Today was the second and final day of the Innovation in eLearning Symposium. We began at 7:15 am with a scenario forecasting exercise wherein government officials, university people, eLearning folks, and others tried to stuff four or five hours of thought processing into 40 minutes. It didn’t work.
This has been a nice little conference, and I don’t use little disparagingly. I don’t know how many people attended (160?) but the event was small enough that everyone could talk with everyone else if they cared to. As the first national CSTD (Canadian Society for Training and Development) meeting to be held outside of the Province of Ontario, attendees ranged from total novice to experienced veteran. People were not afraid to speak up. Several presenters said they’d rarely encountered such a responsive audience.
The closing act was a panel session featuring Stephen Downes (pictured), Bob Pearson (president of Provinent, Canada’s largest eLearning company), and yours truly, moderated by Lisa Neal. Lisa was nothing short of masterful in selecting audience questions that we panelists could have fun with.
Stephen cracked people up on several occasions. On the topic of grades, he said they should be random observations that bear no relationship to performance. Just like in real life. He made a terrific argument in favor of tearing down the walls around schools so that kids could learn by doing things in the real world. Bob was our corporate straight man, uneasy about blogs because they were tough to control. I recounted my story of blogging my complaints to Stamps.com and other uncontrolled situations.