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Fanfare for the future

first_imgFanfare for the futureOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Trainingand IT experts are about to gather for this year’s Learning Technologies show.Patrick McCurry has a preview of the issues on the table, samples new productsand selects the best of the sessionsKey issues such as how to implement e-learning, whether and how to blendtraining and to what extent outsourcing can relieve the pressure on trainingbudgets will be at the top of the agenda in the latest Learning Technologiesshow. The event, which is aimed at buyers of IT and business skills training,takes place on 30 and 31 January. Conference speakers and exhibitors will befielding some tricky subjects, not least whether the hype surroundinge-learning has been justified. “It’s pretty clear now that some of the wilder claims about e-learningare not holding up and a lot of people are asking what its right role is,”says conference chairman Don Taylor, an independent consultant. “I expect e-learning to exceed the 11 to 14 per cent of training spendthat goes on computer-based training, but it will never reach 50 percent.” He argues that the growing realism about what e-learning can achieve isleading employers to look at blending e-learning with classroom training.”More people are seeing the two as complementary not in competition,”Taylor says. The two keynote speakers are Richard Reeves, head of consultancy at theIndustrial Society, and Nigel Paine, director of Science Year, a Department forEducation and Skills project. Reeves will be speaking on the Industrial Society’s iSociety project[Thursday, 3.30pm]. This is a major three- to five-year examination of therelationship between work, life and information and communications technology(ICT), and is supported by Microsoft. The project was launched last April. One of the main themes in the earlyresearch, to be included in the project’s first annual report in May, has beenhow ICT is influencing the workplace. Reeves says, “Investment in IT often fails to deliver the productivitygains organisations expect because the technical changes are not accompanied bychanges in people management.” For example, companies may invest in web-based or mobile phone technologiesthat increase workplace flexibility but still insist staff clock in and offrigidly, he says. If IT investment is not accompanied by changes in how staff are managed, alack of trust builds up. “Instead of seeing new technology as a liberator,many employees regard it with suspicion, seeing it as a way for their employerto monitor them,” says Reeves. In the opening keynote speech [Wednesday, 10am] Nigel Paine will be arguingthat the way new technology is used in schools will be crucial in determiningthe UK’s future skills base and creativity. “There’s a lot of investment going into technology in schools, whichwill transform the relationship between teachers and pupils,” he says. But for young people to take full advantage of the opportunities offered bycomputer-based and web-based learning the education system will have to shift,Paine argues. “There are two conflicting pulls, one supporting creativity andinnovation through the use of technology and the other focusing on standardsand exam results. “There’s going to be a problem if young people are doing brilliantmultimedia presentations and investigating and analysing data throughtechnology but then have their performance judged on regurgitating receivedopinion in exams.” The conference is split into two streams, learning issues and e-learning. Onthe learning issues side, one of the key debates will be on what 2002 holds. “Training budgets are being cut and there’s a continued trend ofdevolving training spend to line managers,” says Alan Bellinger, salesdirector at Wave Technologies and chairman of the learning issues stream. Training managers are increasingly not choosing what training will bedelivered, he says, but instead being left with the job of implementing it andpicking up the pieces when things go wrong. But trends in 2002 offer some comfort for training managers, he believes,”E-learning is helping organisations deliver training more cheaply andmany providers are cutting prices and offering training in bite-sized chunks,which means staff are off work for less time,” he says. “Also, unlike classroom training, e-learning decisions tend to be morecentralised, which gives training managers more input into what’sselected.” Bellinger also highlights the seminar on blended training. “For ITtraining there’s a growing recognition of the benefits of teaching staff thebasics and principles by e-learning and then giving them hands-on training inthe classroom,” he says. “This approach can cut the total training days needed significantly,while using the best of both approaches, but the problem is, many providersonly offer classroom or e-learning training, so it’s often left up to the userto work out the blend.” Other key seminars in the learning issue stream include outsourcing ITtraining [Wednesday, 3.30pm] and tendering for training [Thursday, 2pm]. Taylor says, “With current pressures on budgets, more people arethinking about outsourcing, but they’re often not sure what should andshouldn’t be contracted out. “On the tendering issue, many people in IT training have never put outa tender for