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Learners of the Conference, Unite!

I was gearing up to head to DC for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) annual Technology Conference today when word came that the event had been canceled. Snow has pretty much shut down DC, or at the very least, flights into DC. It’s a conference I happen to like a lot, so I was bummed to hear the news – until things took an interesting turn.

Namely, as the original Technology Conference was put on ice (so to speak), #UNTECH10 – The Unofficial Alternative to the Canceled Tech10, was already in the works. As a result, folks who are in DC will be meeting up in-person at the Renaissance Hotel and those who are not in DC will be able to participate virtually.

I’ve already written about this over on the Tagoras blog, but I just had to mention it here on Mission to Learn because it seems so highly relevant to … well, the mission to learn. It’s such a great example of:

  • Learners seizing the reins of their own learning
  • Taking great advantage of what social media and other Web 2.0 technologies make possible for learning
  • Blending both formal and informal learning experiences

And probably most of all, I like it because it involves taking some risks – always a great catalyst for learning. Folks could have just walked away with a “better luck next year” attitude, but they didn’t and I think some congrats are in order:

  • Kudos to Maddie Grant and Lindy Dreyer of SocialFish and their co-organizers for seeing an opportunity and sticking their necks out. (Yes, if this works out they will look like a million bucks, but of course, there was no guarantee it would work out and pulling it together is a lot of work.)
  • Kudos to ASAE for stepping back and letting members and volunteers roll with it. I have no idea what the thought processes or discussion were at ASAE, but this is one of those situations where the big organization could have strong armed things and either tried to run the alternate show itself or tried to quash it. It doesn’t look like ASAE plans to do either. (And see Peggy Hoffman’s post on the value of volunteers in this situation.)
  • Kudos to everyone who is signing up to participate or stepping up to present and provide content – particularly those who may be trying out this sort of learning experience for the first time.

I’ll be “there” of course, and I hope some readers here will join me. The conference site is at https://untech10.conferencespot.org/ and if you happen to actually be in DC, you can sign up for the face-to-face part.

Whether or not this event falls in your area of interest, what are your experiences with “unconference” learning events of this type? Please comment and share!

[tweetmeme] P.S. – I put this sort of thing under the Learning 2.0 umbrella. If you are interested in Learning 2.0 – i.e., blending of the social Web and all it enables with more traditional learning approaches – you might be interested in the free eBook Learning 2.0 for Associations.

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4 comments
Holy Moly! The #Untech10 Story — SocialFish says

[…] Learners of the Conference, Unite! (Jeff Cobb) […]

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Jeff Cobb says

Thanks for commenting, Holly – and for your post. I encourage other readers here to go check out Holly’s post on “what if?” – Jeff

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Holly MacDonald says

I wrote a post on my blog related to yours: https://sparkyourinterest.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/what-if/. I really liked your perspective on taking risks.

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What if… « Spark Your Interest! says

[…] 2010 February 10 by hollymacdonald I read a fascinating post at Mission to Learn this morning, about a conference in Washington DC (site of Snowmageddon) which […]

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