E-learning has experienced many false dawns in the past but with changes afoot, there are many reasons to be buoyant and excited.
More and more of us are beginning to carry around smartphones and tablets, and this itself creates great learning opportunities that were not around a few years ago.
Speaking to TJ, Jonathan Satchell, CEO of the Learning Technologies Group (LTG), spoke of his anticipation at the opportunities that lay ahead. He believes that the possibilities created by new technologies are something which trainers, learners and firms as a whole should embrace.
“Looking forward, I’m so eager to see how much we utilise new technology in learning,” he said.
“There have been so many false dawns in relation to e-learning but I think things are genuinely beginning to change now. For starters, the change in technology means we are now all carrying smartphones and tablets around which wasn’t even the case a few years ago. This came in at a good time; especially as we were going through a deep recession which meant that companies were cutting back on their training spend.
“Nowadays it has become more convenient to use a mobile device or a smartphone for a range of different activities. Taking learning as an example, it became easier to do elearning courses rather than attending a training course. Elearning sits high in the blended solution. Multi-device learning is awesome in my opinion – it creates so many possibilities. It’s helping to deliver the right bit of learning at the right time, specifically at the point of need – gone are the days of tedious, long e-learning courses!
“What we’re seeing in this market generally is that the learning technologies sector is growing fast. Customers are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of growing solutions. This is a great chance for us and one which we look forward to tackling head-on.”
Satchell accepts that not everyone will be interested in this way of learning but believes that the learning technologies market is one that is growing rapidly.
“What’s lovely is that people are already relying upon that computer in their pocket. We are astonished by the demands we get from corporate and central government. Most of them have a BYOD policy in place and content that will work across any device.
“I think you’ll always get those that are adverse to this method of learning but if people are reluctant to learn via their tablet or phone, they are probably people who don’t use it to access other forms of media.”
Last week LTG announced that they had agreed a deal to acquire the entire share capital of LINE Communications, a move which will see EPIC, LTG’s principal operating company, and LINE, become one.
“LINE is a great respected brand. I had been speaking to the firm’s CEO Piers Lea for about three years and to us, it was an obvious deal to do – we are very lucky that it’s a great, complimentary fit.
“When we make further acquisitions, they will not be of the same style. We’ll be looking at different service capabilities where we can express the services, not necessarily combine them.”
The last week has also seen LTG announce their final results for the 52 weeks ended 31 December 2013. This included revenue growing by nine per cent to £7.56m up from £6.95m in 2012. Value of new contracts won by the group increased by 12 per cent in 2013. Furthermore, gomo 2.0 LTG’s Software as a service product (SaaS), launched on April 2nd this year and is expected to generate significant revenue over the next three years.
“This has been an exciting year for LTG with our listing on the AIM. Our business has continued to grow and take advantage of the significant opportunity in the e-learning space. We have won good levels of business in the UK and have substantial repeat orders, our US office is profitable in its first year and our Brazil joint venture has gone from strength to strength,” he concluded.