Can professional still be fun?

Learning Technologies Conference sign

Learning Technologies Exhibition

Last Thursday, 26th Feb, I had the privilege of attending the Learning Technologies Exhibition, a mixture of trade show and free seminars for professionals in the Training/Learning and Development field. As promised, a description of the event at Olympia, London in comparison to the BETT show that I attended a couple of weeks prior.

1/4 Olympia is a much more manageable size  After attending BETT the week before, I was a little intimidated of the thought of attending another huge event. However, this time only about 1/4 of the venue was being used and was so much more manageable. Within 5 hours or so I managed to see all that I wanted to see, even with sitting in on a few free seminars.

Free seminars, as good as they sound? The answer is yes and no. What was great about them is that they were set up in sections throughout the open plan exhibition. This means that when a seminar was not what you thought it would be, you could move on fairly easily, without the fear of feeling too rude. (Tip- Don’t forget your coat on the chair in your rush to leave, as I did!)   Now, the not so good part. As with anywhere, some presenters were good, some not so much. There appeared to be a lot of consultants discussing their work and few discussing new technologies.

Gomo Learning Apart from the section with massages (yes, they were giving Massages!), this was my favourite find. For a while now there’s been a need for a good app authoring tool. This one may well be a good fit, at least for the learning field. With Gomo you can make an app that will work across all platforms including ios, android, web etc. While presenting, they showed off it’s simplicity of use by building an app in 15 minutes. Mind you, it wasn’t the best of apps, but it did look fairly easy. I look forward to exploring its potential in the mobile learning platform. Just imagine being able to learn something while you wait for the bus or any other time you have a spare couple of minutes. Then, test your knowledge and keep a record of your results. And as the content creator I don’t have to learn how to code! The potential seems huge. Has anyone else used this tool?

Does professional mean less fun/creativity? Alongside the Learning Technologies conference was the Future of Learning event, aimed at using technology in schools. Check out these photos of how their event looked…fun! Why is it that when you walk through the door into the ‘professional’ side, the fun domes and lego are replaced with flyers and powerpoints? Are the pictures below not also professional looking?

Future of Learning sign

Future of Learning

Old school computers

Old School Computers from the Computing History Museum

Lego

Lego Education invites people to create their vision of the future of education

What are your thoughts on the event, technology for learning, and professionalism?

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