Nic Laycock has been involved in learning for over 40 years. He is a UK based independent consultant and MD of Amos Laycock Consulting, a South African registered company. He is currently embedded consultant to Eskom, the South African electricity utility, which is one of the world’s largest electricity producers.
Nic has consultancy roles with clients across 3 continents. He has developed a special interest in the community aspects of technology enabled learning and blogs on this subject and on other aspects of social learning and the role of learning in performance support (http://bit.ly/jghdIE and http://bit.ly/K8OpTR ).
Nic has a passion for change led through learning and culture development. Prior to creating his company in 1997 Nic was Organisation Behaviour Director of a global consultancy. His earlier corporate career culminated in the role of International management Development Manager for a multi-national during which time he won the coveted UK National Training Award.
Nic is a regular Conference speaker and writer and is a moderator of the recently launched #chat2lrn
Contact him as shown above, or via Skype: NiccLaycock
EMEA Reporter: It's Really All About Communication December 18, 2014
A recent international survey of learning and business professionals reveals that 90 percent consider foreign language skills of high importance for global business success. Yet 41 percent of those responding believe that lack of foreign language skills—particularly in English—is hampering communication across borders in their organizations. Here is what one German company is doing about that.
EMEA Reporter: Ringing the Right Bells with eLearning November 20, 2014
Can eLearning support development of complex physical skills? Is eLearning useful for hobby activities that support a balanced lifestyle and relieve stress? Consider how mLearning and eLearning contribute to success in campanology … or just enjoy the video clips in this musical, mathematical, holiday-themed article!
EMEA Reporter: Vincent Van Gogh—Painter—and Learning Coach! October 30, 2014
Vincent Van Gogh had no artistic education and suffered from depression and poverty all his life, yet created his own path of learning and improvement. What lessons did he leave for us? Ger Driesen has a few answers to that question.
EMEA Reporter: Driving Culture Change Through Online Social Learning September 25, 2014
At UK financial services company LV=, new skills were needed to drive a culture change to develop frontline staff excellence. The answer? “A social learning environment and sharing culture that ensured learning was quickly made available from one staff member to another.” Here’s how they did it.
EMEA Reporter: Redesigning Performance on a Macro Scale August 19, 2014
Nick Shackleton-Jones is BP’s director of online and informal learning. What are his strategic imperatives in an enterprise spanning every continent?
EMEA Reporter: Liberia—Great Need and Great Difficulty July 24, 2014
Liberia, a nation ravaged by a 14-year-long series of civil wars, is attempting to bootstrap its university and the infrastructure needed to support education. Read about the challenges, and possible opportunities to help!
In Puglia (Apulia), a region of Italy with substantial economic challenges, crowd-sourced learning clusters support young companies, many in the technology sector, as they transform the historically rural economy. Leveraging technology and social media, these clusters provide significant business-skills development to new entrepreneurs. Read about this movement here!
EMEA Reporter: Reaching Difficult Places—Colombia May 29, 2014
In South America, the remote and rugged terrain of Colombia’s coffee-growing region presented serious challenges to education. The answer turned out to be eLearning. Read here about the success of Universidad en el Campo, which has become a model program throughout South and Central America.
EMEA Reporter: IPACA Learning: Learning Unhinged! April 24, 2014
There are some amazing things going on in education, in places you might least expect. Here is a look at learning in the twenty-first century, as experienced by those who have never lived anywhere else. Please open the links, watch the videos, and reflect on where learning is going. Are you ready for this?
EMEA Reporter: Don't You Wish You Had This Team Behind You? March 27, 2014
In an ideal world, an entrepreneur has access to state-of-the-art research supporting a great idea, access to sophisticated business-advisory services, and exposure through a global marketing network. The Learnovate Centre in Trinity College Dublin provides all of these to start-up businesses in the Republic of Ireland. Read about it here!
EMEA Reporter: Out of the Weak Came Forth Strength February 27, 2014
Ireland has always had a proud academic tradition. This article showcases Enterprise Ireland, which identifies good business initiatives in their start-up phase and supports them with exposure, advice, and funding. Learn about innovation and creativity at the cutting edge of the learning industry, in places where hardship from the EU financial crisis required new approaches.
How do you start a learning revolution in a small nation with few natural resources, surrounded by unstable neighbors? Begin by deciding that the survival of the country depends on better education of the young. Adopt the Internet and technology. Innovate an approach to the flipped classroom. Read this amazing story here.
EMEA Reporter: Passion, Energy, and Ambition in the Emirates December 5, 2013
Even under challenging circumstances, individuals with a big dream and a lot of passion can still achieve inspiring results. Here is the story of a very determined young woman with a very big dream.
EMEA Reporter: Know It All: A Portal for MOOCs November 7, 2013
The massive online open course, or MOOC, is a somewhat controversial development in tertiary education. At a recent conference in Athens, it was a hot topic among delegates discussing the impact of the global economic crisis on national education systems. Nic Laycock was there, and has this report on a recently launched MOOC portal.
