Last week saw the annual Learning Technologies conference come to London’s Excel centre. It’s one of the big events in the EdTech calendar and we make a point of attending.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, listen to industry experts, learn from our peers and take a look at all the exciting tech disrupting traditional learning. The free pick and mix might be an attraction too.
Sadly I didn’t win a unicorn. Not for lack of trying.
The great part of this event is the openness.
Competitors are all present and sometimes right next to you, but no one minds or even thinks about it. Everyone is still willing to share what they did this year, give you a tour of their case studies or tech and even their woes. It’s an atmosphere of community and happiness. Especially if you’re lifelong nerds, just like us.
While we have all the digital connectivity we could wish for, there is something irreplaceable about having the opportunity to listen to the inspiring people like Lori Niles-Hofmann, the expert in Digital Body Language. Or find out how AI is able to personalise learning journeys from not one but a multitude of companies out there, trying it right now.
One experience that really stood out for me was a totally random encounter. I’d arrived for a talk to find every seat taken, we’ve all been there, right? Instead of standing, or sitting on a floor, I cheekily asked to perch on a sofa at a nearby stand. Edging closer and closer and then just finally asking. British politeness can be a funny thing at times.
Not only did they say yes, and give me a freebie but we got to talking afterwards and turns out that we had a passion project in common. I immediately knew two opportunities that would be of interest and we exchanged details.
Had I been watching a webcast from the comfort of my sofa, this would never have happened. While I love digital, those total chance connections are something to hold on to. Part of me wondered how we get better at simulating that behaviour of curiosity about people in digital spaces but that a whole other post.
It’s also easy to forget that even as a learning professional there is so much more to learn that can help you improve and look at common problems with new eyes.
Here at UpSkill Digital, we do a lot of work with frontline staff and the public, to learn digital skills. Helping creating a workforce that is prepared for the present and the future. Hearing from our peers tackling a similar issue was invaluable. Whether it was AXA helping us understand how they curate good learning content for their employees or BT talking about changing how they help their support teams.
I know my colleague and I walked away full of ideas and also, a lot of gratitude.
So what are the hot topics trending across the conference this year
- Data, everyone’s talking about it and they all want more
- AI is taking centre stage with learning platforms
- Frontline training is a hot topic
- Giving learners autonomy, a classic and a personal favourite
- Rapid tools are focused on mobile experience becoming seamless
Reach out and let us know what big trends in learning are important to you this year.