The New Year is now upon us, bringing with it the biggest shake-up of public sector procurement in Scotland in recent memory. With the implementation of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014, 2016 will see a focus on simplifying processes and championing SME’s, along with encouraging sustainability and socially responsible purchasing.

Key changes include:
• Reduced timescales for tenders
• New contract procedures
• Increased likelihood of contracts being divided into lots

Public Contracts Scotland publishes the contract opportunities, and the Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is here to help you maximise your chance of bidding and hopefully winning some of the £8 billion annual spend by the Scottish Public Sector.

SDP offers free bid writing workshops for SME’s in Scotland to help you compete for and win public sector contracts. SDP will be running training sessions throughout Scotland in 2016 to help you navigate the changes and improve your skills when tendering.  So if you have only just started to consider about tendering or want to improve your bidding skills then SDP has a full range of courses to suit all levels.

Use the SDP’s website to access useful resources with hints and tips to bid better. Access the interactive Events Calendar which to view the full range of courses available over the next 6 months- book early as places are limited! Can’t leave the office? SDP offer a series of live webinars letting you enjoy training via your own PC.

The resources on the SDP website are free for anyone to use, but our workshops are only available to Scottish SME’s. To be eligible, you must have less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50 million Euros. You must also have commercial premises in Scotland (includes home office for micro businesses).

Forthcoming events are listed below:
12/01/2016 2.1. Understanding framework agreements – Glasgow
20/01/2016 0.1. Introduction to working with the public sector – Perth
21/01/2016 1.1. Is the Public Sector for You? – Fife
25/01/2016 Glasgow & Clyde Valley City Deal Supplier Event – Glasgow
27/01/2016 3.2. Expanding your marketplace – Lothian
27/01/2016 2.3. What the Buyer looks for in your tender - Scottish Borders

Events in February & March:
09/02/2016 3.3. Keeping the contract, the importance of Contract Relationship Management – Edinburgh
16/02/2016 2.1. Understanding framework agreements - Dumfries & Galloway
17/02/2016 1.2. Using Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) & other portals – Fife
17/02/2016 1.3. Winning work through the supply chain – Falkirk
24/02/2016 1.1. Is the Public Sector for You? - Argyll & Bute
08/03/2016 0.1 Introduction to working with the public sector – Edinburgh
15/03/2016 1.3. Winning work through the supply chain – Fife
16/03/2016 1.2. Using Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) & other portals – Dundee
22/03/2016 1.2. Using Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) & other portals - Argyll & Bute
23/03/2016 2.2. Completing a PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) - Dumfries & Galloway
23/03/2016 2.1. Understanding framework agreements – Alloa

More information on these events can be found on the Public Contracts Scotland website.

The 2015 E-Learning Awards winners were unveiled at the glittering gala ceremony on 25 November.

Over 700 guests gathered at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London to celebrate the strength and depth of successful e-learning that is taking place worldwide.  The gala was hosted by Deborah Frances-White and Phill Jupitus.

E-Learning Awards and Learning Technologies organiser Mark Penton from CloserStill, commented: "It was the toughest competition to date and congratulations are in order to all of the winners and everyone that was shortlisted.  The Awards programme has been a true recognition of the breadth of e-learning worldwide and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved, particularly our sponsors, partners and judges".

The winners were:
Best e-learning project - not for profit sector
Gold:  Red Balloon of the Air - Red Balloon Learner Centre Group
Silver: ARMS PelvicSim
Bronze: NDNA Maths Champions

Best e-learning project - public sector
Gold: OPERATION GRITROCK - British Army and CDS
Silver: Channel 4 and Acteon
Bronze: Transport for London in partnership with Kallidus

Best e-learning project - private sector
Gold: ERR (Engineering Real Results)
Silver: BSH Hausgeräte
Bronze: Travis Perkins in partnership with Kallidus

Excellence in the production of learning content - not for profit sector
Gold: NHS Leadership Academy in association with LEO and the KPMG led consortium
Silver: Channel 4 and Acteon
Bronze: Female Genital Mutilation: Recognising and Preventing FGM - Home Office and Virtual College

Excellence in the production of learning content - private sector
Gold: Grow Mobile - TalkTalk
Silver: Lloyds Banking Group - Take A Second
Bronze: TUI Travel's Multi-Device Retail Solution with City & Guilds Kineo

Best use of mobile learning
Gold: Hair Level - Bespeak
Silver: Vodafone and the Fuse mobile app
Bronze: Eye Education App from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and perceptive, powered by Elucidat

