Joined-up thinking

The forthcoming Learning Technologies Conference and Exhibition aims to
offer training specialists practical guidance for the investments they have
already made. Simon Kent reports

With technology now a crucial element of any learning intervention, the
Learning Technologies 2003 Conference and Exhibition will provide visitors with
the opportunity to review current practice in terms of products and

Under the universal theme of ‘Making it all work’, the two-day conference
sessions are grouped under three themes of implementation, design and strategy.

The opening keynote address will come from Chris Yapp, of Hewlett Packard
Services and director of the Internet Society of England (Day 1, 10.00-11.00).
Having worked with various UK and EU advisory groups, Yapp will speculate on
the use of technology in the future, how it can support life-long education and
ask whether technology will produce a meritorious knowledge economy or whether
the onwards march of progress could leave some learners behind.

Participants will be able to learn more about how technologies can create
learning environments within their own organisations. The subject is addressed
during the afternoon of Day 1 (14.00-15.00), when a panel tackles the question
of how to buy and use a learning management system (LMS). Top of the agenda is
implementation – whether a ‘big-bang approach’ is always doomed to fail and how
organisations can market their LMS to employees.

While assisting professionals with the sourcing, implementation and
management of e-learning technologies, the conference also provides an important
strategic view of the subject. Sessions covering the Prospects for 2003 (Day 1,
11.30-12.30); Where e-learning meets e-HR (Day 1, 15.30-16.30); The Changing
Face of End-user Training and Certification (Day 2, 10.00-11.00) and Embedding
Learning into Company Culture (Day 2, 14.00-15.00) complement each other and
offer the background required to make a full business case for investing in
such technologies.

Now in its fourth year, the conference builds on issues raised in previous
years. One session will cover the methodology behind creating Effective Blended
Learning (Day 1, 15.30-16.30). This session will include topics such as
matching media and content to users and ensuring blended learning is
effectively monitored and tracked.

In spite of general acceptance of internet and technology-based learning,
the matter of securing ROI remains high on the agenda. A workshop held at the
end of day two covers Ensuring the Validity of Testing (a session run by
Jonathan Kettleborough, managing director of training consultants Corollis),
while another discusses the shifting of emphasis from training delivery to
skills management. This session will be jointly-run by Ron McLaren, managing
director of e-Skills Management Ltd and Ashley Wheaton, former director of
global learning services at Microsoft. All four workshops consist of an initial
presentation followed by a general sharing of ideas and experiences. The
undoubted popularity of these sessions means visitors should book well in

If all that talk gets too much, visitors can stroll round the adjacent
exhibition where more than 100 vendors will be showing the latest and most
impressive solutions designed to meet the needs of technology-based learning
schemes. While the large and established providers will be here – Hewlett
Packard Education, NETg and Sun Microsystems – so too will the relative
newcomers such as BrightWave and e2train.

However you spend your time, Learning Technologies 2003 is set to provide
the European focus for state-of-the-art e-learning and learning technologies.
The event aims to show visitors what is available and to make informed plans
for their own organisations.

What’s on & where

– Learning Technologies 2003, London,
29-30 Jan. Olympia 2, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London

– Entry to the exhibition is free of charge

– Conference delegate rate for two days: £895+VAT

– Book at or phone 020 8587 0303

Getting there

– Kensington Olympia tube station – District Line, trains from
Earls Court

– There are a number of local fee-paying parking locations

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