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Home / Resources / 10 hot topic talks at Learning Technologies 2016

10 hot topic talks at Learning Technologies 2016


Learning Technologies 2016 is just around the corner, and Europe's leading L&D exhibition and conference is bigger than ever.

With more than 160 free seminars and 70 conference speakers you’re spoilt for choice when deciding what to see.

Last week we spoke to three leading figures in the L&D industry to get their view on what’s going to be hot in 2016. We’re using their discussion to help pick out some seminars and conference talks that will help you get to grips with the concepts that matter in 2016.

Hear what Donald Taylor, chair of the Learning Technologies conference, John Curran, Chairman of the Elearning Network and Laura Overton, Managing Director of Towards Maturity think are the next big thing, and find out where you can discover more about each hot topic.

Multi-device learning

One of the topics discussed at length in the Elearning in 2016 hangout was mobile and multi-device learning.

Each of the experts had a position on the subject and revealed how L&D can benefit from making it part of their strategy or developing the role it already has.

Donald Taylor contrasted the old way of thinking about mobile learning with the modern approach made possible with advances in technology.

“But what it does mean is what people do all the time, you get on the Tube and you see people all the time on their phone, they are reading, they are listening, they are watching these may not be elearning modules but by goodness they are learning.”
“What it did mean was – let’s squeeze a one hour course onto an absolutely, impossibly inadequate medium and expect people to learn, well that's not going to work.

John Curran confirmed that learners want to access learning wherever they can and creating multi- device modules is one way to make that easier.

“The more accessible we can make our learning micro modules, the more likely they're going to be accessed at whatever time and space people decide they need to learn.”

Laura Overton expressed concerns that L&D teams still aren't fully committed to making multi-device learning.

“I think most people are kind of playing still and the majority of their playing is about having responsive content that will appear everywhere.”

Brush up on mobile learning with our multi-device picks for Learning Technologies 2016:

Talk 1: Love to learn! Ideas for using multi-device games & video in elearning

Louise Pasterfield – Managing Director Sponge

03 Feb, 11:00 – 11:30, & 04 Feb 14:00 - 14:30, Theatre 12

This seminar will explore ideas for taking multi-device elearning to the next level with the use of games and video. Showcasing real-life examples, it will consider how you can enrich elearning by combining the latest innovative technologies for effective results.

Talk 2: Driving learning with the latest in mobile delivery – T1S4

Geoff Stead, Sr Director, Mobile Learning, Qualcomm

04 Feb, 11:10 - 12:20, Track 1

Mobile delivery of content is pretty much a done-deal now. Everyone does it. But are we making the most of what we have, and what's coming next? In this session, Qualcomm's Geoff Stead describes the latest advances and how he's putting them to use at one of the world's earliest and most comprehensive adopters.

Each of the industry figures was asked what they thought would be the hot topic for L&D professionals in 2016. We’ve scoured the Learning Technologies timetable to identify some of the key sessions that relate to these hot topics.

Donald Taylor - Chairman of the Learning Performance Institution (LPI) and the Learning and Skills Group (LSG)

After performing his annual on line survey Donald Taylor revealed what he predicts will be the hot topic of 2016 for L&D:

“The buzz word that will be hot, my survey tells me quite unequivocally, is micro learning. That's what everyone's going to be talking about, it's sexy, it's hot.”

Breaking up content into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for learners to absorb is not a new concept. The renewed interest in mobile and multi-device platforms in 2015 has led many L&D teams to refocus on smaller chunks of content which can be more easily accessed in a variety of situations.

You can find the full low down on the survey results that led to this pick on Don’s blog.

Learning Technologies 2016 has several free seminars that you can attend to find out more about micro learning and how it might benefit your L&D programme:

Talk 3: Enterprise learning - T3S3

Emma Pace, Global Head of Talent & Learning, PA Consulting

3rd Feb, 15:30 - 16:40, Track 3

Creating a social and micro learning enterprise culture.

Talk 4: Micro learning and the rise of mobile

Alex Noble, Online Academy Manager, RICS

4th Feb, 10:15 - 10:45, Theatre 2

John Curran - Chairman of the Elearning Network

John chose to look further ahead, thinking about what could make real changes in the L&D landscape.

“So my buzz word for 2016, and I'm sure it won't be mentioned a lot at Learning Tech is heutagogy… It's self-directed learning and I really believe that that's where the future is”

Explaining that cognitive science made up a big part his current reading list he cited the following books as inspiration for his choice of buzz word:

These Learning Technologies 2016 talks will discuss elements of self-directed learning and should offer some inspiration to anyone looking into the neuroscience behind the theory.