Best use of social and collaborative learning technologies
Gold: Cass Art Training Online - DESQ
Silver: Citi
Bronze: LAS and BP

Best use of e-learning to ensure compliance with external regulations or internal policies
Gold: pwc and Brightwave - Be smart. Be secure
Silver: UK & Ireland Tesco Property Mobile Enabled Site Safety Inductions - Olive Learning

Most innovative new learning product
Gold: Barclays Digital Driving Licence
Silver: BranchTrack
Bronze: ERR (Engineering Real Results)

Best learning game
Gold: LAS, OxfordSM and Vodafone
Silver: QuizWiz- Zurich Insurance/Tata Interactive Systems

Best simulation or virtual environment
Gold: ERR (Engineering Real Results)
Silver: DALI Simulation - LIQVID and Philips Lighting Systems
Bronze: BNY Mellon: Managing Risk in Your Team with EmpowerTheUser

Best online distance learning programme
Gold: Learna and University of South Wales
Silver: MyLifetime - Lifetime Training’s Online Personal Training Diploma
Bronze: Academic Offer - The College of Estate Management (CEM)

Best use of blended learning
Gold: Transport for London in partnership with Kallidus and Interact
Silver: ERR (Engineering Real Results)
Bronze: The M&S Way - Atticmedia

Best learning management system implementation
Gold: GAME Learning Zone - GAME Digital and Growth Engineering
Silver: The Future Is Here - How Rentokil Initial moved to the future in 12 weeks
Bronze: NHSBSA in partnership with Kallidus

E-learning designer of the year
Gold: Paul Welch - City & Guilds Kineo
Silver: Joshua Roberts - Kallidus
Bronze: Robert Doyle - KPMG

E-learning team of the year
Gold: Rentokil Initial - Content Development Centre
Silver: The TP Group elearning team
Bronze: E-Learning Support Team, Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering, Headquarters Defence College of Technical Training

E-learning development company of the year
Gold: Virtual College
Silver: Mind Click - Changing the game
Bronze: Learning Pool

Learning Technologies outstanding contribution award
Gold: Rob Hubbard - LAS
Silver: Rod Knox - Virtual College
Bronze: Andrea Miles - Lumesse

e.learning age outstanding learning organisation award
Gold: Sponge UK
Silver: ERR (Engineering Real Results)
Bronze: Virtual College

learning design live is a new free conference specifically for anyone involved in learning tech design, offering in-depth advice and the chance to share ideas with other design specialists at this autumn's new conference at the World of Learning.

Who should attend?

  • Instructional Designers
  • Instructional Development specialists
  • Instructional Design analysts
  • Online Course developers
  • Project Managers
  • Online Instructional technologists
  • E-learning design and support
  • E-learning developers
  • Instructional technologists
  • Learning technologists
  • And anyone else involved in learning tech design

Topics include:

  • Diagnostic assessment, Lucy Hodge, Instructional Design Consultant, Walkgrove
  • Action mapping from process to production, Dr Richard Hyde, CEO, Mindclick
  • Gamify your content, Mike Hawkyard, Managing Director, Amuzo
  • A guide to branching scenarios, Samantha Yates, Instructional Designer, Unicorn Training Group

Venue Details:
Location - World of Learning, Hall 1, NEC Birmingham
Date - 29 & 30 September

learning design live programme available here

The 11th eLearning Africa will bring together decision makers and practitioners from across the education, business and public sectors to debate, share and take action on all themes surrounding access, openness, skills, pedagogy, sustainable development, best practice and more.

Africa is on the move. African economies are growing. Governments and businesses are looking at the future with optimism. The African Union has set out its Vision 2063, a view of what Africa might look like in fifty years. But how can vision be turned into reality? How can Africa be truly transformed? How can education and technology contribute to the transformation? And what role could a transformed Africa play in shaping tomorrow's world?

Theme 2016: Making Vision Reality

eLearning Africa 2016 will look at the role education and technology are playing in achieving the African Union's vision of a "transformed continent". How can we accelerate the pace of change? What needs to be done? What resources are available? How can vision become reality?

The following subthemes are offered as a guide to submitting your proposal. However, we welcome any proposal on ICT for development, education and training that fits under this year's overall theme.

  • Formal education: schools and higher education
  • Strengthening workforce skills
  • Widened horizons: innovative collaborations
  • Sector-specific best practices
  • Real learning taking shape
  • Practice, methods and tools
  • Emerging tech for learning

Contribute your research, stories, thinking, experiences and expertise by submitting your proposal before January 18, 2016. Find out more here ...

