Training TechNOLAgy-Style

TechLearn 2019 attendees discover how to use technology to take their training to the next level.

Some 500 TechLearn 2019 participants were in it to win it in New Orleans, LA (aka, NOLA) this September:

  • They strapped on GoPro cameras and roved the city to meet Mission Possible challenges in a mobile game created by Geoteaming.
  • They identified their strengths and areas for improvement using the Constellation program during the opening keynote by TechLearn Chief Learning Evangelist Michael Allen.
  • They strategized new ways to utilize technology in training in a Design Thinking workshop with learning experience design expert Phylise Banner.
  • They played for points and merchandise in the TechLearn app developed by Bluerabbit.
  • They tested the latest training technology during demo sessions.
  • They learned from keynoters such as Verizon's Lou Tedrick; Area9 Group's Ulrik Juul Christensen, MD; and “Peak” author Anders Ericsson.
  • They put on their creative caps to brainstorm how to use tools in innovative ways in a Tech Mash-Up with Artisan an E-Learning's Diane Elkins and Amy Morrisey.
  • One hundred of them put their game faces on during the GamiCon co-located event in partnership with Sententia Gamification that featured the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Game, hands-on learning labs, iBeacons Ambassador Adventure, and Gamification Project Throwdown (see below for the award winners).
  • Fifty of them traversed the Big Easy to cook meals, taste wine, and immerse themselves in augmented and virtual reality tech at co-located event Innovations in Training.
  • They even honed their skills at '80s arcade games such as Pac-Man and Tron at a special event at Barcadia.

The grand prize: the know-how and practical applications of training technology attendees took back to the office, plus some valuable new connections added to their contact lists. Now that's what we call a win-win!

GamiCon 2019 Gamification Throwdown Awards

Excellence in No-Tech Gamification Design
Scott Provence, Rule the World: The Game for Writing OKRs                      

Excellence in eLearning or Web-Based Gamification Design AND Overall Outstanding Use of Gamification for Learning      
Javier Velasquez, Cash, Inc.

Best Use of Narrative                                                                                  
Sharon Goza, NASA Anti-Harassment Virtual Training Application

Best Use of Surprise and Delight                                                            
Amy Morrisey, Tiffany & Co. Shoplifting Prevention

Blazing New Paths to Innovation

By Alaine Carrello, Manager, Culture and Communications, Verizon

Training magazine’s Innovations in Training (IIT) in New Orleans was a journey that explored creativity and innovation in new ways, including:

  • Looking at, smelling, and tasting wine, paying particular attention to where our eyes were and what we visualized during this multi-sensory experience and envisioning how we can improve the way we transfer this sensory knowledge from our brains to other people. 
  • Learning from neurosurgeon-turned-entrepreneur and Revinax CEO Maxime Ros how the company’s virtual reality platform provides learners with a surgeon’s point of view—and literal hands-on experience.
  • Discovering how Tulane’s Small Center for Collaborative Design uses community-driven ideas and scrappy problem-solving to accelerate innovation that is more equitable and inclusive.
  • Exploring lessons learned by Police Officer David Gaines, head horse trainer for the New Orleans Mounted Patrol, and choreographer JoAnna Mendl Shaw of The Equus Projects from their interspecies work with horses and humans and what it teaches us about physical listening, strategic thinking, and problem solving. 
  • Helping “sim mom” deliver a baby with critical medical issues at the Ochsner Clinical Simulation and Patient Safety Center.
  • Cooking dinner with medical students at Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first teaching kitchen to be implemented at a medical school. The center’s “inverted classroom” model is making learning stick, while closing the gap around doctors’ knowledge about food and nutrition.
  • Touring the Urban South Brewery, where co-founder Kyle Huling talked about creating a culture to hire the right people who share a vision for creating a great product for local beer lovers. 

When it comes to innovation in training, it’s not just about the technology that can help us. It’s about learning what makes you creative, being intentional about how you can apply that creativity to adapt seemingly irrelevant innovations, and knowing what causes awe and delight —for both you AND your learners. 

Join Training magazine for the next Innovations in Training in Orlando, February 26-28 (

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.