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Home / Resources / Expert panel debates workplace learning trends in 2017

Expert panel debates workplace learning trends in 2017


The direction of workplace learning in 2017 will be discussed by leading figures in Learning & Development in a special online hangout this January.

Donald H. Taylor, Chairman of the Learning & Skills Group and the Learning & Performance Institute, Laura Overton, Managing Director of Towards Maturity and Kate Nicholls, Head of Learning Innovation at Sponge will be taking part in the hangout on Wednesday, January 18 from 3.00-3.30pm (GMT).

The live session will examine the key issues in workplace learning over the coming 12 months and identify areas of growth and opportunity. Learning professionals can ask the panel questions by tweeting #SpongeHangout before or during the event.

This year’s Hangout comes just weeks before Europe’s largest and most popular learning event, Learning Technologies 2017 (London Olympia, February 1-2). As Conference Chairman, Donald H. Taylor will be setting the scene on the hot topics at the event.

“A number of new technologies will move into the mainstream in 2017,” he said. “Many will be adopted for learning. The question is whether L&D is equipped to make best use of them, and whether it has the skills and mind set to work with the rest of the organisation.”

As Learning Technologies Designer of the Year at the Learning Technologies Awards 2016, Kate Nicholls of Sponge will be giving her perspective on 2017.

“I’m hoping this will be a year of confidence in learning technologies, where organisations have the courage to try new approaches,” said Kate. “Areas like virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are attracting a lot of interest. My focus is on making them useable for learning and accessible for organisations.”

Towards Maturity’s Laura Overton will be using the latest industry Benchmark Report, Unlocking Potential, to inform the discussion with key facts from the evidence-based research.

She said: “Our data shows that if we want to move forward as an industry in 2017 we need to take decisive action. That's why we did something a little different with our analytics this year. By identifying what top organisations are doing differently, we've highlighted some key areas to help unlock the potential of workplace learning this year."

It’s the second time that Sponge has hosted a learning trends debate, and this year the company has asked experienced L&D consultant, Julie Wedgwood to chair the discussion.

“Rapid change in the workplace has become the norm. For learning professionals this means that to successfully support work-based learning that drives performance it is vital to remain aware of the latest developments and trends,” said Julie. “This Sponge hangout will be a very worthwhile session for any learning professional looking to hit the ground running in 2017.”