Some 150 of Europe’s top learning technologies specialists gathered in Sestri Levante, on the Italian Riviera in June for the ‘Training in Action’ conference. Hosted by Giunti Labs, Europe’s leading e- and mobile learning content management solutions provider, the conference explored:
• The challenges, threats and opportunities for corporate learning in the Knowledge Society
• The importance of standards (AICC, SCORM and so on)
• Innovation in the application of learning technologies – through a series of case studies from across Europe.
While the conference focused on case studies, there were also a series of ‘round table’ discussions on the ten key topics in European learning technologies:
• Learning communities and social networks
• Introducing skills, competencies and portfolio based development in corporate education
• Interoperability standards
• Blending S1000D and SCORM for industrial maintenance and training
• Learning through wearable computers
• Virtual worlds for technical workflow
• Serious games: using edutainment and game based learning in corporates
• Blending business intelligence, process workflow, search and data mining with corporate knowledge
• Large LMS/LCMS deployments in worldwide organisations
• Business TV and TV-delivered learning.
Volkswagen, Ikea, Ferrari, Sclumburger, Philips Medical Systems and Ericsson were among the many presenters of innovative as well as more traditional e-learning solutions to foster higher competitiveness of EU industries in worldwide markets.
Giunti Labs Research presented innovative extensions to its e-learning content management solution suite including adding GPS and Wi-Fi based geo-positioning of learning content, an innovative approach that it labelled ‘Geo Learning’. It also highlighted its engagement with virtual learning worlds as well as its involvement in the S100D-SCORM standards convergence arena.
Among the many speakers at the conference was Pascal Wattiaux, of Disruptive Play and P W Sport Ltd, who is advising the International Olympic Committee and especially those organising the London Olympics of 2012. He explained how an Olympics is equivalent to starting a massive organisation from scratch – the London Olympics is expected to employ some 100,000 people in addition to those involved in creating the Olympic facilities – and each of these people has learning needs.
"E-learning, and particularly the use of serious games and simulations, is an exceptionally efficient and cost-effective way of giving these people the knowledge and skills they need," he said. "And it is only now that the technologies exist to deliver this sort of learning."
Other highlights of the conference included a presentation by Albert Angehrn, the director of the Centre for Advanced Learning Technologies at INSEAD Business School. Speaking about change and innovation in corporate education, he commented: “Learning by playing, through strategic experimentation, is being shown to be the most effective and time-efficient way of learning.
“Up to now, business simulations have concentrated on numbers – the sort of things that appeal to accountants,” he added. “We are now seeing the emergence of simulations that concentrate on characters who change their behaviour based on the learner’s decisions – and this reflects business practice more accurately than a purely numbers-orientated simulation.
“Games and simulations involve people in collaborative learning. They are increasingly important in helping the corporate world to manage change because they create a shared language and stories, push people to the limits of their capabilities, help organisations to sustain their focus on key issues and address complex subjects,” Angehrn concluded.
Addressing the issue of how organisations can train their ‘knowledge warriors’ to help them compete effectively in today’s ‘Knowledge Society’, Fabrizio Cardinali, the co-chair of the European Learning Industry Group (Elig) and CEO of Giunti Labs, argued for the adoption of international standards to bring interoperability of systems and software, thus providing common ‘information space’ into which learners could tap.
He also advocated the value of inclusion in human terms and innovation in learning technologies.
He said: “Since everyone in our society has valuable knowledge, skills and abilities, we shouldn’t ‘write off’ anyone. This means that we need to make learning opportunities available to all in order for them to develop to their fullest capabilities – and this raises accessibility issues where learning is concerned.
“Many of these issues can be addressed through the application of learning technologies, especially through games, simulations and virtual worlds. Innovations in learning such as these should help European organisations to remain competitive in the world economy, despite increasing competition from elsewhere in the world.”
About Giunti Labs
Giunti is unique in the international publishing industry.
In 1497, Giunti publishers and typographers in Florence, together with others in Venice, began modern book manufacturing. Over the years Giunti has built a ‘historical catalogue’ of huge dimensions, through a gradual process of ‘fusion’ of different publishers, but also through the creation of new brands, including Giunti Labs. Giunti Editore now includes 20 companies in the publishing sector.
Giunti Labs, which has its EMEA headquarters in Italy and offices in Milton Keynes (UK), Frankfurt (Germany) and in Boston (US), provides a wide range of services, in response to any content, learning and knowledge management need, covering:
• Content production
• Research and development
• Technological solutions for content, learning & knowledge management
• Architectural and technological solutions for mobile & wireless
• Training and consulting
Giunti Labs provides the learn eXact® suite, Europe's leading e-learning and mobile learning content management technology. This suite is interoperable with all major vendor-driven and open source LMS and VLE solutions in the market including Plateau, Oracle, SumTotal, Saba, WebCT, Blackboard, Sakai, LRN and Moodle.
Moreover, Giunti Labs does not just adhere to the international standards relating to the LMS/LCMS world, it is one of the organisations that helps to determine and drive these standards: co-writing and developing them. Giunti Labs plays a key role in most of the international institutions for the definition of eLearning specifications (IEEE LTSC, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC36, CEN/ISSS WSLT, AICC, IMS, ADL-SCORM and OKI).
About Giunti Labs’ learn eXact® suite
Giunti Labs’ learn eXact is an e-learning and mobile learning content management system (LCMS) that enables users to create, manage and deliver content based on learning objects, XML, standards and international specifications. It delivers learning content to location-based mobile devices, interactive TV and wearable computer devices.
Further information from:
Angus Turpin, Giunti Labs, +44 (0) 7733 365063
Minna Leikas, Giunti Labs, +39 3489 399127