Reflections on #LT17uk

I only had around 6 hours in the Learning Technologies exhibition this year (for those who’ve never been – that’s not a lot!) and it helped me stay focused – mostly just walking the hall and meeting people (I stuck to the plan and spent much less time in the free seminars).

Your experience of such shows is, obviously, influenced by current personal/workplace concerns – but here are some of my takeaways…

Listen to the fortune cookie!
  1. Authoring tools – is it now time to move away from Articulate (see my previous posts on the trial of 360 and problems with Rise for more)?
    1. The ramifications of the changes with Articulate have been identified as one of ten eLearning trends and this infographic actually does a fair job of summarizing the big topics that were evident at the wider LT show.
    2. There remain a vast number of options and its perhaps now the case that one has to look at multiple tools – splitting out software simulation, VR, presentations, etc?
  2. LMS or HR platform – after almost a year in role I feel in a better position to consider the pros and cons of the current setup and possible alternatives.  Stick or twist?
    1. Interesting to hear Harold Jarche’s views that whilst there is rebranding and changes to the companies involved there remains not “a whole lot of new” – I would agree.  VR/AR/MR was more prevalent but still lots of stalls with content, platforms, etc.  An in the platform world there remain the big players (like Cornerstone) and lighter touch options – as well as multiple Totara partners.
  3. L&D capability – I’ve got a Kirkpatrick certification course with DPG coming up (I’ll blog in more detail why as I appreciate that’s a controversial choice!) and it was interesting to consider where we’re strong and where we may have gaps beyond that topic.  Should we all do DPG’s new 70-20-10 programme?
    1. I wouldn’t really think about 70-20-10 approach as something to be workshopped/developed but it looks an interesting approach to rolling up performance consulting, modern design and evaluation all in one development package.  The challenge, I guess, is if this should be topics new for people or is really certifying existing knowledge and behaviors.  Also if this is of value over the existing 70-20-10 Forum, etc.?
  4. Future of learning and performance – I mention above about VR/AR/MR but there was still a lot of content and blended learning talks.  What is the future?  How do we balance individual knowledge/skills growth with shorter term engagement/empowerment?  What should be the balance of individual career development, long term wider workforce planning and short term performance?
    1. There still seems to be a lot of push on concepts that have been around longer than I have.  However, it is difficult to challenge this considering I am more than aware that even my own organization is still very face-to-face orientated!
    2. There were more interesting bits though – including TTS and their performance support system (that offers some interesting possibilities for exposing knowledge out to the point of need – not buried in an LMS or Intranet).
  5. Future of Learning within organizations.  The Learning Tech show always involves some navel-gazing and there continues to be the feeling of a split between the “performance” element and more of the “corporate university” type model.  Are they mutually exclusive?
    1. To do my own bit of gazing, I’d say not.  An approach for, say, leadership development can incorporate formal learning and certifications.  Indeed there’s the option to revenue generate if you open your doors.  The apprenticeship levy will also influence how L&D teams tackle these issues and it was interesting to see the likes of bksb and Tribal on the exhibition floor.
    2. Curation remained a theme but it is one that remains a concern for me.  Kate Graham puts it on her blog “In L&D we trust”, however, I fear this may be wishful thinking considering what has happened to library/information teams.  This comes back to my own view on the need for merging/bleeding of skills between marketing, learning, knowledge and more.  Curation is of value but how this works in practice must add value and capture the needs of the organization.  Again, the TTS style approach may be a useful way to break from the “LMS first” dynamics of too many L&D teams.

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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