DevLearn 2011 My daily blog

I’m not generally one for conferences and conventions, but I make an exception each year for DevLearn.
If you want to get a close up feel for what is happening in the elearning world, the trends, the tools, the thought leaders, plus any number of creative ideas and tips, then this is the place to be.
As always the best learning comes from the other delegates –my table of four at this morning’s session are from Alaska, Toronto, New Zealand and the UK (that’s me).
There is nothing remotely like DevLearn in Europe. It is arguable whether the US leads the world in eLearning, but it certainly leads the world in the strength, size and diversity of its eLearning community.
Today was a workshop day and I plumped for the “Designing Serious Games for Maximum Engagement” workshop. Very charismatic presenter, Alicia Sanchez, who describes herself as “Serious Games Czar” at the Defense Acquisition University.
The afternoon session was particularly good. We worked in small teams and were given about an hour to design a new learning game from scratch and to present our case to a group of experts.
Our team task was to design a solution for teaching information security to insurance industry staff. Remarkably, in that short timescale we were able to create a game “Inspector M and the Case of the House of Cards” from concept to illustrated storyboard. Even more remarkably our idea won first prize, and is eminently achievable on a limited budget. A great illustration of the
power of focused group creativity.
Last year’s DevLearn was in San Francisco. This year it’s in Las Vegas. Give me San Francisco every time. But it has given us a chance to visit the Grand Canyon, and a reminder of what that overused word “awesome” really means. Jaw dropping beauty, and an unforgettable helicopter ride.
Here’s Jackie (more photogenic than me) considering whether to leap. That far rim is 14 miles away!

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