September 2013

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Written by Elizabeth Eyre on 1 September 2013 in Magazine

The summer holidays will be coming to an end as this edition of TJ lands on your desk - I hope you've had a great summer and are feeling refreshed and ready to deliver some fantastic learning opportunities to your organisations!

One thing I think we can be sure of is that technology will continue to be an important tool for both learner and L&D professional. Society's love affair with technology, particularly mobile devices, seems not to be abating and that will continue to be reflected in organisations.

Mobile learning, in fact, seems to be the current focus for a lot of organisations - they have e-learning content and now want to make it accessible to employees on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices - and TJ features two articles on aspects of m-learning that are exercising L&D departments at the moment: should you use native apps or a web page format to deliver mobile learning ("HTML5 v native apps" by David Marshall, p60) and how do you tailor your organisation's learning content to take account of the fact that employees are increasingly wanting to bring their own mobile devices into the workplace ("Leading the way for m-learning" by André Wigley, p66).

These are both big questions for anyone involved in L&D whose employers or clients want to introduce mobile learning. And getting the answers right to these and other similar questions could mean the difference between it remaining nothing more than a passing fad and becoming a serious tool for effective learning delivery.

Video has been around for a long time as a training tool and is now being recognised as an integral part of m-learning, mainly thanks to the increasing popularity of YouTube and people's subsequent willingness and ability to make short films themselves. Martin Addison charts its rise and rise in his article "Video: the new dilemma" on p56.

Something that hasn't been around for very long at all, on the other hand, is Tin Can API - a new way of recording people's learning activity that fits in with the increasingly diffuse and social nature of corporate L&D. In his article "SCORM warning" (p51), Mark Berthelemy evaluates the impact that this new approach is likely to have, especially on the established ways of tracking and recording learners' activity.

Also new is curating - a relatively recent addition to the L&D professional's toolkit. The fact that so much information is available at the click of a button these days, and that people are becoming more responsible for their own learning, means that L&Ders have a vital role to play in identifying, assembling and contextualising information that is relevant to their organisations and learners. Sam Burrough explains how he does this at insurance company Unum in an interview with TJ this month.

We are also looking at soft skills this month, with articles on mindfulness, resilience, getting commitment from the board and a new methodology called 'temperatism' by its inventor.

Happy reading!

Elizabeth Eyre, Editor



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