Who are in the European edtech top 20

The eagerly anticipated European edtech top 20 was published yesterday, and it makes interesting reading to see who is on the list in the UK, and from the rest of Europe. There are some very familiar names from UK e-learning companies we know well, Brightwave, Epic learning and Virtual College, but no Kineo – well no surprises as they are now part of City and Guilds, no Webanywhere despite some stellar growth over recent years? and no LINE, maybe they are too busy…who knows. Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, Edxus Group’s CEO and co-founder and instrumental in the list explains a little more: “We have been impressed by the range of innovation from right across Europe in both the academic and corporate learning sectors. While the 3 year revenue growth rates delivered show that the ed tech boom in Europe is a reality, the huge number of applications received and the modest size of these businesses also demonstrate just how fragmented the European market is. Consolidation in the sector is both necessary and inevitable to foster the emergence of a handful of European ed tech champions able to compete pan-regionally and globally,”  “UK and Northern European ed tech companies seem to lead the ranking. This is due to factors such as proactive government attitudes, the widespread use of English language in academic and corporate learning sectors, the encouragement of educators to be technology early adopters and access to risk capital. Moreover, the relative lack of entries in the top 20 from France, one of the biggest education markets in Europe, is an example of how large and centralized education markets can slow...

BETT 2013: What we saw and what was missing….

As we have written to in our previous Blogs comparing BETT with its rival (?) exhibition Learning Technologies, BETT was an exhibition of size and significance, indicating that the market in education for e-learning and technology is hugely important for UK PLC, and as such was noted by Vince Cable MP in his opening address quoting from research by IBIS capital and Learning Light. In this blog piece we focus on what was exciting and what we felt was missing at BETT, other than Apple, Facebook and Twitter! Workplace Learning The introduction of workplace learning  at BETT was a major development, and with several high profile speakers including Nick Shackleton-Jones, Group Head of eLearning Leadership Development & Talent at BP and Dr Richard Walters, Group Head of Learning and Development at Hays, BETT illustrated some real intent in this market. We would estimate about 80 companies of the over 450 exhibiting positioning themselves totally or partially in this market segment. This component is likely to grow given the overall vibrancy of BETT and while there were only 4 organisations we noted exhibiting at both events…Tribal, Lynda.com, learndirect and Webanywhere giving prominence to Moodle in both markets, we predict more corporate orientated businesses will have to consider this option, as BETT develops its workplace learning offer. BYOD for education….very exciting…. We were impressed, and not a little surprised as to the number of innovative solutions on show at BETT designed to incorporate smart phones and tablets into the classroom, and support the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend into schools. This recognition that smartphones and tablets cannot effectively be excluded...

Learning Technologies 2013

A review and our 5 picks of the show……. Busy busy busy was the common consensus of those exhibiting in the Learning Technologies area, a slightly less busy area in our view was the Learning and Skills area, as it was in its new located area adjacent to LTs. I missed the central arrival point of the escalators up to floor one for LTs, after first having taken in Learning and Skills downstairs. What did we see, and what interested us most this year…..well we had an attempt at predicting what we would see in an earlier blog piece, were we right? Well only in part. Mobile learning The excitement around tablets and mobile phones is very real, and lots of vendors were offering ways to integrate tablets and smartphones into the e-learning mix. Mobile learning is of huge interest at present to the L&D community, and will break through, though I am minded of the a great quote from Sharon Boller “mLearning is a lot like sex. Lots of folks talking about it. Far fewer actually doing it yet.” The key challenges to making mobile learning a success are not completely in the gift of the L&D profession, the complex eco-systems of Apps and the multiplicity of devices and operating systems to which is added the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) conundrum makes this still an area of great problem and potential  in equal measures  and don’t forget Tin Can. This industry is at a point of great change and evolution! Many solutions are emerging, with content developers building “authoring environments” to support the creation of learning that...

BETT or Learning Technologies Show

With Learning Technologies (LTs) and BETT overlapping for the first time in 2013, we took the opportunity to visit both in quick succession and offer some very real time comparisons. Location, location and organisation Why the  overlap, well LTs and its sister show Learning and Skills has stayed at Kensington’s Olympia, while BETT had by 2010 in our view outgrown that location, and indeed in 2013 it moved to Excel in London’s docklands. LT’s changed its format in 2013, with Learning and skills, its sister exhibition moving up a floor to be alongside LT’s itself. Was this a success, only time will tell, or next years bookings, but Learning and Skills appeared to us to be markedly quieter than LTs right next door. BETT’s relocation has undoubtedly worked, the Excel facility was vibrant and the layout and spacing of the exhibitors was much improved on 2012 at Olympia. By contrast and common agreement LTs felt more compact this year, with seemingly tighter gangways, and less space. Excel itself is an excellent venue, with catering a plenty, and enough spaces to sit and meet friends and associates and make new acquaintances. I wish the same could be said about Olympia. Both have transport challenges, Excel is certainly not in central London, but it is well served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), but is a 40 minute journey from central London. LTs this year was not served by London Underground via Earl’s Court to Kensington Olympia…..we know not why! Nevertheless both were very busy, and both suffered long cloakroom room delays….it should be obvious to organisers that events in January...