a big contract and so don’t know how to find the right people andhow to run the tender process.” In the e-learning stream is a seminar on avoiding implementation pitfalls[Wednesday, 3.30pm]. Speaker Jonathan Kettleborough, managing director oftechnical training provider Corollis, says the most common error is introducingsystems without preparing staff. “When I speak to people who have implemented e-learning but encounteredproblems they always say if they were doing it again they’d spend far more timeon communicating the changes with staff.” He adds that it is impossible to overestimate the importance of gettingstaff to buy into the idea of e-learning and to establish a receptive culture,rather than imposing a system and expecting it to work from day one. Taylor reinforces the message, saying, “One of the key messages in theconference will be that too much attention has often been paid to thetechnology but without enough thought about how people want to learn.” When and where– Learning Technologies 2002 runsover two days, Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 January, at the Olympia ConferenceCentre, London (Kensington Olympia tube station).– It is Europe’s largest gathering of IT training ande-learning providers.– The conference consists of two tracks (learning issues ande-learning) with six sessions in each track plus keynote speeches. – It runs from 9.45am to 3.30pm on the first day and from 10amto 3.30pm on the second, with registration on both days from 9am.– The delegate rate for the two days is £795 plus VAT. – Entry to the exhibition is free.– For information or to register visit www.learningtechnologies.co.ukContactsFor more information about thecompanies mentioned in this supplement, contact them on the phone numbers andat the websites below:blueU 01225 483100, www.blueU.comCentra Software 01628 509023, www.centra.comDocent 0118 965 3472 www.docent.comElearnity 020-7917 1870, www.elearnity.comFuturemedia 01243 558553, www.futuremedia.co.ukGlobal Knowledge 0845 304 0044, www.globalknowledge.co.ukKnowledgePool 0800 7831765, www.knowledgepool.comLogilent 01793 644067, www.logilent.comNETg 0800 442285, www.netg.comQA Training 01285 883334, www.qa.comSessions not to miss– Claude Gerbaud, technology training manager at Compaq, willbe presenting his company’s experience of blended learning [Wednesday, 2pm]– Don’t miss Big Bang or Steady Evolution, [Wednesday, 2pm]when David Clarke, founder of Logilent Learning Systems, goes head to head withPeter McClintock, director of e-learning at Global Knowledge– Industry experts give their insights into the future ofe-learning and what tools will be hot this year at Where Next [Thursday, 2pm]– Avoid the pitfalls of e-learning with Richard Monks,e-learning practice manager at accountants KPMG [Wednesday, 3.30pm]– Steve Preston, head of development and training at INGBarings, gives his views on buying IT training from a single source [Wednesday,3.30pm]– Benchmark your IT training and e-learning with Ayesha Okhai,skills group manager at Microsoft UK, and Gill Honey, IT training manager atNew International Newspapers [Thursday, 10am]Big names, new productsThere will be more than 100exhibitors, including most of the big names in e-learning and technology-basedtraining, at the event. Among those launching products at the exhibition are:– Centra Software will demonstrate its web-based virtualclassroom, conference, meeting, knowledge and delivery systems. “We willbe unveiling how a multinational company will implement our technology todeliver real-time courses to train over 10,000 staff in 30 countries,”says a spokeswoman.– Consensus, which supplies training admin systems, willdemonstrate the latest version of its CourseBooker product, aimed atorganisations that need to market, sell and administer courses. – Docent will promote its acquisition of gForce inOctober and, the acquisition of its technology for creating and distributinglearning content. “Their technology allows us to offer an expandedsolution for the delivery of content, learning and information,” says aDocent spokeswoman.– Electric Paper, a Dublin-based e-learning company,will highlight its work in Australia to radically improve the IT skills of over3,000 staff in Queensland’s Office of Child Care. The campaign, carried outwith Skillgate Pty, has been short-listed in the International Training Projectof the Year in the 2002 Institute of IT Training Awards.– Global Knowledge launches what it calls the firstpan-European virtual classroom e-learning programme. It consists of fivecourses so far and will be delivered in five languages.– John Matchett will demonstrate its recently releasedLMS Version 5. The integrated e-learning facility is based on standardtechnology platforms that will fit with customers’ existing infrastructures.– KnowledgePool will launch Talent Solutions, a group oftailored modules, based on web technology, designed to support all aspects ofpersonal development within an organisation.– Logilent Learning Systems, a leading provider ofweb-enabled training for IT professionals, will be making a major announcement.– NETg will showcase its latest products in mobile andblended learning and will unveil its vision for intelligent-learning solutionsas well as its professional development library, NETg Pro-S.last_img

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