by Louise Law
I was in London this week, representing Welocalize at the Learning Technologies 2014 event. It was a first time event for myself and Welocalize. One of my first thoughts? Busy footfall. The weather was seriously rainy in London but still 7,000 people attended each day. There was standing room only at the free theater sessions. After talking to many people and attending sessions, there’s a lot of growth expected in the learning and education industry especially as companies look to expand and export internationally. As the world economy seems to be giving us more favorable conditions to work in, this is good news for companies going global.
There were two dominant topics at LT2014 where localization plays a significant role: mobile and video learning. Here is a quick summary of these hot topics.
MOBILE – As always, mobile was high on the agenda. There was a lot of talk about mobile and developing learning content specifically for mobile devices. Rob Caul from Kallidus delivered a good presentation on mobile learning http://www.learningtechnologies.co.uk/2014-fs-d1t1-1400/ and presented some good case studies (O2 being one) on how companies are delivering learning data through mobile devices.
Customers and employees have the expectation and assumption that learning content will be accessible via mobile devices. Learning companies need to design learning mobile learning experiences. Some people learn and work full-time, so being able to access learning support materials at any time using their iPhone or tablet has great advantages. Developing content for multiple platforms can present some challenges for learning companies.
I learned some good tips on how to develop new content and adapt existing learning content to suit the mobile device. For example, for learning content to work on an iPhone, keep the interface uncluttered, keep content short and sweet. If the content is interactive, then remember that too many touch points can confuse one small thumb! These tips also make life easier when localizing learning content for mobile devices. The less text you have on those smaller screens, the less the impact of language expansion from any additional locale.
VIDEO – Use of video online is growing. By simply looking on YouTube you can see millions of examples of instructional videos (professional and home-made). There were a number of sessions on learning with online video. People generally have short attention span and research show that learning materials are more effective if they stimulate in many ways – multi-sensory integration.
Plus, with an online video, you can repeat and fail. Until you get it. Learning is within your control. Online video avoids the social concept of the classroom. Even the brightest learners can be afraid to put up their hand in a social setting and admit they don’t understand. Video allows students to learn at their own time and pace. It is a great tool for any learning organization, especially those with a global customer base or workforce.
Welocalize has worked with many global organizations on their learning and multimedia content. We have learned that successful video localization starts at the development phase. Consider localization when creating the source content and your multilingual life will be much easier.
Learning Technologies 2014 is a good event and I love London. An added bonus was that one evening I managed to catch a movie at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square. What a treat. (The Wolf of Wall Street, excellent).
Did you attend LT2014? I’d love to hear your feedback.