Learning Las Vegas

What do you get when you mix Sin City, three coworkers 2000 miles from their desks, and a giant training and learning conference?  Before you answer this question, we should tell you that the aforementioned co-workers make up ELI’s Product Development team, and as such, live and breathe the Prescriptive Rules®.  So, the answer is pretty tame.  We people-watched, ate a lot of good food, bonded over our people-watching stories and jet lag delirium, and, of course, learned a lot about emerging technology and training.meredith amy
We made the trek to Las Vegas to attend the DevLearn Conference & Expo, touted as the most cutting-edge training and learning event in North America.  The theme of this year’s conference was “Shaping What’s Next,” and everything we heard supports ELI’s vision for the future.
Among some of the exciting topics discussed at DevLearn – and thrown around in brainstorming sessions back in the ELI offices over the past few months – include the following:

  • Sustainability: Although training organizations traditionally focus on training solutions, focusing on performance environments is just as important. Learners need easy, accessible tools to support the learning objectives and continually reinforce the message.
  • Mobile Learning: One way to sustain learning is by using the tools that are literally at our fingertips. Posting, texting, tweeting, liking, sharing, commenting are all methods of social learning that can reinforce traditional training. People want learning that they don’t even know is learning!
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses): With MOOCs, the majority of learning does not occur with an instructor lecturing the students.  Instead, the students take on a more expansive role by probing, discussing, and debating issues with fellow learners as well as the instructor.
  • Virtual Instructor-Led Training: This type of training isn’t new, but the media through which we conduct VILT is rapidly changing. Webcasting tools are shinier, slicker, and faster than ever. The trick is to maximize all the cool features to create the most concise and engaging VILT possible.

How will this all play out at ELI? Well, the future is wide open – but it sure is exciting to think that we, along with great learning events like DevLearn, can help with “Shaping What’s Next.”
So how was the rest of our time in Vegas? On our last night we each decided to take $40 and try our luck at quarter slots.
Here’s how it all went down:
Meredith, by using strategy and patience, demonstrated Rule #3: Be Consistent and Professional.  It mostly paid off – she held her own and walked away only $10 dollars poorer.  Amy dove in headfirst and lost her $40 in a matter of seconds.  However, she Guarded Her Words and Actions and kept a big smile on her face even as she muttered quietly under her breath.  Mellgwin took her time, but her luck still ran out way too fast.  She decided to cash out, but her machine froze.  Frustrated, she pressed the call button and Got Help from a nice attendant.  He looked at the machine and said, “Ma’am, the reason it’s frozen is you have 32 free pulls.  Just press the button.”  Mellgwin did, and the machine lit up and started ding-ing like crazy.  Had it been a $25 slot machine, she would have cashed out and retired.  Instead, she walked out with $40.84.  And since our camera phones are always within reach, we Documented the night with a few funny 1

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