World of Learning 2012

World of Learning 2012

Redware M-Learing App Store

Redware App Store in the Technology Zone

I went along last week to a pretty uninspiring World of Learning show. I wasn’t at the conference but I did catch some of the seminars in the various show ‘theatres’.

World of Learning is normally heavily biased in favour of face-to-face training – but this year there was reasonable variety of learning technology solutions on offer. Not all of these are e-learning solutions, in fact the term e-learning wasn’t massively in evidence, but they do utilise technology in some way to support learning.

Not surprisingly quite a few vendors are pushing mobile learning (m-learning). I had a play with a few of these m-learning solutions in the technology zone a special area where you could play with the devices and software without the vendor trying to sell to you. It’s a cool idea actually – something that would work well at Learning Technologies.

In the technology zone I played with:

Seminar Learning Author
This is a template driven rapid authoring environment that publishes iPad friendly content. It’s pretty easy to use and is a good alternative to Articulate Studio if you feel more comfortable with a template driven approach. It’s not cheap though at £995.

Seminar Knowledge Centre
I really like this simple no frills LMS from Seminar Learning (an offshoot of Information Transfer – now Aceton). I’ve played with a demo before and it’s easy to set-up and use. It also works really well on a tablet device. I’m going to do a full review in a forthcoming blog.

Redware Learning App Store 
Redware appear to be the new kids on the m-learning block. I played with their mobile learning delivery platform which looked and worked just like Apple’s App store. It looked pretty cool but it was hard in the limited time I had to establish the full extent of their service/product offer. The web site isn’t much better I’m afraid and I couldn’t find a single screenshot of the tablet product. Nor any explainer videos which would really help. I did get a free bottle of tomato sauce however – now all I need is a bag of chips!

Absorb LMS
This is a Flash based LMS which I have demoed in the past. It looks good but Flash powering your LMS? I don’t think so.

Exscien Food Hygiene Game
This game is based on a 3D cartoon environment. It was fun to play for about 5 minutes but I would question the amount of learning that likely to take place. You can download the demo from Apple’s App Store – search for ‘KitchenMaster’.

Exscien KitchenMaster

Exscien KitchenMaster

It was good to see Moodle featured on at least three stands. Mind Click, CPD Online and Remote Learner.

Franklin Covey were giving away free Nexus 7s but only of you had a lucky barcode on one of their flyers (sadly I didn’t so I’m going to have to actually buy one at some point). It’s amazing how much mileage a company can get out of one piece of IP ( Covey’s original Seven Habits book) but more of that in a forthcoming blog.

I talked to quite a few of the conventional training companies – mainly to see what their position was on e-learning. Generally they still see it as poor solution that will hopefully go away. They are of course wrong. The problem many of them have is that their understanding of e-learning is poor. Typically they have seen a poorly designed page turner with a test at the end but they have little understanding of online learning beyond the 30 minute compliance driven e-learning module. Some see virtual classrooms and webinars as their route to online learning but their understanding of approaches beyond that is generally poor. I’m currently trying to work with the more enlightened ones – helping them to explore how online learning really can transform their learning offer, and more significantly, their business model too.

On the subject of new business models Martin Belton and Kate Graham from Ascot Communications ran a seminar on learning marketplaces (Udemy, Course Park, Udacity, etc.) and launched their own platform called  MyLearningWorx. I’m a big fan of these marketplaces – they enable course designers to create complete courses (mainly using video) and sell them online. Some of the underlying LMS technologies are really impressive with the emphasis firmly on ease of use both for the course designer and the learner. MyLearningWorx is currently in beta but I’m hoping to get onboard and give it a test drive.

See you at Learning Technologies in January!

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