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917 - Responsive Crisis Tech, SpongeBob, 4D Printing

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - May 26, 2016.
#917 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
57,259 Readers - - twitter: emasie - The MASIE Center.
Host: Learning 2016 - Oct 23-26 in Orlando - 

1. Responsive Technology Resolves a Crisis.
2. ATD Themes and Observations.
3. SpongeBob and Bikini Bottoms - Tech Notes.
4. 4D Printing???
5. Learning Innovations LAB - 7 Spaces in July. 

1.  Responsive Technology Resolves a Crisis:  It is never good to hear that your flight has been cancelled.  And, it was even more of a disappointment yesterday, when I flew from Denver at 6 am, spent the day in Chicago at a theater (more about that below), and was flying back to New York State at 7 pm. But, the responsive technology that American Airlines was using made it a lot more tolerable:

- My App Knew First: Minutes before the cancellation was posted, my American App on my phone alerted me that the flight was cancelled due to weather.

- Their Phone System Knew Me: I dialed the American Airlines number, dreading what I feared would be a long wait before speaking to an agent, but their responsive system recognized my mobile number, asked if I was Elliott, and then began my re-routing process.

- Their System Made a Personal Choice for Me: It knew where I was going and where I usually choose to sit, so the automatic voice said, “Elliott, we are holding a space for you on a non-stop 7:05 am flight tomorrow morning - in seat 5A. Would you like to use this one or search for other alternatives?”

- My App Followed Along: As soon as I said “yes” to the system, my reservation was confirmed, and my boarding pass was delivered to my app for the next morning flight - along with a TSA Pre-Check symbol.

Getting a hotel was not nearly as easy, but the experience of the airline’s responsive technology was impressive, along with the option for a passenger to ask to speak to a live rep. The system worked so well that I was rebooked and had a new boarding pass before the first person in the very long line at the counter was finished.

2.  ATD Themes and Observations: It was an honor to be a speaker for a major session at the ATD 2016 event in Denver this week. I was able to meet with so many current and new colleagues from around the world, as well as deliver a high energy session on Learning Themes and Disruptions. 

For 3 days I dialogued with hundreds of learning colleagues and spoke with implementers and suppliers, focusing on emerging and disruptive learning trends. You will see some detailed videos that I will post in TRENDS in the weeks ahead. But, here is a quick look at my running list of themes and observations from the ATD event:

- Learning Personalization - looking for systems that will allow and support learner choices. While it is on the display boards of many suppliers, we need a deeper view of the “who” (designer, learner, or the system) and “how” (automatic or blended) when personalization occurs.

- xAPI Confusion - while many are intrigued by the concept of a learning experience data standard, there is deep confusion and a pause in implementation of xAPI. It seems the effort has to get a higher level of corporate support and shift from a “techie” view to methods of leveraging experience tracking into learning excellence.

- Big Marketing Bucks in Learning - there is a lot of venture money flowing into the learning space and we saw many $100,000 + exhibits and presences in the ATD Expo area.   It was exciting to see the support but also strange to see some companies with slick booths and extremely vague learning messages. Many learning suppliers are aligning as software innovators and need to better weave learning into the mix.

- Video Soaring - the participants at the event were all about video as a core and growing element in learning.

- Search Next - I spent considerable time in my presentation exploring how search and the emerging audio/search mixes (Amazon Echo, Apple Siri, and Google Home) could radically change at-work access.

- Machine Learning - everyone wants it but few are comfortable with their understanding and almost no one can point to a current working case in the field - YET!

- Learning Producer vs. Instructional Designer - that is my push for rebranding what many of us do. “Learning Producer” can include an ID set of skills but is broader and more reflective of the blend of roles we are all performing. 

Stay tuned for more on these topics in future issues of Learning TRENDS. 

3. SpongeBob and Bikini Bottoms - Get Ready: As you may know, MASIE Productions is also involved in producing Broadway Theater. Our latest project is SpongeBob The Musical, which is about to open for a one month run in Chicago (on the way to Broadway). 

Yesterday I stopped in at the Oriental Theater for a most unusual phase of building a Broadway show: “Tech”. This is a 2 week period when the technical aspects of a show (scenery, lights, movement, sound, and much more) are worked through - line by line. The cast and creative team continue their rehearsal as dancers or stage pieces are aligned and optimized. The theater seating is transformed into a series of tables with computers and creatives, working on getting everything great before we start Previews in about a week. 

I love “Tech” as it is that time when the User Experience is the focus of the production process. SpongeBob The Musical, based on the television show from Nickelodeon, which is the primary Producer of our show, takes you on an amazing journey with high energy songs, stories, dance, and cast that are delighted being “underwater”. The set is awesome and the songs of Bikini Bottom have been written by Cyndi Lauper, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, and many more.

The website for the show is  If you can, catch it in Chicago and send me any comments or thoughts. It is cool for kids and adults of all ages.   We will be there on the evening of June 14th. 

And, the show will be coming to Broadway in the 2016-2017 season. 

5. 4D Printing??? Check out this article and video about 4D Printing and the implications: 

Note: There are only 7 spaces open in my next Learning Innovations LAB, to be held at the MASIE Center in Saratoga Springs from July 12 to 14. Details and registration at

Yours in Learning,

Elliott Masie 

Twitter: emasie 

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:

- Learning Directions Briefings: June in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
- Learning Innovations LAB - July 12-14, Saratoga Springs, NY.
- Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM.
- Learning 2016 - October 23 to 26 - Orlando, Florida. 

Info and Registration: