Remember that scene in Jurassic Park where the T-Rex escapes? It’s raining heavily, it’s dark and the children are in the car, shaking with fear, too scared to even breathe. The T-Rex (who we’ve recently witnessed swallow a live goat) stamps around for a bit in the mud, sniffs the air, makes a few terrifying noises, and then looks through the window, teeth dripping, the hard scales on its skin emphasised by the rain…then the girl shines a torch in its eye…and…
…the pupil shrinks. It actually reacts to the light!
When I saw that at the cinema there was an audible gasp from the audience. This was a lifelike dinosaur like we’d never seen before. And the film was full of them. Running around eating each other!
Running around eating people!
And all totally convincing too! Suddenly CGI was good. And CGI allowed film-makers to become God and to create whole new worlds.
It was AMAZING.
But the sad fact is, it was overused.
Far from being Gods, film-makers became Shiva, that destroyer of worlds. What started as something used sparingly and effectively in 1993, became Jar Jar Binks in 1999, used entirely unnecessarily and to widespread horror.
Often when I look at the e-learning industry I see the same thing happening. Bandwagons get regularly and enthusiastically jumped on without all that much critical thinking, the latest and next “best” thing comes along, and everyone runs around to make sure they are saying and doing the same thing as everyone else, as if somehow being different isn’t innovative, it’s being behind the times. Is there any other industry like this, or is it just ours? And so often, just like in those films, that “best” thing gets used to death, and used inappropriately, and everyone lurches on again.
Learning Technologies is a great exhibition, but we’ve chosen to stay on the fringes again this year – and I’m more proud than ever to be part of something different and a member of a team which isn’t just the biggest learning business in Europe but also isn’t resting on its laurels … but is constantly looking to be out of the ordinary instead. Innovation is good, and personally, I’ve always quite liked being different too – not for the sake of it, but not being afraid to apply data to research, challenge a dominant orthodoxy and call it out where it’s being misused or misstated: standing out from, rather than following the crowd. Can you imagine where our industry could be if more people asked questions rather than assumed answers?
Our approach is one of many reasons why at Lumesse we’ve got incredible, top brands and leading L&D departments working with us, and there are just as many reasons some of those have been with us for longer than many in our industry have been in business. We keep innovating, keep changing, and above all, keep delivering effective learning that learners love and businesses get the results they want from.
And at the end of the day isn’t that what it’s all about?
So I’ll be popping along to Learning Technologies this year to have a look around – but I’ll be spending most of my time a short walk down the road at the Lumesse Learning Lounge where we’ll be doing something different. It’s free, and you’ll get the benefit of insight-driven learning consultancy from our experts if you’d like it – proper data sitting behind learning decisions and design, not anecdotal stories or generalisations.
Or you can just come in to sit down and have a coffee (on us) while you read the 70:20:10-gamification-mobile-video brochures you picked up at Learning Technologies if you like – we can do all those things too of course, and much more. And if you’d like something different to read there’ll be our free learning magazine, The Curve, on hand as well.
One thing we can promise you for sure though is there’ll be no dinosaurs, bandwagons or Jar Jar Binks to be seen anywhere near us ….