7 Recommended Resources from the #DevLearn Backchannel

It’s been almost a month since the 2012 DevLearn Conference and Expo took place, and the #devlearn backchannel continues to expand upon the conference learning. Devlearn always has a vibrant backchannel community, and the 2012 event was the most active yet. To date, over 250 resources have been curated from the conference backchannel.

When I curate an event backchannel, I do so with a very specific purpose. There’s tremendous value being shared in a backchannel, usually much more than someone can absorb while also participating in conference events. The purpose of my curated backchannel posts is to capture what’s being shared so that it can be referenced at a later time. I go through the sharing and capture anything that may have ongoing value as a reference. I’m not saying “These are the posts I’m recommending” per se; what I’m doing is eliminating the crap (a technical term) and bringing to the forefront all the resources that could have value, and then letting each reader pick and choose for themselves based on their own value proposition.

In short, the goal of my curated backchannel posts is to find and bring together resources that could be valuable, so that readers don’t have to search through thousands of tweets on their own.

I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and DevLearn 2012 is the first event that has generated over 250 resources. That’s just incredible, and I think it’s a testament to the supoprt the eLearning Guild have given to the backchannel community.  There’s a lot of gold in that list worth exploring. At the same time, a list of over 250 resources can in itself be overwhelming.  A few people have reached out to me and asked which resources I would personally recommend from the lengthy list.

So, here are 7 resources I would personally recommend from the #DevLearn Backchannel – Curated Resources list, with a brief description of why I included them on my list.

1. DevLearn Conference and Expo 2012: Recap by Bill Brandon & Jennifer Neibert
There’s nothing like getting a recap straight from the event organizers themselves. In this article for Learning Solutions magazine, Bill and Jennifer recap some of the unique aspects of DevLearn, and share some of the key learning points from each keynote session.

2. Bianca Woods Daily Conference Summaries & Reflections
DevLearn: Day 1
DevLearn 2012: Day 2
DevLearn 2012: Day 3
DevLearn 2012: Final thoughts
DevLearn 2012: So What’s Next?
I’m always very appreciative for bloggers who share their thoughts on what they’ve learned (a trend you’ll see as you continue through this list). Bianca’s posts share what she learned at each session she attended, and she expands on the lessons by adding why specific points resonated with her. I rank Bianca’s post high on my list for her “So What’s Next?” post which shares ideas on what she (and her readers) can do to take action on what was learned.

3. Craig Taylor’s Daily Video Reflections
I love these videos by Craig. They’re unscripted (or at least seem to be) and genuine reflections on his daily experiences at the conference. He shares what sessions he attended, and lessons he learned from each.

4. Clark Quinn’s Keynote Mind Maps
Jon Landau Keynote
Brian Brushwood Keynote
Alison Levine Keynote
Jeffrey Ma Keynote
Dayna Steele Keynote
There are many different ways that people collect and share what they learn at conferences. Some people blog, others take notes either on paper or in Evernote and share them. It’s all valuable, but every now and then you come across a resource that takes a different approach. That’s one of the reasons I love Clark’s Mind Maps. You can almost see the keynote’s learning points taking shape as you follow along the branches of each mind map.

5. Mel Aclaro’s Tin Can API Series
Part 1: The Tin Can API – Why Should eLearning Professionals Care?
Part 2: The Tin Can API – A Learning Management System Vendor’s Perspective
Part 3: The Tin Can API – The Compelling And Practical Use Cases You’ve Been Waiting To Hear
I like the journey represented in these posts. There’s a great deal of chatter regarding Tin Can in recent months, but not a great deal of clarity for how it will impact the average learning professional. Mel’s posts start with an acknowledgment of that lack of clarity, and then attempt to build an understanding. His posts allow us to join him on his quest for understanding.

6. William Chinda’s Blog Posts
William gets my vote for ‘roving reporter’ at DevLearn, posting 12 separate blog entries for sessions he attended. In each post, you will get to share the rapid-fire notes William took throughout the sessions. William shared his notes from each of the Keynote sessions (Jon Landau, Brian Brushwood, Alison Levine, Jeffrey Ma, and Dayna Steele) plus concurrent sessions by Matthew Cross & Judy Unrein, John DiGiantamasso, Ken Hubbell, Kasper Spiro, Ruth Clark, the Tin Can API panel, and the Ignite panel.

7. The eLearning Guild’s Conference Videos
I’m the type of person that likes to revisit content. I’ll reread a book or rewatch a video if I feel it’ll be beneficial. That’s why I was thrilled when the eLearning Guild announced that conference videos are now added as a member benefit.
All paid Guild memberships now include access to recorded concurrent sessions from eLearning Guild events, and Member-Plus and Premium Members also get access to recordings of Keynote sessions. This is a great value-add to Guild membership, and a great way to revisit and reflect on conference learning.

So those are my seven key resources from the Devlearn backchannel.  Are there resources that jumped out to you as especially valuable fthat aren’t on my list? I’d love to hear what they are and why you found them valuable, so please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

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