Talk 5: Learning how to learn - T1S5

Dr Barbara Oakley, Professor of Engineering, Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan

4th Feb, 13:50 - 15:00, Track 1

Neuroscience is a real buzz word at the moment. But how does the brain really learn? This fascinating session, from the author of one of the world’s largest MOOCs, explores different learning modes and how we should be using them. Dr Barbara Oakley will also share her expertise on best practices to help master tough subjects — something we could all benefit from!

Talk 6: Collaborative learning - T4S2

Jane Hart, Workplace Learning & Collaboration Advisor, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

Cathy Hoy, Senior L&D Manager, Europe, Coca-Cola Enterprises

3rd Feb, 13:50 – 15:00, Track 4

Most of us collaborate at work every day and learn from colleagues on-the-job. But throw some technology into the mix and the picture can blur and processes become over complicated. The key is incorporating the learning into people’s workflow. Easier said than done perhaps, which is why Jane Hart and Cathy Hoy will be on hand to share tips on how to make it happen in practice.

Laura Overton – Managing Director of Towards Maturity

Towards Maturity publishes reports and conducts surveys with input from thousands of L&D professionals, so Laura is in a unique position to offer advice to the industry.

“My key thing would be thinking consumer first… I think we need to get in tune with our staff, how they're currently learning and meet them at their point of need.”

The idea of putting the learner, or consumer, first is something that Towards Maturity highlight in their Learner Voice reports. Taking feedback from real learners and collating the experiences they've had helps L&D professionals focus on the most important areas.

Creating a learning culture based around the needs of the end user is an experience many in L&D can learn from.

Learn more on this subject at the following talks:

Talk 7: Forget the L&D hype — what about the learner? - T5S4

Dave Buglass, Head of Capability and Development, Tesco Bank

4th Feb, 11:10 - 12:20, Track 5

Dave Buglass has had enough of the cosy world of L&D jargon and of fads. He's calling time on our obsession with the latest piece of shiny technology and asking a very simple question: what about the learner? Drawing his inspiration from disciplines outside L&D, his focus is on Service Design — in other words, servicing the needs of the employee who wants to learn. Might be something we could all learn from here.

Talk 8: Building a global learning culture - T5S5

Laura Overton, Director, Towards Maturity

Stuart Miller, Global IT Director, Worldmark International

Anne Watson, Global HR Director, Worldmark International

4th Feb, 13:50 - 15:00, Track 5

What differentiates top flight companies in their adoption of learning technologies and a learning culture? Laura Overton has been researching this for years, and is pretty sure the answer is clear. But who is actually doing it? In this presentation she is joined by one company — Worldmark — that has done it internationally and is here to share their experiences and the lessons learned.

What else is on at Learning Technologies 2016?

The full seminar and conference programme is available on the Learning Technologies 2016 website .

Sponge will be exhibiting at Stand C16 if you’d like to talk about any of the subjects raised in the hangout or play a specially designed elearning game.

In case you need some more inspiration for your schedule we've picked out some interesting looking talks that don’t fit into one of the themes from the Hangout.

Talk 9: Action mapping — throw them in at the deep end – T4S3

Cathy Moore, Training Designer

3rd Feb, 15:30 - 16:40, Track 4

On a mission to banish boring e-learning, Cathy Moore is also making it far more effective along the way. In this session the infectiously enthusiastic globe trotter pitches tent and shares with us her practical insights and methodology for designing content that does its job: getting people to alter their behaviours. Action mapping is vastly popular and successful, join this session to discover why and learn more.

Talk 10: Video for learning - T2S6

Emma Barrow, Head of Digital Learning, Royal Mail Group

Ian Slater, Manager, Technical Training, PII Pipeline Solutions, A GE Oil & Gas /Al Shaheen Joint Venture

4th Feb, 15:30 - 16:40, Track 2

Video for learning can range from the expensive and slick, to guerrilla recordings on smart phones. Each has benefits, video remains an intimidating medium for many. Hear how two organisations are creating their own processes and take away practical details that will enable you to deliver video content with new levels of flexibility and application.

There’s an opportunity to meet some of the conference speakers and talk face to face about their talks at Towards Maturity’s eXchanges. You can sign up for one of the ten spaces for each session here.

You'll have the opportunity to talk with some of the speakers we've already highlighted, but we’d also suggest checking out these talks at Stand H21 if the topics discussed in this post are interesting to you:

  • Bob Mosher, Apply Synergies - How To Support Performance at the Real Moment of Need - 3rd Feb, 12:45 – 13:45
  • Dave Kelly, eLearning Guild - How L&D Professionals Can Keep Updated With the Next and Now of Learning Technology - 4th Feb, 11:30 – 12:30

You can watch the Elearning in 2016 Hangout in full on our YouTube channel .

If you’d like to schedule a meeting with someone from Sponge at Learning Technologies 2016 get in touch with us on , or drop by stand C16 to play our elearning games.