Friday, May 28, 2004

Conference musings

So our conference is over, and it was a great success. I'm not just saying that because I work for ASTD. As I wrote articles for the conference daily newspaper, worked in the bookstore, and just generally talked to people, I heard great feedback.

Exhibitors in the expo were pleased with the amount of traffic and that people are starting to buy again. I guess that means the economy really is beginning to rebound. Bookstore sales uphold that hypothesis.

Attendees were enthusiastic and excited. It was nice for me to get out and interact with people who are reading our content. Often writing articles (or even blog entries) is like dropping words into a big black hole--we often don't know how they're received. Every once in a while we get feedback that an article was really helpful or that someone didn't like an article, but responses of both types are somewhat rare. (Although I'm happy to say we do get a lot more of the first than the second.)

The conference daily newspaper, resurrected this year, was a big hit. I'm guessing we'll be doing it again next year, although I don't know that for sure.

I can't say too much about sessions since I was mainly working on the paper or in the bookstore, but one that I did go to and enjoy was Sam Adkins's on "Patterns and Pioneers of Innovation: Advanced Learning Technology Today and Tomorrow." Adkins, senior director of research for the Workflow Institute, has written quite a bit for T+D magazine and Learning Circuits; he's a true visionary.

Adkins discussed artificial intelligence, service-oriented architecture (SOA), multi-dimensional learning (including affective learning), Web services and their use in learning, "portlets," new workflow tools, and more.

The presentation is available on the conference Website. Adkins's articles are available on the T+D Website in the June 2003, November 2003, and February 2004 issues and in Learning Circuits (search the LC archives with Adkins's last name to get a complete list).

If you missed the conference this year, consider attending and/or presenting in 2005. The deadline to submit presentation proposals is next Friday. Go here for more information.

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