ATDTK 2020 is kicking off today and I’m incredibly excited to participate in my first TK, and the new format that the programming committee has spent a lot of time and considering. Today’s a busy one in that I am facilitating a coffee chat, attending sessions, and then delivering my own playground session.
The morning begins by hanging out with several lovely ladies, discussing e-learning and struggles within training and development – specifically in relation to the complexities of training non-trainers to develop pedagogically sound learning experiences for their peers. We discussed issues of attrition, cost and return on investment, and the challenges associated with spending the time to make learning stick with that particular audience. We also discussed working from home and being able to create separation between work and home at the end of the day.
Keynote: Marco Tempest
Marco Tempest kicks off ATDTK 2020 this morning by explaining how magicians use psychological principles to hone their craft. Some of you may not know who Marco Tempest is – he is a magician who uses digital technologies in his performances.
He explains the concept of change blindness by having us choose a card, and then has ‘our card’ disappear. The way this trick works is that we experience change blindness where we do not recall the other card options. Our eye sees everything, but our mind processes it a bit differently.
Marco creates illusions, explaining that our imagination is more powerful than our reasoning, and while the topic and illusions are incredibly captivating, I find myself excited by his presentation techniques and the use of audio to make the illusions being presented feel more magical.
“A good idea can come from anywhere, and so too can advice.” – Marco Tempest, 2020
Transitioning to the topic of storytelling, Marco explains how when he creates magic, he is creating a narrative of events which distracts participants from the mechanics. The illusion was seen, but not remembered.
Every performance in magic is a field test for receiving face-to-face feedback of the user experience. When users get to interact with the experience, this is when we will receive the most valuable of feedback – there is no group think.
“Human beings stay the same. They always want magic.” – Marco Tempest, 2020
Being excited, engaged, and amazed is something that all of learners want. We need to stay curious to ensure that we are focusing on the destination for those learners.
General Thoughts: Marco Tempest is an incredibly motivating speaker, a fantastic storyteller, and I now have bigger presentation and development goals. I want to create magic!
The Rest of The Day
For the rest of the day, I hung out almost exclusively in the Playground. The Playground is a new format that the programming team came up with; basically, we all have headsets and we can tune into stages and sessions by adjusting the station on the headset. Presenters are presenting simultaneously, but you can attend any session you want…even covertly.
I’m very interested to hear the feedback/reception of the playground, because it’s a neat concept and allowed me to station myself at a side table to do a bit of work, while also tuning into the sessions I didn’t want to miss. The one feedback I had for this format is that walking into the room, with the lighting and all of people was that you expected the room to be buzzing with sound, but it felt more like a library. It felt like having conversations with peers was going to disrupt other people, when really those people were fine – they had headsets on and were listening to a presentation.
Be Free, Lance
One of yesterday’s playground sessions was mine. I presented essentially a case study of my experiences as a freelancer – things I didn’t know when I started, things I learned, and things I wish someone would have told me. The topic of freelancing is always a good one, because there’s always intrigue and curiosity.
The session went well, attendees asked a lot of great questions, and I’d be happy to do it again in the future!
After this last session of the day, I packed it in because it was 9:15pm my time and I was beat!