On the flight back to California on Wednesday, I pieced together my notes
and photographs from TechLearn. I learn more from an event if I play reporter,
so I invariably shape up my conference notes like this. Then I post them
to my blog. (Here's more information about blogs.)
More than fourteen-hundred people will participate in tonight's opening
session of TechLearn 2002 in Disney World's Coronado Resort.
TechLearn's theme this year is The Futures of eLearning,
an improvement over last year's Now More Than Ever.
The Limited's Beth Thomas modeled one of the futures of eLearning, making
like a Disney interpretation of Judy Jetson:
eLearning vendors are in such a slump that they didn't stuff many goodies
in this year's famous TechLearn wheelie bag. A couple of pens, an Element
K potholder, a Thinq t-shirt, a DDI pencil case, a 4" rubber bear,
and a stack of cheesy brochures and product spec sheets On the other hand,
the variety of buttons has grown. A few from last year seem odd when taken
out of context ("Bullied as a kidl")
I'm going to head back over to the Coronado. The Learning Showcase opens
soon. I want to catch the reaction to this first in-your-face commercialism
at TechLearn, especially as the kick-off event.
TechLearn community convened in Orlando this Sunday through midday
Wednesday for the sixth time in five years. Why do I say community
instead of conference or show? Because Elliott Masie and his acolytes
have created a culture replete with rituals, castes, customs,
expectations, and entertainment.
I asked two-dozen people, half newbies and half old-timers what
they thought of TechLearn. Every one -- every single one! -- said
TechLearn was the best show they’d ever attended. New people are
attracted by Elliott’s reputation; his broad contacts are an early
warning system for the industry. Old hands come to find out what’s
going on, to sniff out business, and to renew friendships. This
was my fifth consecutive TechLearn, and I felt like I was returning
for a club meeting.
1452.5 people from 37 countries came to Disney’s Coronado Springs
hotel to pass the talking stick this year. (The .5 is a prenancy.)
This year’s group was more senior in their organizations, perhaps
a reflection of budget restrictions on travel for the junior folks.
About a third were first-timers. A large contingent were members
of the consortium (whose employers kick in $5,000 a year for membership.)
How do Elliott, his wife Cathy, and his partner Stan, pull this
Another tradition: Booz Allen’s Mike Parmentier, assisted by
his former colleagues at ADL, prepares a trip report summarizing
the entire event. I don’t intend to reinvent the wheel. Besides,
with as many as 25 concurrent sessions, it’s impossible for any
one individual to take part in more a small fraction of the show.
Download the trip report
for the facts. The Masie Center is working away right now to post
presentations and streaming audio; I'll note when things start
Here on the Blog, I’ll add color commentary, opinions, and a
A few mementos. I'll add more after I get some sleep.
If you can't afford the Coronado hotel (or don't feel comfortable
sleeping in a place that's patrolled with Disney stormtroopers),
you could stay 10 minutes away, in Kissimmee, for $35/night.
Dave Barry and Diane
Hessan comparing Miami and Boston.
Cathy, Stan & Elliott
An ominous twist: Joe thanks the Supporting Sponsors before welcoming
The Raspyni Brothers, phenomenal
jugglers and terribly funny comedians, explained that they had worked
with the Masie Center to select this year's presentations from among
hundreds of submissions. They presented their TechLearn Top Ten List
of the worst of the rejects:
Eileen Clegg interpreting
the keynote graphically.
Lance Dublin and I gave the first presentation Monday morning. This
is what the presenter sees. The left and right monitors display what's
on the big screens; the center monitor is what's on your PC. We were
more than pleased to have 15% of the participants turn out for an
8:00 am presentation -- and not fall asleep. The presentation was
based on our new book,
which we saw for the first time later that day.
October 31, 2002
When Elliott encouraged everyone to read. Zealous participants went
to work on it immediately.
Lance Dublin's and my book, Implementing eLearning, had just arrived
from the printer.
It sold out! More about the book here.
Am I happy about this?
Does a dog have fleas?
Things that struck me as worthy of repeating:
M-I-C (See you real soon), K-E-Y (Why? Because we like you.), M-A-S-I-E. Not meant in a derogatory fashion. The Mouse made an immense impact on the world, too.
30 Poppy Lane
Berkeley, California 94708
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