Learning Technologies 2020 – Best Bits

We’re still buzzing from Learning Technologies 2020. So much so, we wanted to share some pics of the event, the research we gathered, and our highlights from the sessions. Here goes.

Published 19 February 2020
Learning Technologies 2020 – Best Bits

Spin the Wheel

Over two days, we chatted with hundreds of people who stopped by our stand. In particular, our Spin the Wheel game was a big hit – with lucky winners taking home foodie vouchers, Amazon Echos and the much-coveted Emerald Works socks.

Research, you say?!

We also asked you questions on the big screens at our stand. And the results of the polls are in.

The top factors which influence your decision to buy an L&D product or service are:

  1. Online research – 32%
  2. Peer/colleague recommendation – 24%
  3. Existing relationship with a supplier – 21%

The top challenges you face as an L&D practitioner in your organization are:

  1. Finding suppliers you can trust – 33%
  2. Limited budget – 19%
    Skills to deploy learning technologies solutions – 19%
  3. Engaging employees with your L&D offering – 15%

Our pick of the sessions


Life, work and learning in the personalized century

Writer and broadcaster, Timandra Harkness, opened the conference with her take on personalization, and the impact it has on our personal and work lives. This inspiring session also covered the latest developments in medicine and aversion therapy. Our key take away was that machines can never know us. They can know things about us, but not who we are as people. (This was certainly the first keynote we can remember who selected a dress specifically because it matched their slides!)

The habits that matter in learning cultures

At our first LT Exchange roundtable session, Jane Daly, Chief Insight Officer at Emerald Works, talked about the habits of successful organizations. They include involving learners at the design stage of a solution, getting leaders to buy into a learning culture, and pursuing self-determined over self-directed learning. As Jane told attendees, “You can’t buy love, and you can’t buy learning”.

How LV= uses tech to automate learning

LV='s L&D Consultant James Clemence explained how the Mind Tools toolkit helped 1,700 staff take responsibility for their own learning and development. He showed how content aligns with the company's values, behaviors and attributes. And by introducing automated learning, LV= has seen an impressive 28% increase in user interaction with on-demand resources.

Onboarding with Avanti West Coast

It was great to see some love sent Emerald Works' way from our friend Richard Dawson from Avanti West Cost. Avanti collaborated with us on a pre-boarding project that ensured new starts not only had the information they needed, but were excited to be joining the brand. Richard showed off the combination of video, animation and an arcade game we created. And made the very good point that it takes working together, and making the most of the talents around you, to deliver excellent learning experiences.

Strategies for complex skill development

Regular readers of the Emerald Works blog and listeners to our podcast will know we’re big fans of Julie Dirksen. Julie’s session did not disappoint, as she offered a range of tools and tips to help design learning experiences for complex skill development. Her core message was practice. You can’t expect people to master skills without giving them repeated exposure to case studies that allow them to spot patterns and develop.

Learning and the mind

Cognitive neuroscientist, Dr Itiel Dror, presented a captivating, amusing and informative session on the brain – and the conditions it needs to learn effectively. Even highly motivated learners (and there was cash involved in proving this!) have limited brain 'bandwidth' when it comes to processing, using, remembering and mastering information and skills. Incorporating elements of surprise and reducing cognitive load are just two ways our learning designers will be helping our learners' brains to learn.

Forward-thinking research

Last Thursday, we launched our much-anticipated research report – Back to the Future: Why tomorrow’s workforce needs a learning culture. Lead author Jane Daly presented to a 100-plus audience. She explored how high-impact learning cultures are 10 times more likely to see growth, transformation, productivity and profitability. What’s more, they do less, but better. Missed the session? You can download the research report for free – right now.
Did we miss any? Share your Learning Technologies 2020 highlights in the comments below.

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