E-Learning in France is à la mode

© fotolia – shocky

France is a country known for its savoir-vivre, cuisine and couture – but what about e-learning and related IT innovations? At the “French Pavilion” and in a session dedicated to French e-learning providers and experts, OEB participants will have the opportunity to see original inventions such as the robot Nao, and learn about the latest e-learning trends in France.


© Aldebaran Robotics

Looking for a personal assistant, who is tutor, playmate, home-caretaker and security all in one? Meet Nao, a 57 cm tall, walking, talking and even dancing humanoid robot, and get an idea of what the future of gaming, learning and companionship could look like. Created by the Paris-based company Aldebaran Robotics, Nao is a device with the ability to handle multiple applications. Equipped with a speech function and voice recognition system, a camera, an embedded computer, WiFi, two speakers and several microphones, Nao will be able to perform numerous activities in the realms of education, entertainment, home-care and security, by the time of its launch in 2011. The robot’s significance for edutainment lies in its role as a game machine, which creates an experience that goes beyond XBox and Playstation. The robot can ‘get into’ the characters of legendary figures, such as Zorro or Cinderella, and act out their stories to children, thereby blurring the line between the real and the virtual world. Along the same lines, Nao uses 3-dimensional skills to deliver educational programmes. According to Aldebaran Robotics, this list of applications is endless and limited only by programmers’ imaginations. For more information, please visit the website at: www.aldebaran-robotics.com


Another form of “edutainment” is presented by KTM Advance. The company develops Serious Games, which are used by firms to communicate expertise and training competencies to their (future) employees. The games allow the players better to understand the technologies and business strategies of the company, for which they are/will be working. MoonShield and StarbanktheGame are recent examples of Serious Games created for two leading French groups, in order to help them to effectively train employees.


MoonShield was designed for the Thales Group, who wanted to increase the reputation of their products and also to facilitate the recruiting process of 7000 highly-skilled engineers, who are needed in their worldwide locations every year. MoonShield is a management strategy game which projects the player into the near future, where he or she will have to use signature Thales technologies to defend the Earth from a deadly meteor shower that could destroy all civilisation.


Created for the BNP Paribas Group, StarbanktheGame introduces new employees to the structure of the group and helps them both to understand and experience how the banking business works in reality. The project is a fully interactive builder/management strategy-type game, featuring engaging game play, as well as an innovative pedagogical scenario. The player has to build the bank of the future in the year 2505 on a distant planet by investing and developing banking structures, activities and services while dealing with unforeseen market events. More information on KTM Advance can be found here: http://www.ktm-advance.com/index_uk.php


Expanding the limits of a “traditional” online tutoring platform is Teacheo’s state-of-the-art “Eclass”. By incorporating new features such as an equation editor, function grapher or a 3D viewer for mathematics, Google map synchronised viewing for geography or real-time translation for languages, Teacheo aims to improve the online knowledge-sharing possibilities for tutors and students around the world. The company also licenses its online teaching technology to enable other types of learning including professional training, coaching, language learning, gaming, etc. At OEB, they will present the current state of their projects, as well as the latest and soon-to-be-released developments. For more information: http://www.teacheo.com/blgen/begin.php


Advising international companies with regard to the implementation of e-learning solutions is the expertise of WhP International, the leading European localisation company. In light of current world market trends such as globalisation, purchasing-merging-acquisition or delocalisation, major international companies have to deal with increasing numbers of staff based on different continents. Along with this development comes the need for new training courses which are tailored to the local requirements of each subsidiary and can be deployed globally, efficiently and cost-effectively. Major companies are opting more and more for e-learning solutions and are facing the challenge of implementing these large scale projects: How to localise the most suitable e-learning module? How to define the adaptation level which is appropriate for each country? What is the role of multilingual terminology? Which mistakes should be avoided? WhP International will discuss the technological, linguistic and cultural challenges of implementing an e-learning programme across five continents while always bearing in mind the constraints of cost-efficiency, deadlines and quality. For more information: http://www.whp.net/us


The France-based companies Aldebaran Robotics, KTM Advance, LIBCAST, Teacheo and WhP International will take part in the session E-Learning Made in France on Friday, December 4, 14:30 – 16:00.
Accompanying this event is the “French Pavilion”, an exhibition booth, where the presenters, together with ITOP, PM Conseil and Cap Digital, will showcase their products and services.

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