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Thursday, October 16, 2008

ASTD TechKnowledge - DevLearn Conference

I just received a question that I'm sure often is on the minds of people in eLearning - which conference they should attend (eLearning Guild DevLearn or ASTD TechKnowledge). I'm hoping that everyone can weigh in on their thoughts. Here's was the specific question (and all the information I have to go on) to help advise this person -
I have been trying to decide whether to attend DevLearn 2008 or ASTD TechKnowledge in 2009. I have never attended either. I have been designing and developing elearning for about a year. Any suggestions?
This person works in health care in employee learning and organizational development.

So, which would you choose and for what reasons?

7 comments:

gminks said...

I really really want to go to ASTD TechKnowledge, but we are under travel restrictions so I am not even going to ask. Bummer!

db said...

Attended TechKnowledge 3 times. It's a good conference. Maybe a tough sell in the health care environment since it's in Las Vegas. DevLearn is on the list, someday.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to either. I stopped going to ASTD conferences about 5 years ago because every session on elearning would have things like this in the agenda:

a. How to design elearning.
b. How to develop elearning.
etc.

But then, during the actual session, it would invariably turn to a high-level, useless discussion/pontification centering on 'What is elearning, exactly?' or, 'Elearning vs Instructor-led training', etc. Never any actual how-to info. Just high-level, pie-in-the-sky stuff.

So, for the past 5 years, I've stuck to using my professional development funds (I'm fortunate in that my employer allows me to go to basically whatever I choose) on either Elearning Guild conferences (where about 50% of the sessions are fluff, but the other 50% are real-world and good), or to courses on Adobe tools, etc. This year I'm going to Adobe MAX, which I've wanted to go to for a while and am looking forward to it.

Have the ASTD conferences matured to providing actionable information? Or are they still full of sessions like:

"How to select an LMS"
or
"Simulations 101" (where some guy from a design house shows up and spends an hour showing off a >$100k game/simulation his shop built...but he provides no source code, and neglects to mention without being put on the spot that it took 6 months and a team of 3 programmers and 3 designers to produce it. Something that 90% of us don't have the luxury of.

My 2 cents, fwtw...
mark

Parantar said...

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Sharon said...

Hands down - no questions - eLearning Guild's DevLearn. E-Learning Guild. I've been to both, and I can tell you that DevLearn by far exceeds the TechKnowledge event hosted by ASTD. You will come away with far more ideas from DevLearn than from ASTD's event.

Jennifer said...

I'd have to agree with the majority here. DevLearn is co-located with two other conferences this year
* Adobe Max
* Training Solutions
Because of this you can get more learning in for your travel dollar and I think a lot more people will be coming to San Jose that week.

eric said...

i prefer opensource software. like moodle or dokeos