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#BCTECH Summit – an instructional designer’s perspective

January 30, 2016

Last week I attended the #BCTECHSummit and one of the things I was interested in finding out was how companies were innovating around technology and training. BCIC wrote a nice blog post highlighting some of the cool things about our tech scene. And of course if I could be a hometown type of cheerleader, well I was happy to do that too.

Here’s my “trip report”…

Overall, I was so excited to see such a variety of tech-related solutions:

  • Agritech
  • Healthtech
  • Clean/green tech
  • Biotech
  • Resource based, such as mining & forestry tech (this is the historical hub of BC’s economy)
  • Fintech
  • Gaming and entertainment
  • Big data
  • Open government
  • Artificial intelligence

I saw: drones, BB8, 3D printing, VR, robots and exoskeletons, which made it fun and interactive.

In terms of “Edtech” – this is a muddy term, as many are focused on education, whereas we are interested in more community or organization based training solutions.

There were many tools that could deliver training in new ways:

Virtual Reality – yes it was there and it was cool – Cloudhead Games was there showcasing their product on an HTC VR set. Conquer Mobile was there – they have a simulation for pre-op training and simulated surgery via VR.

Augmented Reality – Microsoft did a presentation on their HoloLens and it did feature instructional uses.

Wearables – there was a great case study by Human on their band that altered utility workers about the presence of voltages (Proxxi). Perhaps a bit more behaviorist than some of us would like, but you’d sure learn (and the target audience would avoid harm/death, so there’s that)! We’ve written about the use cases of wearables before, and I appreciated how the founder of Human (Kharis O’Connell) described it in this article:

“We don’t want to make trinkets, there is a lot of that around. There are a lot of real world problems that can be solved elegantly if we approach it the right way.”

There was also CommandWear which is a Situational Awareness platform. The ability to review and annotate afterwards for training and performance improvement is a great feature.

Differentiated Learning – Microsoft One Note Learning tools and Skype translator are both tools that enable learning.

Hard to categorize, but some potential application for training/learning

ThoughtExchange is a large scale platform for input, prioritizing and decision making. I could see some use for it in MOOC applications for organizing the massive amount of discussion that might take place. For example, Curatr is currently running a “eLearning beyond the next button” MOOC and there’s tons of rich conversation happening, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it. Finding ways to filter and sort would enhance the experience.

Tradeable Bits is a “Fan CRM” platform, but I could see some organizations that offer training products, using it as a pseudo-LMS. Speaking of platforms, of course our friends from Thinkific were there – they have a great platform to deliver training.

The two days were filled with optimism and excitement for the future. There were passionate entrepreneurs there who really do want to make the world a better place. The epitome of this philosophy was Ray Kurzweil, (founder of Singularity U) who was a fascinating speaker.

I can’t wait for next year.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 1, 2016 2:44 pm

    Thanks so much for the shout out! It was a pleasure meeting you. 🙂

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