On the 20th November, the Comtec team attended eLN Connect 2019, the annual conference run by the eLearning Network in London. Comtec joined the eLN earlier this year and hosted a translation webinar in August this year too, but this was our first opportunity to get involved in person – and what an inspiring day it was too!
Members come from all areas of the eLearning industry; from corporate L&D professionals and eLearning agencies to LMS providers, video production agencies and digital designers. It was great to share our specialist knowledge and expertise with eLearning providers, their end clients and everyone in between.
Conferences like eLN Connect are also an excellent opportunity for Comtec to learn more about our clients’ industries, and better understand the challenges along with the priorities that affect the work they do, and this was certainly the case for this event!
Here are my key takeaways from eLN Connect 2019:
- Traditional stories regarding leadership are no longer fit for purpose
Within People’s Nicole Bradfield opened the conference with her keynote speech: “Sorry nothing to learn here: unlearning leadership to grow 21st-century organisations.” During her speech, she explored how traditional stories about leadership need to be ‘unlearned’ if we are to progress in our own leadership journey and unlock our potential. She also explored the essential qualities of leadership in the 21st-century, as represented in the photo below.
- Mixed mental arts and modern life
Tough Cookie’s Michael Matania introduced us to the concept of ‘mixed mental arts’ and shared practical tips in building up mental resilience. The challenges of modern life have had a significant impact on mental health in the workplace, and we all need to prioritise our own wellbeing. I for one will be trying to put into practice many of the tips Michael shared.
- L&D professionals understand the benefits of localisation but also want to know how to measure it
Comtec’s very own Susan Lankfer delivered a presentation on ‘How can localisation increase learner engagement with Digital Learning Programmes?’ We had some very insightful questions, and it was great to hear other peoples’ challenges and experience when it came to translation and localisation. One of the key takeaways for Comtec as a language service provider was the desire to find appropriate ways to measure the impact of localisation on learning. As a result, we’re looking forward to exploring ways to understand this better and how we can harness it to generate better learning outcomes for our clients!
- The importance of committing to learning to drive engagement
Neusha Milanian from Aviva talked about ‘Engagement through learning experience design (without the melodrama).’ She explained the impact of identifying what is important for learners and how committing to learning drives engagement. It was a lively session with a few interactive tasks resulting in a lot of shouting of “It’s alive! It’s alive!” or “You shall not pass!”, as participants committed to the task and gave it maximum engagement!
- ‘Unlearning’ is not easy when ‘identity’ is enforced through social media
My final takeaway comes from the closing keynote speech by Huthwaite International’s Robin Hoyle, who did an excellent job in summarising the lessons that we can all take away from this year’s conference. Building on Nicole Bradfield’s idea of ‘unlearning’, Hoyle pointed out some of the obstacles to this, especially when social media re-enforces fixed mindsets around concepts such as identity on a 24/7 basis.
He also talked about the fact that if nothing has changed, then we’re not learning; an idea that resonates strongly with the team at Comtec as one of our core values is ‘we’re always learning.”
As well as attending the various talks and sessions, we also had an exhibition stand at the conference, providing a focal point for conversations around languages and localisation. Our ‘scratch-off’ world map proved very popular too (see the photo below). We invited visitors to scratch off the countries they’d visited, by the end of the day a fair percentage of the world had been scratched off!
If you’re interested in localising your eLearning and training content and have any questions, please get in touch, or download our latest guide on eLearning translation, which provides insights and advice for making the case for translating and localising your eLearning content. Click here for your copy.