Reflections on Learning Technologies 2015

It was a real honour when Don Taylor asked me to chair 2 sessions at Learning Technologies this year. This is THE go to conference for me and is fast becoming the annual meeting of my PLN (Personal Learning Network)!

When I first started out in the world of Learning Technology, I was fortune to be introduced to a number of people who have helped to shape my thinking in the early years and I was delighted that one of my sessions included one of these people – David Wilson. Being a part of David’s Corporate Research Network over the years has enabled me to get to know so many of the leading figures in the LMS world and it was great to see so many of them at the Conference. Sadly, my duties clashed with some other good sessions but thanks to a great backchannel, managed by the lovely Kate Graham, I was still able to pick up on the key points. Another great resource is from David Kelly who has curated a huge amount of resources that were shared during the sessions – check it out here!

My thanks also to my LMS panel speakers – Stuart Bennett, Stephen Macdonald and Randall Roberts. With a focus on Learning Management Systems, these 2 sessions proved that the LMS is alive and kicking – reports of the demise of the LMS are way off the mark! If you missed the 2 David’s session, you can download their updated 9 Grid analysis here.

For me, this conference is as much about the conversations that happen outside of the seminar rooms as it is the conference content. One such conversation with Donald Clark and Nick Shackleton-Jones  on the topic of Adaptive Learning led to my joining Don’s session to add my perspective from an organisation that is using Adaptive learning right now, Watch our for more on this hopefully at the learning & Skills Group event later this year when I am hoping to team up once again with Don on this topic. Don is also someone from whom I have learned so much over the years and once again, an honour to be asked to join him on stage.

My time on the exhibition floor was mainly spent chatting to old friends – it was good to see many of my former colleagues on the Kineo stand and to see that the company is going from strength to strength since becoming part of City & Guilds. The exhibition floor was packed – for me though, nothing stood out enough to warrant any in depth conversations with new vendors. But I put that down to the fact that I work in a highly innovative organisation that is already exploring the newer technologies such as Adaptive Learning. For a more comprehensive view on the exhibition, Craig Weiss will be posing his review shortly – worth checking out when he does.

Finally, having recently shed my “Ned Flanders” look, a lot of people had to look twice before realising it was me! So, if you think you might have seen me there but weren’t sure, you probably did!

I’ll leave you with one of the best quotes of the event from David Perring: “Learning is the engine room of Talent”. See you all at the next one!

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