Adobe have announced the introduction of Adobe Captivate Prime, a new self-service Learning Management System (LMS) that enables learning professionals to easily and efficiently setup, deliver and track any form of learning.

This new cloud-based offering, complements Adobe’s range of eLearning tools (including Adobe Captivate 9), enables specialists in learning and development, training and corporate human resources departments to take charge of the learning environments they manage and boost impact by developing skill-based learning programs.

“We are aware of the challenges that organizations face today in rolling out learning programs and keeping employees engaged,” said Matt Thompson, executive vice president, Worldwide Field Operations at Adobe. “Captivate Prime is designed to make the learning management process intuitive, quick and easy to roll out, so users no longer feel IT dependent. The learner-first approach helps build a culture where employees don’t dodge learning, but embrace it.”

In addition to providing ease-of-use and end-to-end learning management, Captivate Prime helps organizations:

Offer a stimulating learner experience: The new Fluidic Player provides learners with a unified playback experience for virtually any kind of content, so they can seamlessly play videos and access PDFs, PPTs, DOCX, SCORM and AICC-compliant packages, all without having to download plugins – minimizing latency. Fluidic Player also allows learners to bookmark or add explanatory notes at any point in their content, which they can quickly reference later.

Establish a learning culture and deliver impact with gamification: Enable learners to view their progress within a personal dashboard that indicates courses completed or pending, recommended courses, skills attained, badges received and information on activities that can earn them more badges and points. The dashboard also launches a leaderboard where learners can compare their performance against peers. Additionally, the dashboard recognizes and rewards learners when they exhibit qualities such as initiative and involvement, or when they achieve specific learning milestones.

Deliver mobile learning even when offline: Now learners can resume learning even when they are offline. The Adobe Captivate Prime app downloads learning content onto a tablet, makes it available for offline access and auto syncs when the learner is back online.

Maximize learning impact: Achieve business goals faster by developing new skills and closing skill gaps. Organizations can now get actionable insights by tracking all online, offline and certification training taught to their employees or external partners.

Adobe Captivate Prime is priced at US$48 per year per registered user and is exclusively available in the English language.

Read the full press release from Adobe.

Read a comprehensive product review from Craig Weiss at eLearning24/7.

The 7th Open Educational Resources Conference, OER16: Open Culture, will be held on the 19th-20th April 2016 at the University of Edinburgh.

The vision for the conference is to focus on the value proposition of embedding open culture in the context of institutional strategies for learning, teaching and research. The conference will be chaired by Melissa Highton, Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services at the University of Edinburgh, and Lorna Campbell, OER Liaison at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA Digital Education Manager.

OER16 will focus on:

   -    The strategic advantage of open and creating a culture of openness.
   -    Converging and competing cultures of open knowledge, open source, open content, open practice, open data and open access.
   -    Hacking, making and sharing.
   -    The reputational challenges of openwashing.
   -    Openness and public engagement.
   -    Innovative approaches to opening up cultural heritage collections for education.

Follow #oer16 to keep up to date with all conference news.

CALL OPEN: The call for submissions is now open and closes 16th Nov.

Announcing the launch of Captivate 9, Adobe believes it will drive responsive eLearning forward by empowering trainers, educators and instructional designers to rapidly create virtually any kind of eLearning content for both desktops and mobile devices.

Captivate 9 now extends authoring capabilities to mobile devices through the all-new storyboarding app Adobe Captivate Draft*. When used in tandem with Captivate 9, Captivate Draft automates the process of converting ideas into storyboards complete with more complex eLearning elements, such as content and question slides and branching logic. Once done, simply import the storyboard from the app into Captivate 9 and continue building your eLearning course.

Courses created in Captivate 9 can be enhanced using SVG graphics or by selecting content from a new library of more than 25,000 exclusive eLearning assets, such as games, interactions, scenarios, characters and more. To achieve complex outcomes, course designers can incorporate multi-state objects and responsive motion effects, without any programming. Once a course is ready for distribution, users can take advantage of single-click publishing to Captivate Prime, delivering a superior learning experience for learners while maintaining control of the learning environment.

The upgrades price from Captivate 8 is £428.40, whilst a new full license will cost £1,047.60.  Captivate 9 is also available for £22.86 per month as an annual subscription basis.

A free trial of Captiavte 9 is available from the Adobe website.

* Exclusively available for the iPad in the Apple iOS App Store