Learning Technology Awards Best Innovation Shortlist
Download has made the shortlist for Best Innovation at the Learning Technology Awards.
We have made our presentation to the shortlist judging panel and the awards being announced at a gala dinner on 21st November.
We are amongst very prestigious company, including Degreed, and The Open University, having already seen off a host of competition including three multi-nationals, to get this far.
Interestingly we are the only shortlisted company to be developing neuroscience-based solutions.
We pleased to have got this far in the competition, but we want to go all the way. More news as it emerges…
Turning Offenders into Entrepreneurs
We are involved in a great initiative originating out of the University of Surrey Business School. The idea is to develop entrepreneurship skills within prisoners to help equip them to start and run their own businesses once they finish serving their sentence. It is at the early stages and we don't know what the final outcome will be but we are excited to think that Download™ could be part of the solution.
We've set up a LinkedIn group
We've set up a LinkedIn group; Innovation in Learning and Development
Why not join it and join the discussion. We hope it will be stimulating stuff.
Is Training Too Noisy?
You’re in a night club. It packed and jumping. Lights, music, lasers, dancers and drink. Someone approaches you. They say something but with all the noise it’s almost impossible to hear. If you could concentrate on their face, lip read, you could probably have picked up what they said. Was that “Would you like to dance?” or “Would you like a drink?” but at the crucial moment you spot someone behind them doing the most ridiculous dance you’ve ever seen! And you don’t even want to be there. You were dragged along by your mates. The message isn’t just lost, its unwelcome.
We all recognise that scenario but what’s it got to do with training? Well, learning is dependent upon clear communication, concentration and motivation.
Imagine… You’re in a training room. The trainer is great, very engaging. But it’s hot. One of the fluorescent lights has a slight flicker. There’s a continual rustle of papers. John keeps checking his emails on his phone. And, that person in the corner keeps tapping their pen on their teeth! How’s the concentration? How much are you taking in? And it’s a Health & Safety refresher and the sun is shining outside for the first time in days.
A very different scenario but the same problems; problems that aren’t simply limited to the classroom.
In order to deliver a learning input successfully you need a ‘clean signal’ without the static that can interfere with the clarity of the message.
Video is currently de rigueur and can be an invaluable media to demonstrating behaviours and application of learning. But it is also being used to deliver knowledge based, cognitive training. Whilst it may engage the learner it is a medium that contains multiple stimuli; a noisy signal. Engagement may be increased but learning outcomes run the risk of being compromised. Gamification can fall foul of the same issues if the mechanics of the game itself require a percentage of the bandwidth of the learner, distracting them from taking in the core knowledge that is the focus of the learning outcome.
If you want to improve knowledge acquisition the input must be clean and free of distraction. That is not to say that it cannot engage, because it must, and it can even entertain if it is structured and presented in the right way. But you must focus on the learning objectives and associated knowledge and nothing else; because anything else is just noise.
Now, about that drink…
University of Surrey Learning Tournament Results
The University of Surrey asked themselves the question, 'Are current teaching methodologies fit for the 21st Century'?
In the largest study of its type ever conducted they tested current methodologies alongside Download™.
The results were startling. Download™ out performed other methodologies across all metrics and in knowledge acquisition alone Download™ was a minimum 20% better than other methodologies.
If you want to find out more about the study and results give us a call.
TED talks and other food for thought
There are some interesting debates, thoughts and initiatives going on around how education should evolve.
The following links raise many interesting points that are salient to the discussion.
The first is a quick fire, animated, Sir Ken Robinson talk (and is worth watching for the nature of the presentation alone; we love it).
The second is a longer more in-depth talk around the same theme.
The last, by Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, provides some interesting insights into how technology is helping to engage students and how seemingly ‘impersonal’ tuition is delivering results.