• XoomPoint Corporation
  • Posted February 2 2017

Best of Bett 2017

Bett Show is the largest learning technology event in the world- no doubt about it! We visited the Bett Show in London on January 26-27 to check out and experience the newest innovations in learning technology and eLearning. The exhibition hall was massive, it must’ve been at least half a mile long and full of visitors. Even with that much space, the exhibition was really crowded! Each day, the event attracted tens of thousands of visitors from all around the world.

At an event, as large as this, it is impossible to experience everything in just two days. We decided to focus on innovations in Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and robotics, as we are convinced that the next big thing in eLearning will be related to AR and VR. We also wanted to explore the latest developments in content creation, since we plan and create different kinds of learning content and concepts across multiple media platforms for our customers. And after all, we are a partner of authoring tool developer iSpring, and their biggest retailer in Finland.

What can you experience in two days?

"Getting from one place to another at such a huge event is slow and from time to time even challenging, so we are glad that we didn’t schedule to much beforehand", say XoomPoint’s Executive Consultant Riikka Hagman and CTO Tero Toropainen.

In content creation, there has not really been any game changing innovations. Features of present content tools have been refined and is even more simple and easier to use, but no completely new innovations, that would have a large impact on content creation, has happened. The most interesting developments was in video creation. The supply of video editing tools and programs has diversified and the softwares have become easier to use. "I especially liked the interactive tools that made it possible for the user, and the instructor, to add questions and answers on top of the video. Simple and very practical! During an online course, you can add text directly onto the learning material. This is very useful if the student wants to ask further questions about the topic or the instructor wants to emphasize a specific point in the material", says Hagman. "Data is also collected from those comments for later use, and to further improve the learning material", Hagman continues.

The Virtual Reality technology has taken another leap forward. The devices, or glasses, are smaller and much lighter than before. Augmented Reality have been elements incorporated. You don’t need to plug in your mobile phone anymore or mount a heavy casing on your head. With the new glasses, you see your surroundings at the same time as the virtual objects are reflected in front of you. You can rotate the object, an engine for example, virtually with your hands. You can inspect the object, add drawings to the HUD (heads-up display) and for instance, give instructions during a maintenance session. From an eLearning point of view, is it worth it to invest in Virtual Reality? "I would personally wait a little bit before investing in Virtual Reality. The devices are still improving to be more light and user-friendly. The prices are becoming cheaper also and the devices become more reliable to use", says Tero Toropainen.

We also explored the latest in 3D printing. The prices of modern printers have come down considerably and you can purchase a decent 3D printer for about £500. The materials available for 3D printing aren’t limited to plastic anymore, now you can print other materials as well. Utilizing 3D printing e.g. spare parts can be printed onsite. "This technology can infuse eLearning with new and interesting dimensions. Distance learning complemented with the possibilities of 3D printing can change e.g. product training in the future", says Toropainen.

At the Bett you could sense that an upcoming trend is robotics. Exhibitors specialized in robotics offered visitors the possibility to try group programming. The code was reflected on big screens and the audience could follow what the programmers (in this case random visitors with different educational backgrounds) were telling their robots to do. "Robotics might not revolutionize corporate training in the near future, but this kind of "everyman’s robot lab" offers a great way for anyone to experience programming", sums Toropainen.

The Bett Show is all about the use of information technology in education. The event takes place between Jan 25- 28th 2017. Dedicated to showcasing the best in learning technology products, resources and best practice, Bett has enabled thousands of educators and practitioners to enhance their knowledge of learning through technology.

www.bettshow.com

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