Learning Technologies 2024 preview – is it all about AI?

Martin Couzins and Jo Cook explore what’s coming up at the Learning Technologies conference and exhibition this week

AI is going to dominate this week’s Learning Technologies conference and exhibition. So it seems only fitting that Training Journal used AI to summarise the hot topics you can expect to hear being discussed. We took Whimsical within ChatGPT and asked it to summarise Learning Technologies’ interview with conference chair Donald Taylor.

Hot topics at Learning Technologies 2024 diagram

As you can see AI features but that’s not all. The conference agenda spans five tracks across two days so there are plenty topics to explore. That’s because there is plenty for L&D professionals to consider aside from AI. As Don says in the interview, “There are a vast number of things that L&D needs to be able to do, which it’s not doing, in order to be successful for the future. We’ll be tackling some of that at Learning Technologies now and in the future.”

In an archive video interview Don says of internal L&D teams, “We’re not here to engage with the business we are part of the business. So if we talk about engaging the business it means that we’re outside it so that can’t be right.” Skills will also be a hot topic this year as organisations look to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions and technological advances.

In the same video interview Don looks at what makes a successful company within the L&D sector:

“I’ve worked with a number of vendors and I’ve observed a number of vendors who are very successful. The ones that are very successful are the ones who really, really take the time to understand the client.”

Skills are seen as a key component in supporting change especially now that generative AI is being used to carry out tasks traditionally undertaken by humans. This will be keenly felt in learning teams as the technology impacts on content creation and distribution. 

Don wrote for TJ magazine in 2019 about a conference session where he asked about which skills would be needed by L&D in the 21st century: “as the answers came flying in, one thing united them – from performance consulting, to listening and leadership, they were almost entirely interpersonal. This group of L&D professionals from around the globe knew the importance of so-called ‘soft’ skills. And they are not alone. According to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) into the skills required for the fourth industrial revolution, the three most in-demand skillsets are complex problem-solving, social skills and process skills (including active listening, critical thinking and self-monitoring).”

Fear not if you can’t make it to the conference – there is still plenty of learning to be done in the exhibition hall with a comprehensive free seminar programme across both days as well as a showcase of all the leading learning technology vendors in the market. What is the event like? These soundbites from Learning Technologies delegates and vendors tells you more.

And you can see all of the roving reporting from previous Learning Technology events here.

If you are attending then make sure you visit the talks, meet the vendors and above all connect with other learning professionals – there’ll be 10,000 of them over the two days. As Don says, “Connection – you meet people and develop close relationships. Having that network is crucial for people in a lot of ways.”

If you can’t connect in London, it’s easy to connect online. Learning Technologies always has a strong social media presence on X/Twitter and LinkedIn, so you can jump into conversations there.

You can attend the exhibition and seminars for free, register here.

Martin Couzins is director of Insight Media and writes a blog for TJ

Jo Cook is Editor of Training Journal and a live online learning specialist at Lightbulb Moment

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