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Senior Moment--MobiLearnAsia

 Just working out some things here. I just blew a gig. It was so all my fault.

Well, not really a gig, but a commitment. I had committed to present at a conference in Singapore this week, invited to do so by Mr. Patrick Ho, CEO of "MobiLearnAsia," a conference held to bring together people who are interested in the burgeoning move to digitize, profitize, and maximize participation, learning, and community. From the website, MobiLearnAsia was "organised for education professionals who are interested in deploying and developing the latest technologies and best practices in mobile learning and elearning, and for corporate executives who are interested in leveraging mobile learning technologies for employee and compliance training, product and sales training, customer service and performance support, this event will feature over 30 international expert speakers and a host of sponsors and exhibitors"

I was to be one of those "experts." For months, since  ISTE 2012 in San Diego, California, where I was approached by Mr. Ho to present, I have been looking forward to it. I had tested the interface, at Vidyo, with the organizers and had responded last night to a request to test again. I did so, and when I heard my wife driving up into the driveway outside my basement garage office I said, "See you tomorrow!" and disconnected. I never had a clue they were expecting me to present momentarily.

I spent some time with my honey, made sure my 16 year-old genius songwriter boy was safely home and in bed, and retired. At 3:41 I was awakened by our kenneled puppy's whining for release. I took him out to relieve himself and pulled down the Murphy bed in the guest room. He climbed up next to me and we slept until time for everyone to get up. At work, I dove into work, and I honestly didn't get a chance until around lunchtime (the middle of the next night in Singapore) to check my personal email to discover the frantic "where are you" emails that ensued after I had disconnected.

So, okay, I apologized to all concerned via emails. Then I got to thinking.

This was such a learning experience for me, and I hope it was for Mr. Ho and his colleagues.

  1. It was never a condition of commitment for me to be compensated in any way for presenting.I'm sure that if I'd been flown out to Singapore I'd have been on time. Just kidding.
  2. Their schedule was clearly posted on their website. I made a conversion error. Wrong, and clearly my fault. I have always been somewhat dyscalendaric. Great word, just coined.
  3. In my defense, never was my cell phone number asked for: All communication happened via email ("the way you communicate with old people," according to a student of mine years ago). If I'd just shared my phone number, they could have called me and I would've jumped back downstairs and presented on the fly. Shucks.
  4. Language and culture differences can skew an interaction. Never was my presentation time confirmed verbally or even via that old communication technology, email, though there was an initial email correspondence with the correct time. There was a lot of assuming going on, on both sides. I assumed I entered my presentation time in my calendar coreectly. Those in Singapore assumed I knew what I was doing. Sadly, both of us assumed wrong
  5. As I proceed past this "clustercuss," to quote The Incredible Mr. Fox, I will bank my learnings. As Professional Development Chair of ISTE SIGOL and creator and organizer of the "Priceless ProfDev in Less than an Hour" webinar series, I will make sure I have cell phone numbers as we approach event times. I will confirm times 3 days out with presenters. I will never assume.

That's about it, but you, dear reader, please learn from my mistakes. I share them for that reason. It's what I do. I only wish I'd set my calendar right and been able to deliver on my commitment to share with MobiLearnAsia's attendees.
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Scott Merrick said…
Just an update. I received an email yesterday from Mr. Ho in which he said not to worry, these things happen, and though the attendees were disappointed to miss my sharing session, all went as well as it could as they attended other concurrent sessions. He also accepted my invitation to a beer the next time our paths cross. I'm looking forward to it. And I most certainly will be in attendance for this coming week's EdTechLeadersOnline webinar on building a virtual high school! EdTechLeaders Online ‏@edtechleaders
LIVE webinar 10/30 at 4PM ET w/ @scottmerrick - Creating & Running a Public #Online HS @MNPSVS #OnlineLearning Join us: http://econference.edc.org/
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