True to form, the great and the good of the corporate online learning technologies world rubbed shoulders with lesser mortals last week at the Learning Technologies conference and exhibition in London. More focused on the corporate learning technologies world than, say, Online Educa Berlin or even LearnTech in Karlsruhe (which both have a high representation from the world of academia), Learning Technologies provides a truer reflection on the state of the learning technologies industry – and who, from the corporate world is buying what -than the other events.
As old as this century, Learning Technologies has – for some years – been the Cannes of the online learning technologies world. Its setting, in the cosmopolitan if now somewhat faded elegance of London’s West Kensington, is both chic and celebratory. It offers both a breath of international, jet-setting sophistication and a scent of possible success for speakers, exhibitors, delegates and visitors alike. It’s a place to ‘see and be seen’ as well as to see what’s new and spot a bargain.
This year, the percentage of international visitors – as opposed to exhibitors and visitors from the UK – remained high but among those from the UK who visited the show were David Patterson and Gillian Broadhead, who are directors of the specialist e-learning agency and market analysts, Learning Light.
Reporting on the Learning Technologies event – for the Learning Light group on LinkedIn – Gillian wrote: ‘[I] Attended Learning Technologies 2014 yesterday. What a great day out – [the event was] well attended and [we had] some really interesting conversations. I hope this is a sign that that our sector is back in business.
‘[I] Liked the Gomo presentation from Mike Alcock, the authoring tool for multiple device publishing that works. [I’m] Still impressed with the Virtual College offer. Their e-Academy solution is good, [and I] like their e-Apprenticeship Academy, effectively delivering Apprenticeships using technology.
‘[In the] LCMS market[space, I] liked the eXact [learning] solution. [It’s] very slick [that is, it presents a coherent approach to the whole issue of learning content management. All the constituent parts in the system fit well together]…’
This is praise indeed from an organisation that provides advice and help to organisations using e-learning and learning technologies to improve their business performance and is regularly involved in helping ‘UK plc’ promote online learning technologies around the world. It’s one of the few organisations in Europe that publishes regular research on the e-learning market – and its research has been used widely by Governments to inform economic policy; by universities and education establishments; by journalists; by investors evaluating new opportunities and by other research organisations.
By Bob Little