Our Key Takeaways from DevLearn 2023 (Part 3)
Devlearn 2023

Our Key Takeaways from DevLearn 2023 (Part 3)

While this was the first DevLearn experience for Kenzie and Rian, this was my SEVENTH experience! I’ve been attending since 2015. You can read all about my other DevLearn experiences for 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2015 on our blog!

I must admit, going into my seventh DevLearn had me a bit jaded and questioning whether I’d get the same wide-eyed and awed experience I expected my colleagues to have during their first experience (expected, because it was the same reaction I had way back in 2015). Pleasantly, I was surprised to find myself texting our CEO in the middle of day one jazzed about all the ideas swirling around in my head. There has been an incredible amount of change in the eLearning industry in just the past year, and the next few months and year promises continual growth, change, and innovation. With that in mind, I’d like to present my top takeaways from DevLearn 2023. 

Innovation is happening. The time to embrace change is now!

I saw this theme repeated over and over and over again. Whether it was during Josh Linkner’s keynote speech on the 5 core mindsets of every day innovation, during the various AI-themed sessions I attended, or even just walking around the expo hall and talking to vendors, it was clear: The landscape around eLearning and how it is created is evolving daily. And if we do not adapt with it, it will adapt without us. 

There are floods of AI-powered eLearning tools hitting the market. These tools shouldn’t scare you. Instead, use them as an opportunity to refine your process, eliminate human error, reduce redundancy, and quickly test out new approaches. Many of the tools we use every day already are starting to roll out AI features. For example, do you use Zoom for meetings? Zoom has a new AI Companion tool. You can ask this tool to take notes for you, list out the key takeaways, or even ask it if your name was mentioned and you missed something while you dozed off (not that you’d ever do that). AI can use a few clips of video of yourself to generate an avatar. Now, instead of having to go stand in front of a green screen and read off a teleprompter, you can simply upload a script into the software, and let the AI version of you do all the acting! The opportunities and applications of AI seem limitless. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to start researching AI and how it can help you! This leads me to my second key takeaway…

Begin before you’re ready

This was a key message during Josh Linkner’s innovation keynote, and it really resonated with me. As a CPA, I am naturally a risk-averse individual. Therefore, this message is counterintuitive at first glance. However, Josh is exactly right. If we wait until we are ready to begin…until we know we cannot fail…then we have missed the opportunity to learn and grow and change and challenge ourselves. It is through the adversity of trying and making mistakes that we learn, we advance, we persevere…and ultimately, we succeed. 

As technology continues to evolve rapidly, don’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for the dust to settle! Jump in. Get your hands dirty and play around the features of different programs to see what it can do. Experiment with ways it can be useful to you, your output, your organization. Evolve and adapt as the landscape changes. These are the people and organizations that will be ready to move forward once the dust settles. 

In a world of technology, embrace authenticity and seek connections

While many of the sessions I attended were technology centered, one thing was clear: no one wants to lose the human element or human connection. Now that we are in a new post-COVID normal, we can return to the classroom, return to the office, return to traveling and make those connections again. It is so important to not get lost in the technology. While AI can help you do your job more effectively, it cannot replace those authentic moments and connections you bring to the output. In eLearning, I can use AI for the voiceover, AI to generate images, AI can even program my videos, but it is still up to me and to our team to seek to embed those human moments. The small anecdotes or gestures or stories that take a course from generic to relatable. 

Along the lights of authenticity, another key takeaway was to not try to be everything to everyone. When you do that, you’ve interrupted your ability to connect. Instead, be authentic and true to that one group or audience you're connecting with. If you want to make a Harry Potter theme for a course, for example, there may be people who don’t connect with that theme. But man will the Potterheads who recognize the effort you put into making that connection appreciate the efforts you made and connect with the content that much more as a result! You cannot be all things to all people. So you must narrow your focus and make a choice. 

Overall, this was a great year, and it left me feeling hopeful for the future and excited to jump in and get started in exploring the world of AI!

About GAAP Dynamics  

We’re a DIFFERENT type of accounting training firm. We don’t think of training as a “tick the box” exercise, but rather an opportunity to empower your people to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Whether it’s U.S. GAAP training, IFRS training, or audit training, we’ve helped thousands of professionals since 2001. Our clients include some of the largest accounting firms and companies in the world. As lifelong learners, we believe training is important. As CPAs, we believe great training is vital to doing your job well and maintaining the public trust. We want to help you understand complex accounting matters and we believe you deserve the best training in the world, regardless of whether you work for a large, multinational company or a small, regional accounting firm. We passionately create high-quality training that we would want to take. This means it is accurate, relevant, engaging, visually appealing, and fun. That’s our brand promise. Want to learn more about how GAAP Dynamics can help you? Let’s talk!


This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.

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Comments (1)

  1. David Myth:
    Dec 06, 2023 at 07:51 AM

    Wow! The whole series of articles were great and insightful!

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