TechKnowledge is less than a month away, and I can't wait!
This is going to sound a little doe-eyed, but last year's event was
no less than transformative for me; I presented at a major industry
conference for the first time and met a slew of incredible people
who have continued to be amazing resources over the past
Some of that happened through serving on the planning committee for
the 2012 event. We've worked hard over the past year to bring you a
conference that serves a wide range of audiences and needs. Look at
the schedule and you'll see some sessions that go well beyond the
basics, such as Reuben Tozman's session on ID for a semantic web
and Tim Martin's session
on the next generation of SCORM
, as well as a wide
variety of foundational sessions.
I'm also thrilled that in addition to the less-formal panels called
that were pioneered last year, there
will be a Tech Kafe: a space for people to meet and chill when
they want to keep discussions going--hopefully through Twitter
as well as in person--even when they're not up for a formal
session. (More on that later.) And I'm excited that there will
be a keynote, several concurrent sessions, and a TK Chat
devoted to gaming/gamification/gamefulness; with so many
opportunities to learn and discuss, I hope attendees are going
to be able to figure out how much is hype and how much is
relevant to their own organizations.
Finally, you're going to see more integration with social media,
both leading up to the conference and during, with efforts like the
TechKnowledge 2012 Blog
, the Twitter-based
Tech + Knowledge
scavenger hunt, and Tech Kafe.
and I even contributed to the conference previews
in a highly
unofficial capacity by drinking and talking
with Julie Dirksen and Diane Elkins, TK12 speakers on usability
, on The ToolBar podcast this
month.) Whether you're at the conference or not, stay
up-to-date with all the TK happenings by following the
I've asked other members of the planning committee to share what
they're looking forward to most, as well. Here's what they have to
As much excitement as I have for all of the great concurrent
sessions at this year's TK, I'm even MORE excited about TK Chat and
Tech Kafe (new this year). Chats are informal talk-show-style
conversations with deep thinkers on key topics -- we'll have a
little stage and a cozy couch and roaming microphones to get
everyone involved. Right next to the TK Chat area is the Tech Kafe,
a chill-out space where you can continue those deep conversations
and connect with other conference attendees and speakers. I plan on
hanging out in these two spaces as much as I possibly can. So come
on down and join the fun!
It's always fantastic to join together at TechKnowledge with
like-minded learning professionals, and friends new and old, and
this year will be no different. We will come together from around
the globe to share best practices and encourage one another to take
the next step in our learning journeys. I am also looking forward
to hearing from the keynote speakers: Jane McGonigal, Stuart Crabb,
and Lisa Doyle. Each one is sure to share cutting edge thinking and
best practices about learning. They will challenge me to try new
things and see new possibilities. I can't wait!
Conferences like TechKnowledge provide the opportunity for
individuals in the learning community to get together and share
ideas and concepts about how our craft can be improved. As much as
I enjoy the concurrent sessions, I think my favorite part of these
events is actually getting to meet many of the folks that I
interact with on a daily basis over services like Twitter. While
learning communities online are pretty fantastic, nothing beats the
face to face interactions that can be found at these conferences.
These opportunities to meet new people and converse without the
limits of 140 characters are really what makes TechKnowledge such a
There are so many good reasons to join us in Las Vegas in January.
And when you do, don't be afraid to ask questions, answer someone's
tweets, start up conversations in any way you can. The most
important lesson I learned last year is that conferences are like
soylent green: They're made of people. And TK12 will have plenty of
people worth getting to know.
See you there!