What do I hope to get from #BbWorld14 this July? Well, aside from the endorsement deals, the hefty signing bonus and the fame and fortune that comes along with attending eLearning’s premier event, I hope to get the following:

1. The Ability to Share
2. The Ability to Learn
3. The Ability to Connect
The Ability to Share
shareThe first benefit from my attendance seems obvious, right? We are supposed to share when we attend #BbWorld14.  After all, even the Care Bears thought that “sharing is caring”.  This year i am very fortunate in that I get to share not only in conversations I have with colleagues across the country, or Twitter back-n-forths.  I get to present TWICE.  This is my first time to really present at Blackboard’s premiere event.  I’ve presented as part of a panel, but never on my own, so I feel privileged.  I have the good fortune of being able to stand in front of my peers and present information that i believe is important to the eLearning sphere.
I will be presenting as part of the Certified Trainer Summit during Bb’s pre-conference workshops (frankly this one scares me because I will be presenting in front of people who do exactly what I do at their institutions) and I am pumped for it.  I’m also presenting on the last day of the conference on how we managed to put our Faculty Certification Online with an assist from the good folks at Blackboard.  I am so jazzed that i will be able to share our successes and even our mistakes with the community!
The Ability to Learn
learnThis is possibly the main reason I come to Blackboard World each year since around 2000.  I learn so much!  Learning at the feet of luminaries that present at our keynotes as well as colleagues and thought leaders who present at all the sessions is a gift that I will never be able to fully repay.  Information that I can pass on to my constituencies about the direction Blackboard is going is also key to getting faculty excited about eLearning where I work.
I take copious notes at the sessions that I attend and bookmark the blogs and presentations of others I could not so that it can benefit my people back at home.  These nuggets of wisdom, methods of learning and best practices that I can absorb will be shared with my local community for the benefit of our students.
The Ability to Connect
connectHow often do you get the chance to talk to thought leaders in your field? Yea, sure you may be able to have a Twitter discussion on occasion where you get one or two sentences in, but that isn’t all you want, right?.  Imagine a five minute sit-down with one of them.  Blackboard World affords us that opportunity.  But, even more important that that, it allows us to sit down with our counterparts at other institutions.  We can find out what they are doing and share with them what we are doing.  How cool is that?
This professional learning community that meets once a year all together is possibly one of the worlds greatest versions of a “cognitive surplus” to quote one of your keynotes from last year.
I have made friends at this event that I will be able to stay in touch with beyond the scope of a once-a-year conference.  Connections forged at Blackboard world not only benefit us professionally, but personally as well!  I look forward to affirming those connections this year as well as making new ones.
I hope these few words start to shed some light on what I’ll be hoping to receive when I attend #BbWorld14!
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