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Sponge’s list of 7 unmissable talks at LTSF2020

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At Sponge, we have chosen these seven highlights of this year’s Learning Technologies Summer Forum week of online learning collaboration.


The biggest summer event within the learning industry, Learning Technology Summer Forum, takes place online from Monday, July 13 to Friday July 17. We are looking forward to these five days teeming with new ideas and talks from prestigious leaders in the industry.

Kate Pasterfield, Sponge’s Head of Learning Strategy, says: “The LT Summer Forum is the event we all put in our diaries to reinvigorate ideas affecting our industry. I’m so pleased it hasn’t been cancelled and will be running virtually, with special emphasis on evidence-based design and human-centred themes’.

We have reviewed the program and curated these seven highlights that deserve particular attention.

Monday, July 13th

13.30h - Learning at the crossroads: keep moving in the right direction

Learning Technologies would not be what it is without insights from Donald Taylor and Nigel Paine. Building on the experiences from the past several months, Nigel Paine is here to talk about how when work changes, learning must change with it. We’ll be hearing about the five main shifts to transform the role of the learning team and how to understand the impact of those changes, as well as how to work out what your first steps should be, with the emphasis on unique successes and challenges.

16.00h - Video for learning in a remote world

Gemma Patterson, Head of Development Experiences and Innovation at Legal & General and Nick Welch, Director at Primed Media will share practical tips for using video to support learning during lockdown. Both technical and creative, this session is jam-packed with real-life examples of supporting your storytellers, creating advocates via social media and using video to drive performance.

Tuesday July 14th

09:45h - After launch - how do you maintain engagement?

Sunder Ramachandran, General Manager for Training at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals India, follows on from his popular January session, exploring how to keep people coming back for more. Why is “what’s-in-it-for-me” the key to employee engagement and how to convince your people of the power of going online, peppered with real-life tips and tricks from the frontline, this session promises new and unique insights.

12:15h – Digital learning: Being successful in a post-pandemic world

David Wilson, CEO of the Fosway Group, Europe’s number one HR industry analyst, shares new research into what is working in organisations right now and the key things to consider as you build out a new-look digital learning ecosystem. Always good value with in-depth analysis of the learning landscape and opportunities going forward, with the approaches that make a real difference.

Wednesday, July 15th

16.00h – A social organisation is a learning organisation

Mark Britz from The Learning Guild and James Tyer, a connector, facilitator, and strategist, talk about how the success of today’s companies is predicated on innovation and responsiveness. How to make the work better, and not just done faster, and what the true relationship between ‘social’ and ‘social technology’ is, join Mark and James in a Q&A session for the nitty-gritty in what they call Social by Design. Chaired by Gaelle Delmas-Watson, Managing Director for SyncSkills.

Thursday, July 16th

11.00h - Evidence-informed building blocks for learning design

Mirjam Neelen, Learning Advisory Manager for Accenture, speaks about using scientific experience from the learning sciences to help people do their jobs better and make an impact on the organisations they work in. If this talk covers any of the concepts from Mirjam’s recently released book ‘Evidence-Informed Learning Design’, then we are in for a treat.

Friday, July 17th

14.45h - Accelerating your career in L&D

Sharon Claffey Kaliouby, VP North America for Learning Pool is chairing the panel that examines the challenges L&D professionals face during the development of their career. You will hear about being a risk taker, staying in control of your career and being low-maintenance and high value in order to take your career to the next level from Lorna Matty, People Development Manager for Toyota Financial Services, Zahra Clarke-Johnney, Digital Learning Partner at Southwark Council, Andrew Jacobs L&D Transformation Lead (HMRC) and Kate Graham, Head of Content for the Fosway Group.

Bonus talk:

On Wednesday, July 15th, from 17:15 to 18:00 Michelle Parry-Slater, Learning and Development Director for Kairos Modern Learning will be chairing the talk given by Magdalena Mos, Project Manager and Team Leader at Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, on how her organisation achieved excellence in elearning delivery by following the microlearning approach, where content is delivered in short bursts. With the properly applied pre-diagnosis, and assessments calibrated to measure the student progress, Magdalena will present examples that can be applied by course designers using Learning Management Systems in a wide range of settings.