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 much as should be expected.

What does 2013 bring for Social learning, we for-see a drop in the prominence given to this specific term, but a rise in the terms “MOOCs” and “collaborative learning.” Will there be a corporate MOOC offer of some sort at Learning technologies……MOOCs are certainly hot topics in higher education. Will they be hot here at LTs or do we need to nip over to BETT on Wednesday to learn more about MOOCs?

MOOCs (Massive open on-line courses)  are massive indeed, and having huge impact globally in higher education, and this will without doubt spill over into lifelong learning, and have impact upon the whole e-learning and learning technologies market.

MOOCs drive “collaborative learning” and thrive on “Open Content”, as well as changing the whole relationship between instructors and students…..  So social learning hasn’t gone away, it has  morphed into collaborative learning and we must look to the education sector to see how it is really  being made to work.

The LCMS (Learning content management system) is an interesting area of the market, as it will in our view play an increasingly important role in organisations and may form a key component of the corporate MOOC …the COOC? The LCMS really does allow for the managing of the vast amounts of Open Content organisations may wish to use in a managed way, and the management of increasingly volatile content in an organisation.

There are few specific things we will go looking for…….serious games…..we believe this genre has now come of age, with enough research now available to show that serious games really do work in addressing learning.

Learning Management Systems: We are always keen to see an LMS configured in imaginative ways, and will hunt out imaginative uses of an LMS, – how can an LMS be configured to support the delivery of apprenticeships? is a really interesting conundrum, given the importance attached to apprenticeships in the UK’s skills mix.

We were always surprised and disappointed to see that the ground-breaking BT dare to share model was never transposed and productised for use more widely in other organisations to share learning with user generated video.

The LMS vendors will be showcasing how they can manage this change in learning delivery from the desktop to the mobile device, and we will possibly  see some of the first outings of LMS vendors, (and authoring tools vendors) addressing the Tin Can challenge….what  steps towards Learning Record Stores will we see, we wonder.

No doubt Totara will be of continuing interest, but we predict that Moodle will also continue to find favour in the corporate LMS market.

Talent Management will continue to be high profile, given the investments made in this area, and the growing interest shown it, evidenced by the acquisition of the number one talent management  exponent Bersin by global consultancy giant Deloitte.

Buyers and Acquirers

2013 could prove a seminal year for many e-learning and learning technologies businesses with two types of buyers looking over many of the exhibitors, those that want to buy their products and those that want to buy the company!

Why should this be? Well there are strong predictions for growth in the education market and corporate training market and the learning technology sub -sector, in particular.

Large more traditional training providers (and consultancy businesses) are moving into the e-learning and learning technologies market, the US training market is reporting strong growth, with learning technology the catalyst. Additionally the global demand from emerging economies for L&D is getting stronger and stronger, and UK has some of the most innovative and creative e-learning and learning technologies businesses in the world.