Learning Technologies 2012: Day One overview #LT12UK

Learning Technologies 2012 started yesterday at London Olympia and Martin Couzins caught up with speakers, delegates and exhibitors in his day-one overview.

Organisations should consider creating chief ideas officers to help develop organisational thinking and create new ideas, according to author and thinker Edward de Bono.

De Bono delivered the opening keynote on day one of the Learning Technologies show, held at Olympia 2 in London this week. He told delegates that there is currently a huge amount of information available to people and for many it is just enough to react to it. But people need to be able to think about the information that is in front of them as there are different ways to interpret it.

Organisations need to learn how to think and to use this thinking to generate ideas and innovate. Listen to an interview with de Bono here.


Peer-to-peer learning

Donald Clark, blogger and director at PlanB Learning, delivered a session on peer learning and why instructors “need to get out of the way”. Delegates heard why peer learning is so powerful, using theoretical and empirical evidence.

For theoretical evidence he urged delegates to read The Nurture Assumption by Judith Rich Harris, which Clark described as “probably the most important book on the psychology of learning in the last 20 years”.

In the book, Harris shows that the primary influence on young people is their peer group, which is also their primary source of conformity, motivation and learning.

Clark then went on to look at tools that can help peer-to-peer collaboration such as Aropa, Peerwise, Peermark and Cog Books. Now is the time to for learning and development (L&D) to look at collaborative tools and to go to where the learners are rather than expecting them to come to you, he added.

Watch the interview:



Social learning

Technology strategist Joanne Jacobs showed how companies use social media tools to create spaces for employees, clients and customers to share their expertise.

Social media technologies are changing the way we behave and learn. Jacobs said that if we think carefully about how we use it, we can create useful and robust learning technologies.

Watch the interview:


As well as the conference schedule, Learning Technologies features an exhibition of more than 200 learning technology suppliers. Personnel Today talked to some of them about the big issues in learning.

Mobile learning

Will Chadwick and Nitin Mistry from Tata Interactive provided a view on mobile learning from the exhibition hall. Chadwick said that 70% of their discussions on the first morning of the event had been about mobile learning. Chadwick and Mistry set out their three big challenges for mobile learning:

  1. Senior executives have realised that their organisations need a mobile learning strategy. But can you get existing e-learning content into a mobile format? If it is in Flash format it won’t work on mobile devices.
  2. The huge number of devices that have to be supported. Instructional design is key, too – not all content will work across mobiles and tablets.
  3. If companies are making their training available on mobile devices, how are they expected to pay those employees for doing training in their own time?

Listen to an interview with Chadwick and Mistry here.


Talent management

Vincent Belliveau, general manager EMEA for Cornerstone on Demand, shared his thinking on how talent management technology has developed, from succession planning only to enabling organisations to identify both the skills and talent pools required.

He said that L&D was one of the four pillars of talent management alongside recruitment, performance management and the extended enterprise (covering the supply chain). He said that L&D was increasingly important to talent management and that L&D professionals need to work more closely with talent management teams.

Watch the interview:



L&D delivery

Armin Hopp, president, Speexx, shared the findings of its latest survey on how L&D is delivered. The L&D managers surveyed said that they expected 75% of L&D delivery to be blended by 2014, compared with 25% in 2011.

The survey showed that mobile and social learning are now on the agenda and will form a part of the L&D mix for organisations.

Hopp also said that language skills are now becoming a talent management issue for some organisations, as companies are finding it difficult to find people who have the right language skills.

Watch the interview



Review of day one

Personnel Today caught up with the former head of L&D at the BBC, Nigel Paine, who shared his thoughts on day one of the Learning Technologies conference.

He said that the day was “one string of highlights” and that it was a conference of contrasts – from Edward de Bono talking about what the mind can do at the start of the day, to futurist Ray Kurzweil’s closing keynote talking about what machines will be able to do in the future.

Watch the video:



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