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Steve Robson

Marine Industry

Learning and Development Consultant

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The Next Big Thing


I spend part of my week looking for innovative ideas that are being used in the world of training and have to say there isn't much happening at the moment...same old same old apart from some great new products like

The fluffy toys and plastic clappy hands seem to have been put back in the draw where they belong and I have a feeling that 2011 will see a "back to basics" approach...

Any thoughts would be appreciated...



12 Responses

  1. Back to the Future

    We’ve had a look at Papershow as a drawing input device for synchronous teaching using Adobe Connect Pro.  An interesting observation about our own success in live online teaching is how effective and popular traditional teaching (ie. lectures) online can be if done well.  I have presented a paper at a conference of the title "Back to the Future: The Power of traditional teaching techniques online" which is on my personal website if anyone is interested.

    Brian Mulligan
    Open Learning Coordinator, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland

  2. “the basics” include people who aren’t in the course

    If more traditional training means simply swapping the gimmicks for the old approach then I don’t think training will increase its stature and will still be a leap of faith rather than a route to increased performance.  What’s missing is generally a receptiveness in the workplace to new ideas, new ways of doing things.  Until you get managers of trainees lined up to do things differently to enable transfer from the learning environment (whatever that is) to the workplace, training will always under-deliver.  



    — Karen, fe3 consulting

  3. Thanks

    Brian – Looks good, especially if it could be downloaded to mobile devices or an i pad. I like the idea of being able to access short sharp lessons just when I need them.

    Karen – I can remember some of my schoolteachers being absolutely fantastic at motivating me to think differently and enjoy learning. Not giving my age away but it was quite a long time ago. If we can capture some of those principles then it would be no bad thing. Good old fashioned enthussiasm and an interest in the subject is as relevant today as it was then. (And not a clappy hand or fluffy snake in sight!)

  4. PaperShow Vs iPad

    I tried Papershow quite recently in of all places Dixons at Edinburgh Airport and then again in a clients office who provides livestock feed (don’t ask). It works and it works well – but:

    I recently acquired an iPad and it has exactly the same facilities plus a whole host of additional functionality extending to interactive whiteboard, plus video, plus presentation software plus web browsing, plus – well you name it really.

    Papershow is of course a lot cheaper but it’s also a lot less when compared with the options and functionality of the iPad. An iPad coupled to one of the new mini projectors:

    could be a very interesting combination to use for working with relatively small groups and also making business pitches.

    Bizarrely for me the iPad is one of those products which before it existed there was no market for, but as soon as it entered the fray it created its own marketplace. Like Ford when he made the first affordable car – there was no perceived market, indeed Ford said that if he’d asked his prospective customers what they wanted they’d have said ‘faster horses’, however when it became available, well, we all know.

    Fluffy Toys Rule!

  5. Fluffy Toys


    Really interesting, thank you,

    Is there any information on the i pad features you mentioned?  If anyone can point me in the direction of a website or articles that explain the features it would be appreciated. (I didn’t really get how it could be used like paprershow?)

    Many thanks




  6. iPad may also encourage traditional techniques

    We concentrate on live interactive classes which are about 40 minutes long typically.  The pen input allows the lecturer to be spontaneous in class (or to fake it – as Woody Allen says, "The most important thing in life is sincerity.  If you can fake that, you have it made").

    As it happens, I prefer the iPad idea to the Papershow as I need no extra hardware or consumables (but I’m waiting for an open Android or Chrome pad).  Again, it is interesting to not that this pad type gadget facilitates the use of traditional techniques like "writing on the board" (We brought it in to teach mathematics originally where the students certainly like the old "talk and chalk").

    Having said that we concentrate on live, I also think that the ideas also apply to the rapid creation of recordings as well.


  7. Apps

    There’s literaly hundreds of apps for the ipad that allow for pen based input and sharing, which naturaly integrate with all the other communication and printing suites within the iPad, together with web based and projector facilties:

    Here’s three from a quick google search.

    There are hundreds more and most of them are less than 5$ each  –



  8. Amazing

    Thanks Garry

    Amazing…what did we ever do without the i pad??

    Wish I was 16 again…I have a feeling that by the time I get one and download all the apps I will already be out of date and i pad 2 will be the one to have…

    Fluffy toys and clappy hands are so much easier!




  9. Yay for Apple!

     Hello all,


    Just got my i-pad this week and seeing all sorts of possibilities! Thanks for the links Garry, I have a lot of great apps that automatically transferred over from my i-phone, but they sound really useful. Still exploring all that it can do but I’ll check in again when I’ve found the killer app Steve! 

    Can’t find the ones you listed Steve must be looking in the wrong place ….


    Best wishes,



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Steve Robson

Learning and Development Consultant

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