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  The eLearning Guild’s DevLearn Conference is happening next week in Las Vegas. Because of business priorities, I can’t go. So, I’m pissed. A Guild conference is a careerlife-sustaining activity. It’s the “power up” charge in the video game right when your character is on fumes (quite like the therapeutic experience of  participating in a weekly #lrnchat). Going to an eLearning Guild conference immerses you going into a cocoon of concentrated learning awesomeness. [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
  • Every person I’ve encountered at a Guild conference “gets it”- when personally meeting attendees, I genuinely come to like and respect them quickly (really, no turkeys running around these conferences…    …uh, I just realized I may be “that guy”, but please don’t tell me if I am the turkey)
  • Every keynote is top-notch
  • Every session offers something thought-provoking
[/list] Attendance is either transformative (you change how you do things), or validating (you understand that those who get it are also rallying against those who don’t in their organizations, and that the battles can be won). Either way, it’s high-value. And I can’t go. Too busy driving to fill up with gas. So, what do I (and several of my colleagues who also can’t attend) do? What Happens in Vegas Goes to the Backchannel David Kelly (twitter handle @LnDDave) curates backchannels for learning conferences on his site, David has done this for several conferences over the past couple of years. He does a tremendous job of collecting and organizing resources from these conferences. I’d say “in my opinion” except for the fact that he’s done such a great job that the DevLearn organizers are coordinating with David to bring added value to the backchannel. Although a backchannel cannot replicate the contact high you get from participating in the conference live with peers, it is a great option to gain exposure to the resources from the conference. This is not just for those of us who can’t attend, but for those attendees who have to make the hard choice between which session they will attend for each time slot (boo hoo, cry me a river- I can’t go!). With the wealth of options at a Guild conference, choosing between two or more great sessions during the same time is the norm. Attendees can use the backchannel to gain insight and resources from the sessions they miss. With David’s experience and the DevLearn organizer’s active endorsement, I am eager too see what the DevLearn backchannel will provide this year. My sincere thanks to @LnDDave for providing this service. I am still ticked about not being able to attend, but the backchannel helps take away a bit of the sting. For those of you who are attending- have an amazing time (I am sure you will). And, please, resist all temptations sing “The Gambler” while walking through a Casino.

OpenSesame is a marketplace for e-learning content. I beta-tested the product in an extremely restrictive LMS environment. I was very impressed with the ease of setup, and wrote a review of the experience. Since then, I have graciously been offered a role of Expert Reviewer to evaluate the training products offered through the site. I have been very fortunate in my professional career in terms of my exposure to quality content. I worked for a few colleges that had relationships with top vendors to source and private label content. I’ve worked at regional tech schools that provided certified training for several different software companies. I currently work with a multibillion dollar financial organization that buys entire catalogs of content from many industry-leading training content providers. I have literally seen thousands of course offerings from the most established and top-rated vendors and organizations in the industry. I am finding that a good amount of content posted to OpenSesame for purchase is the same caliber at a fraction of the price. So, the rest of this post will be brief. If you need training content for your LMS, check out OpenSesame: [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
  • they have a wealth of quality content available
  • at very attractive price points
  • it will work with your LMS