The month in Learning Technology: January 2015

Following on from my suggestion that a ‘news’ podcast for learning technology could be both informative and entertaining, I thought I would start a new series of blog posts where articles and links I find useful get a home on this site.  The posts will be updated as a month progresses and include a certain amount of aggregation from my shared items on the Old Reader and Twitter.  I will try to add some thoughts alongside the links as a form of reflection and maybe, one day, I’ll extend that out to audio.

  1. The UK press have started 2015 as they mean to go on, by being obsessed with the general election.  The education discussion continues to center around money and the provision of places, rather than quality of learning:
  2. Learning difficult processes fun through play and gamification: Wikipedia’s gamification orientation – sounds like a great idea to an on-boarding that was really always overly complicated in my opinion.
  3. The Learning Technologies 2015 conference was my first LT winter conference, rather than just attending the exhibition.  Backchannel links are here.  Lots to think about and longer posts to follow.
  4. One theme for me at LT15 was the move to bigger talent issues than simply learning, as talked about in this NetDimensions press release.
  5. The other big event in January is always BETT, although I did not make it this year there were some good headlines coming out.  Items catching my attention included MUV Interactive’s ‘Bird’ (great name too) which is a new approach to interaction in the classroom.
  6. Another consistent factor for early in the year is the Blue Eskimo survey of learning professionals, no real surprises this year:
  7. A challenge for the LMS/VLE has always been finding a position within the organization as a tool people actually want/need to use.  One problem often articulated, especially in Higher Ed, is that the VLE becomes a file store as people still live/produce content in Office.  A new integration between Moodle and Office365 might offer a way forward.
  8. Citrix and the Internet Time Alliance recently published Jay Cross’ latest views on “Why Corporate Training is Broke and How to Fix it“.  Hard to disagree with a lot of the article – not least that the terms L&D/trainers use don’t help and make the business see L&D as out of touch and out of date.  The stress on “getting things done in the collaborative organization” is really centric to my views on trying to work learning into the wider aspect of having the organization develop in a way people actually want to work within (Cross identifies culture, infrastructure and motivation alongside learning in this).
  9. Personalization (including via big data).  Various developments in this space are continuing along, INSEAD’s YouTube covers some developments (in the below video).
  10. Global Edtech Investment Swells to a Record $2.3 Billion in 2014 – pretty crazy when you can argue if learning/ed tech is needed at all.  Fears of a bubble, especially around China, seem fairly valid.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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