The technology landscape – 4 things you need to know

08 January 2018 by Mark Lynch

It’s a new year and it looks certain to be one of the most exciting yet when it comes to the advance of technology. While developments like AI, VR and AR have been talked about for some time, we think this year will be when this starts to get real for customers. We’re excited about bringing these innovations to our customers as part of our ongoing commitment to product innovation.

We’re especially looking forward to going on a journey around AI this year because we think that’ll make the biggest impact on employee performance and deliver the best value for money over time.

Of course all of this blue sky thinking has to work back in the real world. This means we have to be conscious of what customers need to do, to be able to use these advancements. In the end, a lot of this comes down to web browsers!

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Totara

Totara 11 will be released by the team in New Zealand in February and we’ll roll this out to our customers shortly after. Totata 11 is an important release because it contains all of the features you’ll need to comply with GDPR regulations.

Whilst previous versions allow you to comply with GDPR, version 11 provides a much more scalable solution to what could be a pretty onerous challenge for many organisations.

Totara 11 requires browsers that are called Evergreen. For the uninitiated, this means version 11 (purely by coincidence) of Internet Explorer plus the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and so on.

Evergreen browsers are frequently updated without user intervention and soon, every browser will be like that. There are lots of advantages for you in moving to Evergreen, outside of your LMS.

Our stats tell us this actually won’t be a big deal for many customers but we’ll manage the rollout carefully to make sure there are no surprises.

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Adapt

Later this month version 3 of the Adapt open source framework will be released. This is an exciting release because it gives us full xAPI compliance and this promises to open up a world of much richer data that will allow us to really improve and personalise the learning journey.

This version also requires Evergreen browsers so you’ll need Internet Explorer 11 or above for this too.

If you know this causes you a problem don’t panic. Our tech team will continue to support older browsers (but on the previous framework without xAPI) until September 2018 and you’ll be able to delay your upgrade till then if you need to.

Please do bear in mind though that once you upgrade to version 3 there’s no reverse gear. So you might need to think this through for your authors and for your users.

So what do I do to get ready for all of this?

The browser impact of all of this is pretty routine and the key message is not to panic. However, you should do these four things to make sure you’re ready:

  1. Test your browsers – you can do this quite easily and our support team can help you access the metrics on browser usage by your learners if you need to
  2. Talk to IT – if you have an issue ask your IT team what their plans are for upgrading browsers. Chances are there’s a corporate plan in place that you can influence, or at least benefit from
  3. Talk to your learning consultant – if you have any worries, let us know
  4. Get ready early – there’s a real benefit to you in having modern browsers for your learners in terms of user experience, security and performance. So get your browsers upgraded sooner than later so you can get on with your day job!

Get in touch today if you’d like more information on how we can help you to prepare for these changes.

 

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Mark Lynch
Chief Technical Officer

Mark has been with Learning Pool since 2010. In that time, he has helped shape the technical and product direction of the company. He led the development of Adapt, a project that has revolutionised the mobile learning experience, not just for our customers but across the industry. Prior to joining Learning Pool, he held a variety of roles including software development manager, SCRUM master, product manager, and technical architect. Today, Mark is focused on driving our innovation agenda and leads a large team supporting 2 million learners across all our products, alongside over 20 technical and product specialists within his team.

 

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