That time of year again – the annual pilgrimage down to the Learning Technologies Exhibition at London Olympia. As usual it was packed full of the latest and greatest in learning tech, providing a great opportunity to keep on top of the new developments. Here are a few of our takeaway from LT18.

Lots going on in the course authoring market

If you want to create great content for your online courses there’s no shortage of tools available. We’re pleased to see there are some fresh approaches to the learning content, with less focus on the platforms used to serve it. We’re still of the mindset that learning content is simply one part in the wider jigsaw of an effective learning ‘experience’, but any new tools and opportunities are welcome.

Articulate showed off their latest product in a talk titled ‘Reaching every device with Articulate 360’. Content created using Articulate 360 appears to scale to different screen sizes very well and can be previewed. They also boast a content library with over 2 million assets to use in your courses. Articulate has a large and loyal fan-base so no doubt will be a big player for years to come.

We’re looking to have a play with Thirst.io‘s new cloud-based authoring tool. Though still in its infancy, Thirst looks as though it could bring a lot to the table. How it stands up against the likes of GoMo Learning remains to be seen.

Appitierre, creators of the Evolve authoring tool and Bloom LMS, continue to stand out for us. They come across as incredibly passionate, obviously know their stuff and their products are good value. We were excited to hear that they will soon be releasing an open source version of their LMS, built on Node.js. One we’ll be watching closely.

Tactileo have an authoring tool as part of their digital learning platform. It comes alongside an LMS, resource library and animation tool. One feature that impressed us was its “Capsule” functionality. With this, you can attribute licenses the content that you create. Perfect for those who develop content for external suppliers and want to have control over how many times can be used.

And finally, nimble have an authoring tool designed to allow ‘non-techies’ to build courses with great aesthetics. Its interface looks simple and easy to use and the tool would appear to suit companies looking to develop basic training in-house.

The rise of AI

With all new technological developments, sometimes it can be difficult to separate the hyperbole from the tangible value. Filtered are doing some exciting stuff with Artificial Intelligence, tapping into a theme we’re quite passionate about, and that’s curation. There’s a huge amount of content that can be used to support learners in their endeavours already out there, and Filtered are using algorithms to curate in an increasingly relevant and contextual way. We’re excited to see where this could head and hopefully encourage a move away from ‘creation’ to ‘curation’.

Familiar faces

The Learning Technologies fair always gives you chance to catch-up with some old friends. High fives (the virtual versions) go out to:

  • Moodle – Moodle is the most established open source LMS on the market and we have been using it for several years with clients. They were at the exhibition showing off their mobile app, but we’re also particularly happy to see the recent developments with H5P.
  • GoAnimate – GoAnimate is a great, cost effective way to create animations and animated infographics. Nice to see them come over the pond to the UK.
  • Learn Appeal – We first met Learn Appeal at eLN Connect in November. They are a charity that aim to use technology to deliver learning to underprivileged people across the world. They have worked with Appitierre to develop a self-contained system to deliver learning to remote locations such as sub-Saharan Africa where electricity and wifi are sparse, and we just love the premise!
  • eLN – At last year’s exhibition we had an informal chat with the eLearning Network about becoming members, and this year we are proud industry partners. We know there’s potentially some social events planned in Manchester this year, keep your eyes peeled!
 

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