Many years ago, when Learning Technologies first started out, and was much smaller than it is now, I used to attend quite frequently, but for financial reasons it’s not been possible recently. Now the conference is always a good mix of speakers, many of who I’ve seen before, but I will always sit and listen to a good speaker – and always find something good to take from it. Whereas the Exhibition is….well the exhibition….
Since I was signed up to attend the conference, I’ve been stewing over the programme wondering which sessions to attend (and tbh, I’ll probably still change my preferences in the next 24/48 hours) – but it then got me thinking, “What do I want to get from my attendance?” – and whilst thinking about this, Craig posted this tweet:
Who’s your absolute ∗∗∗’must see/attend’∗∗ session/vendor at #LT15UK?
— Craig Taylor (@CraigTaylor74) January 26, 2015
This then gave me the chance to think about it, and I decided, “I want something new!” Now that’s quite a broad statement, but it’s true, I just want to see/hear about something new. The market seems to have become very “samey” recently. From the vendor perspective, everyone is pushing out their rapid development tools (as they have done since I first attended Learning Technologies about nine years ago), the only difference now is that everyone is barking on about how their tool is “multi-device” – which actually just boils down to how it’s going to output. Anyway – as with any comment you throw out into the public domain, it’s open to be challenged (as I found recently with my comments about a BBC news article!) – and on this occasion it was Colin from Brightwave:
— Colin Welch (@colinwelch) January 26, 2015
So this then got me thinking more. I spend all day listening to people asking me to give them something more from our education technology – and I then spend hours cursing about how helpful it would be if they gave me something useful to work with – yet here I am, saying I want something “new”.
So….here it is…..
- From the exhibition – I don’t want to just see the newest version of another rapid development tool. If you’re selling a development tool, show me something it can do which no other tool on the market can do – but then tell me what value that actually adds to the learner experience. It’s lovely that it will publish to all different types of mobile device – but I work within the NHS and less than 2% of our learners use their devices to learn on….
- From the conference – If you’re standing up there talking to me about the excellent idea or methodology you’re promoting – again – explain to me how it makes the experience of the learner any better – and also talk about how those of us in the real world – where our L&D budgets are continually shrinking can apply it
I genuinely don’t doubt that I’ll be back here in a few days time talking about what I’ve seen from some of the usual suspects (people like Don Clark, Ben Betts, Cathy Moore etc. will always catch my attention) – because I believe in the concepts they talk about – but I’m looking forward to seeing these people, and others I’ve never even heard of, as long as they can tell me why any of this actually matters to the learner!