jim_small Posted by Jim Farrell

I think I have written before that the eLearning Guild DevLearn conference is one of my favorite learning experiences of the year. The conference gathers the rock stars of learning into one place to share what they have been doing for the past year and their vision of the future. This year’s conference did not disappoint. I wanted to share two sessions that stood out to me.
The first was How Experiential, Social and On-demand Learning Trends Impact Your Design led by Reuben Tozman (@reubentozman) and Aaron Silvers (@aaronesilvers). This was a session that not only validated many of the ideas that I hold dear like 70+20+10 and social learning;   it also took things to the next level. Reuben completely challenges the idea of instructor-led learning and encourages instructional designers to start producing experiential learning that is embedded in a persons’ regular workflow. This resonated loud and clear with our messages of embedding assessments within learning.
At one point in the presentation, Aaron brought up Clippy (remember that little assistant that used to pop up in Microsoft documents?) and noted  that the Clippy idea is not that far off. Learning on demand in the process of doing a job is performance support that classroom training can’t provide.
Toward the end of the session, Reuben put up a slide about the Semantic Web, which leads me to the second session that struck a chord with me: Steven Rosenbaum led the Day 2 opening session, Why the Future of Learning is Context. Steven started the session with stories we hear all the time now: billions of tweets, five exabytes of information created every two days, and platforms like Facebook containing 140 billion photos, This information does not fit into a world where you rely on search. By the time a lot of this information reaches a search engine, it is old and outdated. In a world where content is king and we are all publishing in real time, the curation of information becomes more important.
We need a way to filter through the noise that this fire hose of content creates. Steven challenges us to be the curators of content. As content producers we are responsible for the quality of information our audience accesses. Your endorsements, LIKES, re-tweets and posts matter to people who listen to you. We should all be curators for what we are passionate about. Curators need to gather, organize, and filter the good from the noise that is out there. That is the only way the semantic web can connect us with relevant information.
Both Reuben and Aaron are regular Twitter “publishers” and often take part in #lrnchat on Thursday nights. Steven Rosenbaum’s new book,  Curation Nation, is now available. I’m following these thought leaders. Are you?