By Catherine Upton, Group Publisher, Elearning! Media Group
It’s been 14 years since the birth of the Best of Elearning! Awards. The first edition in 2005 featured 9 categories, 29 brands receiving 245 nominations. The 2005 class included GeoLearning, Centra, WebEx, Books 24×7, and Adobe. Many of these brands still reign under different owners. Yet, they represented the need for SaaS or Cloud systems, learner-directed online learning, and effective e-learning development tools. A lot has changed….yet much has stayed the same. In 2005, 49% of learning professionals reported they had referred an e-learning brand to a peer. In 2018, that figure is 85%. Professionals still look to trusted resources for information. The Best of Elearning! Awards were launched in 2005 to formalize this recommendation process through its online user’s choice awards format.
In 2018, the Best of Elearning! Awards recognized 73 brands across 23 categories with thousands of nominations counted. This year 20% of the brands are new to the awards program — continuing to inspire us with constant innovation. We welcome Strivr VR, Sumarian, Modest Tree, Brainier, and other first time honorees to the Best of Elearning! family.
We are entering an exciting time in the learning technology industry. We see Artificial Intelligence powered knowledge and data systems. Machine Learning enabling professionals to focus on strategic actions versus rote activities. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are entering the mainstream with Healthcare and Entertainment applications leading the way.
The heavy lifting in learning technology still lies at the feet of the stalwart brands that continue to innovate, evolve and inspire talent. These brands include Adobe, SumTotal Systems, a Skillsoft Company, Cisco WebEx, and Articulate who have earned honors every year since 2005.
We can’t forget the editors who have brought you these 14 years of innovation. John Watson, Jack Gordon and Jerry Roche have brought Elearning! Magazine to life — Earning 24 editorial, design, website and eNewsletter honors for excellence from the Western Publishing Association.
Thank you to you all who have voted for the Best of Elearning! this year or in the past. Thank you to the technologists and solution providers who innovate and inspire. And, a big thank you to John, Jack and Jerry for making it all happen.