26 Feb Learning Technologies 2013
Learning Technologies is the main conference/show for the e-learning industry in the UK. This year it neatly overlapped with the educational technology show BETT so I managed to get to both of them over a couple of days in January.
Learning Technologies is both a conference and a trade show. I didn’t get to the conference this year but there is lots going on in the show to keep anyone busy for a full day. I actually presented one of the free show seminars with the team from Sponge – our subject was ‘Brain friendly e-learning’ and specifically what we can do in an e-learning course to help the brain retain more stuff. There’s another blog post on this soon.
If like me you missed the conference you can see the videos/presentations here: Learning Technologies 2013 Conference Videos and Presentations
This year there were six seminar theatres within the show and mostly they appeared pretty busy with seats full and others standing in the aisles.
I always use the show to catch-up on the various companies in the e-learning business. Learning Technologies is one of those shows that you simply have to be seen at so as you can expect all the major players were there, and usually in their hard won stand locations.
So was there anything new this year? Not much actually.
It seems that m-learning is being dropped as something separate to e-learning – the aim of the game now is multi-device compatibility. Kineo are promoting a responsive web design approach while others are sticking to more conventional layouts based of course on HTML5.
There were a few new e-learning design and development companies exhibiting so clearly DIY authoring hasn’t completely killed the market for custom development at £10k-£15k per fully interactive hour.
As far as DIY tools are concerned Articulate had a bigger stand this year and the Articulate guru Tom Kuhlmann was there to sing the praises of Storyline and to give us little tasters of Studio 13. I actually saw a version of Engage 13 in action on Tom’s laptop so clearly we can’t be too far away from full beta testing. e-Learning Brothers were also there all the way from Utah promoting their bolt on templates, players, and other stuff for the most popular DIY authoring tools.
There was a new UK authoring tool called Bricklayer from Training Bricks. It’s entirely browser based and looks pretty powerful but the fact that it’s priced similarly to Storyline and not yet HTML5 capable is likely to mean that it will struggle to get a hold in the DIY market. A short video review coming soon.
On the platform front there was nothing significant but one new entrant in the market is LearnUpon from my home town of Dublin. Their LMS is aimed primarily at training companies and is priced very competitively for those looking for a starter LMS. Of particular value from a learning business perspective is the fact that it supports multiple portals so a training company can deliver a branded online learning experience to a number of different customers using the same LMS instance. You can get started with LearnUpon for $99 for up to 250 active users – that’s an attractive start point for a small training company who are just getting started with e-learning. Full review to follow.
For a quick video tour of the show see: Learning Technologies 2013 Show Tour