In my former life, I was a bit of a trade show junkie. Having worked for retail companies the Autumn/Winter round of shows, exhibitions, and supplier meetings started in August and finished in September culminating in the glamour of London Fashion Week! This season things are slightly different. Firstly I’m on the “other side” – selling rather than buying and secondly I’m not discussing hem lines or the ecology of bamboo as a material, but whether mobile technology has been harnessed effectively by the learning and development community.
Saffron developed The Bribery Act Challenge last year – a revolution not just in terms of technology but also in terms of approach to learning. We invited Learning Live delegates to take up the challenge and experience the next big thing (to use a fashion term) first hand. So overwhelmed were we by the response, we had to go and buy another tablet the next day – two were simply not enough for everyone who was interested.
For a while now Saffron has been developing solutions that operate cross-platform – it’s our standard because we believe in future-proofing as much as we possibly can. Yes, some large scale businesses are challenged by almost obsolete hardware, and software that harks back to the good ol’ days, but we think that’s all about to change – and this change will not necessarily be attributed to a computer company that has a fruit in it’s name. This autumn, Windows 8 will be unleashed on the world and this new focus by the world’s biggest software producer to industry will have a dramatic effect on how people use technology in their everyday working lives. Designed specifically for mobile devices Windows 8 along with rising numbers of tablets and smartphones in circulation means that the way an individual physically interacts with their computer has changed. Sliding your finger rather than moving your mouse, pinching images rather than clicking to enlarge – user interaction with hardware has become somewhat more engaging.
Imagine a learning solution that uses this advance in technology and combines it with a “serious gaming” approach to instructional design. Each and every one of us has that little bit of competition in us – after all, ultimately we all like to win-win what, is your decision. The Bribery Act Challenge immerses the learner in a familiar office scenario, guiding them through a series of questions and answers, trials and tribulations, awarding points for correct behaviours and deducting if the decisions weren’t quite right. As the story unfolds the learner is forced to make decisions and more importantly live with the consequences of their decisions. What this results in is a two-fold immersive environment – first the telling of a familiar storyline, dealing with the consequences of decisions and being rewarded for making the right decisions, and secondly harnessing the tactile nature of mobile technology to physically involve the learner too. The third factor, in the case of The Bribery Act challenge, is the rich illustrations in the course. Our characters are from the modern-day, hand-illustrated so that they’re a little familiar and with perhaps just that little bit of tongue-in-cheek.
There have been some similarities for me this week however. The first is the venues – historically around this time of year I’ve been ensconced at Somerset House admiring the inimitable street-style of British fashion. This year I stood within the gaze of St Paul’s and met an eclectic group of people who powerhouse the development of some of the country’s (and the world’s) biggest organizations. Both groups of people are leaders in their own fields and can influence some real changes in behaviour. The difference is that now I’m not looking at products available only next year – Saffron’s learning technology solutions are available to you now.
If you think you’re up to The Bribery Act Challenge, or tried it at Learning Live and would just like to improve your score – drop us a line and we’ll organise to meet with you. Or, if you’d like to set yourself ahead of the rest and want to discuss how either cross-platform technology or serious gaming learning approaches can add value to your business, please form an orderly queue.