The Mobile Learning Conference – mLearnCon

Descending into San Jose

Last week I went to San jose for mLearnCon, the mobile learning conference put on by the eLearning Guild. I was invited to participate on several panels in both the MOSH Pit and Future Zone.

The MOSH Pit The Future Zone

I really like the open format of the stages/zones. They are a perfect environment for collaborative sessions with audience participation, which are my favorite types. I prefer the forum style where presenters can learn from audience members and we can let the inmates run the asylum to some extent. I much prefer to facilitate discussions between many smart people than to just talk at an audience.

Reusable Content Timeshifting

As usual, the hallway and dinner conversations were far more valuable than any of the sessions were. The ability sit down with the leaders and innovators of this industry is just plain awesome, not to mention the wonderful food we consumed.

One of the highlights for me was playing in and winning the Game of Phones tournament. What a blast! I’m absolutely sold on the value of games for business and learning. Some really wonderful ideas were presented by some incredibly smart people. I would actually pay to watch one of these tournaments — very entertaining.

The keynotes were okay, but definitely not on the same level as some of the keynotes at other Guild events. They might have been audience-appropriate, but I thought they lacked the impact of a Marcia Conner or Nancy Duarte.

I didn’t attend many sessions because I was either a panelist in or attending most of the zone sessions. I did enjoy the Tablet Wars presentation from Robert Gadd. He had great statistics and a nice breakdown of which tablets support which technologies.

I didn’t take a laptop to this conference, relying on just my iPad and my iPhone. They didn’t let me down. It’s so nice to have tools like these that are lightweight and have ridiculous battery life, yet are so powerful.

Quick notes:

  • David Kelly once again provided wonderful backchannel support and curation. He’ll continue to update the post for a while. It’s a valuable resource. That dude rocks. Check it out.
  • Tracy added a great list of tweets from the conference.
  • Talking games with Alicia, Kris, Drew and Aaron was a lot of fun. I downloaded Ticket to Ride on the iPad and I’m completely addicted. (I’m motherduce, if you want to play.) We also talked board games, and I’m trying to get a list together of great ones you may not have heard of but should be playing.
  • Special thanks to Jeff Tillett for jumping in with me on the HTML 5 vs. Flash panel. His insight was great to have and he helped drive audience participation, which was awesome.
  • Thanks to Aaron Silvers and Neil Lasher for inviting me to talk on their panels. I had a lot of fun, and was honored and humbled to sit next to the likes of Allison Rossett, Clark Quinn, Judy Brown, Reuben Tozman, Brandon Carson, BJ Schone, and other brilliant folks.
  • Thanks to the guild for putting on another great conference. My wife attended the giant SHRM conference this week, and it just sounded awful compared to my Guild conference experiences. Way to go Brent, David, Heidi, Juli and Co.!
  • Karaoke night is fun, but dangerous.
  • Last, but not least, smart people who like good food and good music and like to play and create games are freaking awesome.

Here are a few more pics from the week.

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