Jason Butler’s “innovation and inventiveness” with learning technologies at Sponge has won him the title of 2017 Learning Developer of the Year.
Jason struck gold at the Learning Technologies Awards (LT Awards) held at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on 29 November.
It is the largest learning technologies awards scheme in Europe and Jason was up against some of the most talented developers in the business.
Jason switched his talents from the indie games sector to the learning technologies industry when he joined Sponge in 2014.
And it was his innovative approach that really caught the eye of the award judges, who said: “Jason shows a level of innovation and inventiveness in learning development that is unrivalled in terms of its breadth and complexity.”
Jason, who is the first winner of this new award, said: “Winning this award is definitely a career highlight and a very proud moment for me. I feel it celebrates the Sponge approach of encouraging innovation and embracing new technologies to push digital learning forward. I'm very lucky to work alongside such talented people and this award celebrates the team's efforts as much as my own.”
Jason added: “It's especially encouraging to see developers being recognised in this category as it acknowledges all the work done behind the scenes to deliver award-winning projects. I'm looking forward to bringing the trophy back to Plymouth and displaying it in our development corner of the office!”
The judges were shown examples of Jason’s work, which, with his games background, places the emphasis on user experience to transform learning. Among the examples shown were elearning modules and learning games Jason has developed for organisations such as the NHS, Tesco, Toyota and AXA UK.
Jason’s contribution to the industry has been praised by Tom Kuhlmann, Vice President of Community, Articulate. He told the judges: “Jason’s work represents to the elearning industry what’s possible for their organisation… influencing them to push the boundaries of their own work to create engaging and effective interactive courses.”
Managing director and founder at Sponge, Louise Pasterfield, said Jason’s knowledge was “creating a new generation of digital learning” that was having an impact for firms and their employees.
Sponge also took home a second gold trophy at the LT Awards, winning the Best Use of Blended Learning category with insurance company AXA. Sponge created the training programme to educate and empower business insurance advisors in delivering personalised and outstanding service to customers. The judges proclaimed the programme ‘a considerable achievement’.
It’s the latest recognition for Sponge, which designs and delivers world-class digital workplace learning for global brands and organisations. In 2016, Sponge’s Head of Innovation, Kate Pasterfield, also won gold when she was named Designer of the Year at the Learning Technologies Awards.
The annual LT Awards recognise outstanding individuals, projects and products from across the globe. Organised by the eLearning Network, the independent judging panel comprises over 40 experts. Over 800 people attended the awards ceremony to celebrate the very best in learning technologies across the world, and entries were received from 30 different countries.