What we will see at Learning Technologies 2013

As my inbox fills up with invites to visit stands at Learning Technologies, and Training Press releases gets busier and busier with announcements of launches and seminars, we know Learning Technologies is fully upon us. As well as our usual review based on visiting what is probably Europe’s most exciting show for e-learning and learning technologies, it may be fun to make some not totally uninformed predictions of what we are likely to see  at LTs 2013. We anticipate a very busy show, with the new for 2013 “all one floor format” being particularly beneficial by integrating learning and skills zone with the learning technologies zone. The show has filled up with exhibitors and record numbers of delegates are expected….so what will they see…….these are Learning Lights predictions: Apps and apps and probably more apps, is a “run away” certainty this year, with i-pads a plenty, and other tablet devices no doubt being hugely popular. This new boost to e-learning will prompt discussions around HTML5 and Flash, Native apps and Web apps, and responsive web design as buyers look at the host of differing solutions to porting e-learning across tablets and smartphones. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) may be a term that will appear and prove an interesting conversation for many a buyer and supplier. Which suppliers will be offering virtualisation solutions to really allows a BYOD solution that fully integrates into the corporate intranet? In our view video will play a huge part in unlocking the true potential of learning on i-pads and smartphones, so we anticipate seeing quite an amount of video content, but probably not as...

Themes from Learning Technologies 2012

So what were the themes we saw at Learning Technologies 2012: Content still key, but of an ever widening genre…… Content developers were still very much in demand by delegates, with Kineo, Brightwave and LINE – with its Learning Architecture and PTK’s excellent game and 3d materials all appearing to be very popular destinations with delegates. Generic content is still a big category, Eukleia proved an interesting stand, illustrating that compliance led e-learning is still very important, and the quality makes a difference. Skillsoft looked a popular destination as did Jenison, there is still strong demand for good quality content.Toolwire was attracting delegates demonstrating learnscapes and you can see why it is a global winner! We love the concept of learnscapes. Lynda.com a new exhibitor brought some real focus on Video based content to the exhibition. We were pleasantly surprised to see RM exhibiting. We know RM from the excellent work in education, especially in the e-SY.info project in Sheffield. What plans do they have for the corporate market …we wonder? Gaming and simulation going mainstream……. The Intellego –Pixelearning combination looks very exciting offering a full suite of services. Indeed after 5 years of hype we really do believe that gaming and simulation has now arrived, and this new combination will be well placed in the market. The Assima stand reflected this interest in system simulations we have always been interested in software cloning solutions for learning, and we were surprised that Day One tech could not be enticed into exhibiting their excellent call centre system simulations solutions. We are also very excited about the forthcoming Digital Learning Marketplace from Intellego, which will bring a whole new approach to content delivery. Talent management and learner performance platforms were key trends A major trend this year...

Learning Technologies 2012 – review

Another busy, well attended show with lots of delegates provided with a wide range of exhibitors all combining to offer a real buzz. The 2012 Learning Technologies show was interesting for a variety of reasons, and one particularly interesting reason was that this show was not dominated by the next big thing…..! Indeed, with some notable exceptions 2012 was more of the same from previous years! Confidence, certainty and coalescence……. While more of the same may sound a little dull, our view is now we have an industry that is maturing rapidly, and to the buyer this is a very good thing. We to see this as an encouraging trend, as it offers the buyer continuity and certainty, and indicates that the “hype waves” that have dominated this industry are slowing. This we believe will give buyers greater confidence in the longevity of both the vendors and the technology offers being made. Our view is further reinforced by what we saw and heard from the exhibitors and speakers. There was no doubt that they were doing a very good job in explaining what e-learning and learning technologies are about and what impact they have. Our evidence is based both on our conversations with vendors and observing the presentations made in the exhibition seminar areas. The presentations we listened to were generally informative and advisory, indicating a new maturity of both presenter and delegate. We were particularly impressed with the presentations from Onlignment and Exact Learning. This provision of advice and information was well supported by Towards Maturity, we anticipate the newly launching “Corporate Learning Consortium”   and the very excellent...

Learning Technologies – wisdom of the crowds downloads

….what presentations are being viewed from Learning Technologies Conference in January 2012? We thought we would do some totally unscientific download crowd analysis. If you visit http://dpcloud.co/v3/enterprise/learningtech/ you can see the many excellent presentations delivered. However, one cannot help wondering why some presentations proved so much more popular for people to download/ view than others. Is there something about the Wisdom of Crowds here? Academics in the lead Steve Wheeler – an associate professor and prolific tweeter (@ timbuckteeth) leads in the popularity stakes by a huge order of magnitude, with over 1200 downloads at present – he also has 11,000 followers on twitter – some co-incidence? His presentation addresses “Digital Learning Futures.” In second place is another Professor….Stephen Heppell, some mere 800 views behind Steve Wheeler, addressing “Third Millennium Learning”, other popular titles for downloads also focus on the future….in third place Ray Kurzweil another futurist with – “The Web within us – when minds and machines become one!” and Jaron Lanier’s “Are we at the beginning of the rise of post human machine intelligence”. Its all about the future From this we must conclude our crowd of viewers undoubtedly are interested in the future, and they like to be challenged and stimulated with views of the future. Can we conclude they are more interested in listening to and learning from an academics and futurists than to narrow examples of good practise! Don’t mention L&D or HR Our unscientific “download crowd analysis” indicates terms such as L&D and HR in the title of the video appear to be a turn-off to the event viewers – why should this...