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The Afterglow of ASTD ICE – Now What? Part 3: Donna Phillips

If you’re wondering what this “Now What?” series is all about, catch up here with part 1.  You can also read C. Michael Ferraro’s story here. 
Donna Phillips
Today in our “In the Afterglow of ASTD ICE 2014: Now What?” the story comes from Donna Phillips.  This was Donna’s second ICE conference, but as she puts it – “it may as well have been my first because there had been a lot of years between conference attendance.”  I was so happy to have connected with Donna during the “Social Media for Learning” pre-conference certification  that I was facilitating this year.  Her enthusiasm for learning about this topic was infectious.  It didn’t take me long to discover that was just Donna.  Donna was all over the classroom cheering on others as they placed their first tweets and was engaged in discovering how these new tools can be used as part of learning as a whole.  Then throughout the conference Donna and her team would constantly pop up and her enthusiasm was still shining through when telling me about the last great session she attended; always with a huge smile and hug to match.  It always made my day brighter to see her and by talking with her team, I know this attitude to be genuine.
I know Donna’s perspective will be a great refreshment for those of us who have been around for awhile and may be more or less jaded and blasé about the conference.  You can find Donna on twitter (she is a newbie, so reach out and connect) at @DonnaLPhillips1
Here is her story – enjoy!
I was thrilled to have the privilege of attending the 2014 ASTD Conference.  It has been about 15 years since I attended my first ASTD conference.  When you work for the Federal Government budget constraints for development and travel can often limit the professional events you are able to participate in.  The first time I attended I was a Training Specialist at NASA Langley Research Center, now I’m the Learning Officer for Langley.  So, my goals for this conference were very different.

SoMe for Learning 2014My number one goal for the conference was to learn all I could about Social Media Learning and how to apply it to learning and development programs.  NASA is on the cutting edge of many things, but at the Center-level we are in dire need of moving towards 21st Century Learning Methods.  I hit the jack-pot in achieving this goal by completing the “Social Media for Learning Certificate” taught by Shannon Tipton.  In this course I learned about and even used various types of social media tools.  I sent my first Tweet at lunch on day 1.  It was really EXCITING!!  From there I tweeted throughout the entire conference on everything from key learnings to fascinating people I met.  Shannon also shared with the class how to utilize Facebook, Pinterest, Diigo (a web collector), blogs, YouTube, etc. in our learning programs.  The case study on day 2 was excellent.  It took us through the entire process of designing with social tools—analysis to evaluation.  The two key learnings I took away from this course were:  (1) the need to develop a business case for social media learning, and (2) pick one or two social tools to use and work with them to see what the audience responds to.


Donna Phillips3Two of my staff members also attended the conference, one of which was enrolled in the “Mobile Learning Apps” preconference course.  I have never seen him so enthused about anything.  After day 1 he was already brainstorming different ways to use mobile learning apps in the development programs he manages.  The two of us began sharing ideas with one another immediately and were anxious to begin implementing those ideas.  We have already started on our first mobile app.  It will be for our “New Hire Development Program”.  We have identified what we will include in the app and have a point of contact at the Center to help with next steps.  We plan to conduct a pilot with the new employees hired over the summer.

NeuroscienceDuring the conference there were tons of interesting sessions to choose to attend.  My favorite was the “Neuroscience of Learning” by Josh Davis.  In his presentation Josh discussed how we can make learning stick more effectively through communication strategies.  Of course this sent my brain right to how we could incorporate social media to achieve this.  It was great how everything seemed to tie together for me.  So, my #1 goal was definitely achieved during the conference.

Donna Phillips2My second goal was to team with my staff members who attended and network with talent development professionals.  This goal was achieved as well.  It was really an emotional high for me to share with others what I learned and hear what they learned as well.  There was always something interesting to talk about with wonderful people.  It was GREAT!!  Can’t wait for Orlando!!

I can’t wait to see you there as well!


Tomorrow we will be hearing from Tom Spiglanin – Tom always tries to hit up as many sessions as he can, so his point of view will certainly be a different one – so stay tuned and watch this space.