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Lighting the Way for E-Learning


Learning Light, a non-profit centre of excellence which highlights and promotes best practice in the use of learning technologies in the workplace, has examples of the latest games-playing technologies on its stand at this year's Learning Technologies exhibition.

The future shape of e-learning delivery is the theme of Learning Light's stand at this year's Learning Technologies exhibition.

On display at the LL stand will be examples of headsets, PlayStation Portable (PSP) and - hopefully - a Wii or two, with which visitors to the stand will be able to interact in order to explore how these new technologies can be used to deliver e-learning materials.

"The PSP is a handheld game console released and manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment," explained Mark Pittaway, Learning Light's CEO. "It was officially unveiled on in May 2004 and the system was released in Japan in December that year.

"The PSP allows users to play video games, watch videos, listen to music, view images, as well as browse the internet - so it is a small step to making these consoles deliver learning materials, especially now that many developers are producing simulations and story-based e-learning materials," he added.

Nintendo's video game console, the Wii (pronounced 'we'), was previously known by its project code name of 'Revolution' and is the successor to the Nintendo GameCube. In general terms, it competes with other seventh generation games consoles, such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.

"A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions," said Pittaway. "Notable among the console's internal features is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the internet while consuming little electrical power."

Announced in 2004, the Wii was launched in three markets in December 2006 - although it was soon recalled in the UK because of Nunchuck cables. Pittaway commented: "Hopefully, these technical problems will be overcome and we will be able to have at least one Wii on display - and in use - on our stand at the Learning Technologies show."

Also available on the stand will be insights into Learning Light's systematic review of the e-learning industry, which it has undertaken in association with a team of researchers from the University of Sheffield's Department of Information Studies, headed by Dr Miguel Nunes.

Pittaway explained: "The purpose of the systematic review is to map the research that has taken place both in the academic literature, such as journals and databases, as well as the non-academic 'grey' literature, including whitepapers, reports and case studies, and then to identify any gaps for future research."

The Systematic Review addresses five questions:
1. What is the extent of use of learning technologies in the workplace?
2. What is the impact/effectiveness of the use of learning technologies in the workplace?
3. What are the measures/criteria for determining the success/effectiveness of the use of learning technologies in the workplace?
4. What are the factors that influence/impact the success/effectiveness of the use of learning technologies in the workplace?
5. What evidence is there that the use of learning technologies has been more successful/ effective than traditional/ face-to-face learning in the workplace?

Visitors to the Learning Technologies exhibition will find Learning Light on stand 115.


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