Atmosphere Inspires Edition 020

Sam Colyer
Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business. In this edition we’re looking at the topic of learning and how technology is supporting and enabling better learning experiences.

Stories catching our attention

UK primary schools receive internet safety training

Be Internet Legends is a collaboration between Google and Parent Zone offering teaching resources to UK primary schools covering internet safety. This is such an important topic, and best of all it’s a free initiative. Staying safe whilst using the internet is a growing concern for teachers and parents alike: it’s an ongoing challenge to stay up to date with what children are able to access these days, particularly if the risks are not properly explained or understood. We hope in time this great idea will be extended to offer similar teaching for parents who need to keep up to date with evolving technology and have the tools to heed the danger signs.

Successful startup "Practice" offers video based learning

Juggling a game changing business call with a newborn baby already had us impressed with Emily Foote, and that was before we read more about her educational technology startup Practice. The initiative looks at harnessing the power of technology for learning and is based around a set of video based offerings which focus on frequent practice, peer/self assessment and coaching. Best of all, video learning can be fairly cost effective for a business, so it's no wonder Foote was able to raise $4m in startup funding for a simple yet successful concept.

What else is happening?

Are your cognitive muscles ready for the digital era?

The way in which we learn is changing. It now starts at an increasingly young age and it's become important for cognitive muscles to flourish in order to progress in the digital era. As the "grew up with digital" generations enter the business world more consideration needs to be given as to how this ongoing learning can continue to be supported and nurtured. We wonder how many leaders are considering how rich and "fit for purpose" their current learning environments are, and what they must do in order to meet the needs of both the new and, let's not forget, older generations within business.

Is VR language learning the next best thing?

Are you one of the many who has used an app to learn a new language yet? New VR based language learning is taking it to yet another level. As with everything, there are pro and cons, with the argument against saying that learning a language requires input from both human and cultural elements. Visiting the country to immerse yourself in a language and the culture is a romantic notion isn’t it, but realistically how many of us have the time or money to take a six month jaunt abroad to do it? A happy alternative may just be advanced technology based learning, which offers you the chance to learn around your own circumstances.

Businesses need to respond to L&D disruptors

Apparently we want it all and we want it now when it comes to learning: the demand and expectation for ongoing, continuous, frictionless learning is only going to continue to grow.  This drive, lead by digital, will very much act as a disruptor to the traditional L&D approach. So what can businesses do to ensure they meet this demand? As a start, it helps to get to know your employees, think about age, ability, job type, past experience: one size may not fit all and personalised, relevant learning is definitely a good place to start.

Google's Duplex: a handy tool or a privacy concern?

We can't resist a robot based story here, and Google’s new virtual assistant Duplex is as good as any! Designed to sound like you to book appointments/make reservations on the phone, the assistant will be available later this year and is already receiving mixed reactions around privacy concerns. Google have since clarified that those on the receiving end of Duplex will be informed that they are liaising with a robot, but what if the receiver also happens to be a robot, and robots are just talking to robots, where does that leave us?!

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