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Martin Couzins

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Round-up of the Learning Live conference


The Learning Live conference took place at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole on 13 and 14 June 2011.


The big news from the conference was the rebranding of the Institute of IT Training to the Learning and Performance Institute. Chairman of the new institute, Donald Taylor, said the institute had rebranded to better reflect the challenges now facing learning and development.

Read the story and watch the interview with Donald Taylor.

Professor Robert Winston delivered the keynote on neuroscience and learning in which he used scientific research to share what we know about how humans learn. He cited neuroscience studies that showed environment, personality and emotions were all key to effective learning.

Watch the Professor Robert Winston interview.

The conference was split into five tracks covering learning delivery, learning strategy, technology, engagement and the business.

In his session on "Getting the most from the learning technologies you already have", Craig Taylor talked delegates through getting the most out of some of the more established social tools. He provided delegates with a poster that featured QR codes superimposed on logos of popular social media tools, which when scanned with his phone's QR code reader played a short audio file with content relevant to that particular social media tool.

Watch Craig Taylor demonstrate the use of QR codes.

Mac Macdonald, learning academy manager at the Learning and Performance Institute, ran a workshop on the assessment and monitoring of trainers and why regular trainer MOTs are a good thing and something all training managers should consider.

Listen to the interview with Mac Macdonald.

Chris Atherton ran a session on "Getting beyond instruction for true learning engagement" in which she talked about the importance of emotional engagement in engaging users with content. She said this could be positive engagement but also be negative. Without it, she said, we are bombarded with what she called a constant 'firehouse' of content. She also talked about the power of stories and the role of narrative in making content more sticky and to help identify with the reader. Her advice on creating engaging narrative was to "talk about real stuff with real people".

Listen to the interview with Chris Atherton.


The conference also featured a range of exhibitors. TrainingZone talked to some of them about their products . . .

Lucy McGibbon at the Sundial Group talks about the box of wooden blocks on the Sundial stand.

David Hay of Promethean talks through the features of the interactive board which engaged exhibition goers.

Brendon Smith of Etc Venues explains the tins of grass on their stand.

To see live coverage from the event, visit TrainingZone's Learning Live live blog.

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