Learning Technologies Conference and Exhibition - Day 1

Learning Technologies Unicorn Stand

Wow what a day it's been. As we come to the close of day 1 at LT18, we can't believe how quickly the day has whizzed by. Every year we really enjoy exhibiting at Learning Technologies and this year has been no different. The show has a real buzz and it's always great to see so many Learning Tech enthusiasts.

This year we returned to familiar territory with the 'Unicorn' cafe, although this year we hosted it with our microlearning bite-size content partners, MicroLearn. Founded at Learning Technologies last year MicroLearn have rapidly expanded their eLearning catalogue, more than doubling it since LT17.

The cafe provided a great opportunity for visitors to come and relax, enjoy a coffee and talk about bite size eLearning. At the opposite end of the stand we showcased our core Unicorn products - all positioned around the 'Learning Ecosphere'. We launched the Ecosphere concept back at LT17, and this year we wanted to help visitors to put into place actionable ideas, whereby they could understand how to balance traditional training methods with more modern approaches such as serious games and BYOD.

This year we had not one but two stands, launching our learning reinforcement app minds-i at LT18 with its own presence. The minds-i app uses the power of personalised, just-in-time microlearning to give learners the information they need to know, when they need it the most. minds-i harnesses the power of informal learning, allowing users to explore information on their own devices, meaning learning becomes self-directed, user driven and personal. Be sure to pop over to Q8 and see us tomorrow to find out how minds-i can help your organisation.

This year we decided to run two competitions. Back by popular demand, we ran our Quizcom competition - whereby users played on our familiar swipe model game to be in with a chance of winning a giant unicorn (more on the winner later). We also ran a social media competition where we hid sections of our Learning Ecosphere all around the exhibition hall, helping people find them with a few hints along the way.

It's safe to say our Learning Ecosphere competition was very popular! There were lots of LT18 visitors scouring the exhibition halls, trying to find the hidden Ecosphere segments. For those that missed out today, don't worry we'll be running the competition again tomorrow, although the segments will be hidden in different locations so keep an eye open for clues on our Twitter page, @unicorntraining. If want to be in with a chance of winning one of these little guys, make sure you keep your eyes open for Ecosphere segments tomorrow!

The morning flew by and before we knew it, we were over at Theatre 8 to watch Mike Hawkyard, Managing Director of our award-winning games studio Amuzo give his seminar talk. 'How to fly drones (The L&D way)' looked at how learning by making mistakes in a safe environment can help to aid learning. Amuzo are renowned for making specialist apps and games for some of the biggest names in the business, including Lego and Star Wars. When the Star Wars drones were created, Amuzo were asked to help build two separate apps. Firstly, using Quizcom those in retail shops selling the drones were taught more about the product through the learning reinforcement app. This helped sales people to become confident in the product they were selling and to anticipate common questions customers would ask.

The second app was a drone flight simulation - you may wonder why they felt this was necessary, but as Mike explained, if you've never flown a drone before you need a little bit of training otherwise you'll end up crashing it into a wall, which most likely could be a costly mistake. This is where Mike encouraged a willing participant to join him on stage and learn to fly a drone:

The participant went through a series of quick fire training sessions, starting with basic drone flying tasks and moving up through the ranks. The app uses badges, level-up's and leaderboards to help encourage engagement and learning. The pilots-in-training are able to safely learn how to fly a drone and crash it without the repercussions of trying this in real-life. This demonstrates how effective simulation based training can be and there is a hope that if someone has been given the sufficient opportunity to learn in this type of environment, they will not make mistakes in a real life environment.

Once the pilot had completed his training, he was given the opportunity to fly a real Star Wars drone live on stage, a daunting experience especially as he'd only had 5 minutes of training and there was a large audience of onlookers! The participant happily agreed to have a go at flying a drone and successfully managed to do so - a pretty amazing feat.

It was then time to head back to the stand, as more visitors tried their luck at Quizcom.

And we have a winner...

Don't worry if you didn't manage to get one of our unicorns today, we've got another giant unicorn up for grabs tomorrow and a load more little unicorns too!

As the day drew to a close we held a drinks reception at our stand, inviting visitors to join us for a well deserved glass of bubbly.

We're looking forward to another day at LT18 tomorrow. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @unicorntraining as we'll be tweeting throughout the day and sharing our Learning Ecosphere competition hints. If you want to be in with a chance of winning one of our giant unicorns pop over to see us at P14 tomorrow and have a go at Quizcom.

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