable learning in this environment and they also need to see the value in a community based approach to supporting their work. This is a big shift for many so it’s crucial that L&D play a big part here and lead from the front and use the tools themselves day in day out.

So lots to think about and I’m keen to keep exploring how this format can develop and in what other ways it could be used within conferences, unconferences and other networking events.I’m also going to answer the questions that came out on chat and get some conversation going on the key themes that came out such as using Live Chat.

On that note I also want to hear from you.

  • Did you attend the session in the conference or online?
  • Have you just listened to the recording?
  • If so what did you think?
  • What worked and what could be improved upon?
  • Can you see this format working in other ways?
  • Have you taken anything anyway from the session that you’ll use?

I’d love to hear from you as this is what the session was about and no matter how I thought it went you were the people attending so your feedback is crucial.

To end with I’d just like to reflect on a question that was posed to me by @DaveBrown2001 that looked like this

In answer to your question Dave, yes I think the session was what I wanted it to be; an opportunity to share my experiences and to continue conversations around building capability and confidence in using live online tools and communities to support learning within organisations.  Let’s keep the conversation going 🙂