Thursday, June 24, 2010

LEEF wrap up: The best little conference you're missing

Just back from LEEF 2010 at Harrisburg University, and in its second year, it did not disappoint. Last year we attended the first LEEF conference, and were thrilled at the structure and the content. With a focus on serious games, simulations, and virtual worlds for learning, we were treated to in depth case studies and demos that you just didn't see at other conferences.

This year was even better. The quality of the sessions was amazing. We got to see demos of products, like IBM's Innov8, before they are released on the market. We got to play full blown games and ask all of the design and strategic questions that you don't normally get to ask at conferences. And we got to really meet and connect with brilliant practitioners in our field.

The keynotes blew me away. Mike Cuffe, Vice President, University of Farmers, Claims at Farmer's Insurance, is doing some of the most cutting edge training I've seen. It was refreshing to see a visionary in corporate training who practices what he preaches and is vigilantly staying ahead of the curve. Jerry Heneghan, Managing Director, Virtual Heroes Division at Applied Research Associates gave a really inspiring presentation on 3D immersive games that gave some insight into how they have been effective in changing behaviors. I am looking forward to seeing what his group will be doing next related to health.

Tandem presented two sessions on ARGs (alternate reality games) and both were really fun for me, in different ways. The first was our case study overview and we presented to a pretty packed house. Even more exciting for me was the line of people afterwards that wanted to talk more. I'm excited to see ARGs really seeming to have some traction for corporate learning, and I'm looking forward to our next projects in this area. The second session was a debrief of the ARG that we helped support at the LEEF conference, The Robots are Eating the Building. It was a truly valuable learning experience, and I got a lot out of the debrief.

Thanks so much to Jen Reiner, Andy Petroski and Charles Palmer for putting on such a great conference. Can't wait to see what you put together next year...and hopefully some of you who haven't already will join us!

1 comment:

  1. We're already scheming for a bigger and better LEEF in 2011. We hope Tandem plays a big role next year too!

    Thanks for the summary! In 10 years LEEF will be the SXSW-east and then everyone will wish they were there when it all began. 8-)

    Please keep us up-to-date with all that Tandem is doing. See you at DevLearn.

    Andy Petroski
    Director and Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies
    Harrisburg University