Friday, May 25, 2012

Trail Ride to Float Mobile Learning Symposium

We are about thirty days out from the Float Mobile LearningSymposium and I am getting excited! I’m ready to pack my saddle bags, mount the proverbial horse and head up the cattle trail to Chicago for this year’s event to be held at startup incubator 1871 and in conjunction with TechWeek 2012 Conference in Chicago. This year’s Float Symposium builds on momentum gained from last year’s inaugural event held down the trail in Peoria, IL (Float’s outpost/HQ) and is sure to please.

Why am I excited?  That’s easy, Tex! It is all about the people – from those putting it together to those hosting the venue and everyone speaking but, more importantly, those attending. This event may be boutique in size compared with mega learning events but everyone in the crowd are likely “twin sons (and daughters) from different mothers” who each think about mobile with every action, reaction and breath they take. Sure, there will be sessions and speeches along the way, but the real opportunity is in the connections you make with peers who are excited to share their experiences – both good and bad – with others.

If you know about the event, you’re likely part of the “minority crowd” of real mobile practitioners rather than the “majority crowd” still sitting on the fence and not out there riding the mobile rodeo bull.  My advice -- strap in, listen for the bell, and hold on for eight seconds as best you can! When you fall (and you will at some point), know the distance down isn’t too far and just make sure you get out of the way!  Mobile is something to experience, not just talk about, and the best way to learn from others is to share your own practical lessons with them so we can build on what’s proven possible, practical and productive.

For my part, I’m pleased to be delivering a session on Enterprise Security for Mobile Learning, an often overlooked and misunderstood topic for individuals and teams tasked with the creation, delivery and management of mobile learning that live within the confines of an information security department’s strict policies and expectations. The introduction of mobile devices across nearly every aspect of our business lives has introduced a wide array of technical, operational and managerial challenges every organization must understand and find ways to address. Every organization approaches security in their own way and the variables differ across industries and use cases.  A combination of IT policies like BYOD, varied use of mobile devices/operating systems, the selection of native apps/mobile web, the need for online versus offline content delivery, to issue of track or not to track, and even exempt/non-exempt employee work rules can all coalesce to make security something many teams think of last and, before they realize it, their projects can be in real jeopardy.

My primary goal is to share experiences on security with everyone at the Symposium seeking to plan, implement or manage an upcoming mobile learning initiative, and arm them with tips and tricks to get their IT, infosec and management teams comfortable with the fact mobile is here, it’s real and it really can be secure. My other goal is to connect with other rodeo riders (and clowns) like me and learn as much from their time in the saddle as I have mine.

Yippee, ki-yah!

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