Where are we headed with technology-supported learning? One direction may be an immersive mashup of the massive online open course (MOOC) and the massive multi-player, online, role-playing game (MMORPG). This combination could help students collaborate with their peers and with tutors in the same way that on-campus students enjoy. Learn about it here!
EMEA Reporter: Mobile in Action—a High-end Case Study September 5, 2013
Germany’s KWS has taken a new leap into the future, aiming to bring mobile delivery of highly complex power plant operator training into the workplace and beyond—into 24/7 access for employees. Here’s the story, and an interview with the developer behind it all.
EMEA Reporter: Seeking the Best for Those Who Have Little August 8, 2013
Macs and iPhones in poverty-stricken, remote and deprived communities in Africa? You must be joking! But that is exactly what iSchool Africa is achieving—putting high-end hardware and all the associated apps into schools. Read this story and you will feel good the rest of the day.
EMEA Reporter: New Pedagogies in Our Connected World July 3, 2013
Change has not only brought us new technologies, it is also making possible new ways of supporting learning. In this interview with Steve Wheeler, you will hear his thoughts on aligning “the reality that our future visions are rapidly becoming our present” with new approaches to learning strategies.
EMEA Reporter: Increasing Learning Is Easy (Jef's Law) June 11, 2013
With the evolution of the many channels available to people for learning, we are witnessing the emergence of an age in which talent and passion drive learning and performance. Jef Staes, a Belgian authority on learning and innovative organizations, has a lot to say on this topic, and this month Nic introduces us to him and to a great overview of his ideas.
Talent shortages are becoming a feature of life for many companies and many industries. The need is great, but qualified replacements are hard to find and hard to keep. A company in Holland provides serious games to help develop talent and to help identify the best candidates. Read about it here!
Being competent is only the start of high performance. Aristotle reminds us, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." The journey to excellence requires specific behaviors and values. Here is the story of the approach taken in a school in Hong Kong, and insights for your eLearning designs!
International learning delivery is a complex and rapidly changing undertaking driven by advances in technology and by global competition. There are few identified best practices, but the Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) is trying to find them through the think tank it has launched. Read about it here!
EMEA Reporter: Is Crowd Sourcing the Answer? February 7, 2013
Finding and verifying information on the web to support eLearning development can be time- consuming. In large organizations, “push” methodology (the LMS) makes eLearning manageable for learners, but elsewhere, it’s a “pull” world, with no help. Is there a way around these difficulties? A start-up in the UK is exploring how crowd sourcing can improve things for developers and for learners.
EMEA Reporter: Students Driving Change in Israel January 3, 2013
Technology has disrupted many traditional relationships between providers and consumers, but much of what goes on in education has remained relatively unaffected. There have been few “top-down” initiatives to change this. But in Israel, a new approach driven by the student body is innovating collaborative methods of study enabled by the social media. Read about it here.
EMEA Reporter: Immersive Training in South Africa December 6, 2012
Faced with an increasingly common situation in developing nations—economic growth that brings a huge influx of qualified but inexperienced professionals into a workforce that does not have enough experienced people to coach them—a South African electricity utility is innovating immersive simulations to give the new workers what they need. Here is their story.
Much innovative and effective work carried out in the emerging world, especially in using mobile technology to deliver learning, is unknown in Europe and North America. The European Training Foundation (ETF) in Turin, Italy, is becoming a clearinghouse for this information. Here’s a report on what they are doing.
EMEA Reporter: Back Channelling Takes A Step Forward October 4, 2012
The “back channel”—mainly a stream of participant comments on Twitter—has become a mainstay of conferences. The back channel adds value, extends the reach of conferences, builds personal networks, and supports curation—and that’s only the start! The back channel is global, as Nic Laycock reports this month.
EMEA Reporter: African Virtual School is Model for World September 6, 2012
Faced with a need to develop a wide curriculum on a mobile platform for delivery in Africa, and under severe budget constraints, Steve Dineen and Bronwen McConkey created an innovative approach that has been tremendously successful. Here is their story, and it is one that includes a transition of their methodology to the corporate marketplace.
EMEA Reporter: Parallel Working August 9, 2012
Is it possible that the human and emotional closeness frequently applied to collaborative working may be more than is necessary for effective working? An investigator in Norway suggests that greater effectiveness, productivity, innovation, and collaboration can come when people are released from “the constraints of having to work to established team rules.”
EMEA Reporter: Benchmarking Learning Performance July 5, 2012
Benchmarking helps us to understand the value of learning and to identify ways to improve it. Since 2008, Towards Maturity has been conducting a free ongoing study that distills the practices of top performers into a framework of six implementation workstreams – the Towards Maturity Model. The 2012 Benchmark Study is now open to organizations worldwide. Here are the details and how to participate.
EMEA Reporter: Spotlight on Africa June 7, 2012
Africa is always surprising. Nic Laycock brings a report of the creative solutions to big challenges that educators and eLearning professionals have devised.
Welcome to Nic Laycock, our newest columnist! Nic will be reporting each month on eLearning in EMEA – Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In his first column, his focus is on the comments of Keri Facer, keynote speaker at PELeCON12 in the UK, about the nature of learning in an uncertain future.