I’m at DevLearn in Vegas this week: for the first time, i’ve been using YouTube to share some #WorkingOutLoud reflective posts through the day, and now, in the evening, i’m writing a summary of key themes i’ve taken out from the day.
The theme of this years event is Innovation: for me, there’s a sense of dissatisfaction, of something not quite being right, and that innovation is seen as key to solving that. But that may miss the point: the disturbance is the recognition that the world has changed. Innovation is the straw we are grasping, but we can probably break it down to something more granular. We need to give permission to be curious, to question. We need to see new technologies as provocation to find new ways of working and learning, not as solutions in themselves. We need to recognise that innovation and creativity are more a function of the right spaces and permissions than of technology alone. It’s easy to reach for the tag of innovation, when in fact, what we may mean is different. Similarly, it’s easy to just try different, when what we need is true innovation, which can only occur when the ecosystem permits or provokes it. A circular question that sometimes traps us.
Another theme today was ostensibly ‘badges‘, part of a track on gamification (which i’m presenting in on Friday), but which really uncovers another fundamental recognition that learning is being both democratised, to be more on our terms, and made more social. The insistence on viewing badges as being somehow engaging fails to recognise that they only engage one type of behaviour. Any conversation about games needs to be in a wider context of learning and effectiveness, recognising that they are only one part of a complex answer.
Finally: social learning is still firmly on the radar, but still with an unhealthy focus on systems, when in fact it’s primarily a matter of sociology. Trying to own the space will only give us the conversations we deserve. Which may not be the conversations that we need.
If we approach Social correctly, we have a permission to be in the conversation: if we get it wrong, we just drive the conversation elsewhere, where it may be more subversive.
So a good first day: i’m enjoying that many of the conversations are moving beyond purely the technology, but i still feel the need to recognise the widest lens of change is that of the Social Age itself: the democratisation of learning and the move to Social.