How the ‘MicroLaunch Online’ game has become “a resounding success”   Firstly, what is  MicroLaunch Online ? For those of you who don’t know, MicroLaunch Online is a game designed by  Mike Roe    and developed by  Totem Learning  for those starting out in the market research industry. It provides the perfect entry route to an  MRS qualification  as the participants take part in six research projects whereby they must keep within a budget whilst being up against the clock. On average, the game takes around an hour to complete and you can play it as many times as you like giving you the chance to improve on your results.    With this in mind, the game proves to be invaluable to business and management students and we’ve had several business schools try this game out with an overwhelming positive response. The list of users are:  Manchester Business School ,  St Gallen School of Management  in Switzerland,  Bradford Business School ,  MSRA  in Kenya,  Plymouth University  and  Cranfield School of Management .  We are proud to say that the game has had  over 600 participants  from all over the world which includes undergraduates, masters students and young researchers with typical comments on the game being the likes of “ fantastic ”, “ enjoyable ” and “ engaging ”. The feedback from staff and programme leaders has also reaffirmed the success and positive impact the game has had on their institution and students. A  lecturer at Manchester Business School  stated that “ all 95 Masters students enjoyed the session as much as I did ”.  Helen Oldfield (from MRS)  called the game “ a resounding success ” which is amazing for us to hear. Our aim is to make learning something people actively want to do and we believe games can be used to do this.  The game encourages the development of important  soft skills  needed in the modern day professional world. Skills such as management, communication, leadership, teamwork and organisation can’t always be learnt in a classroom setting. Our games work in a way whereby an individual can develop them at their  own pace  and come away with useful assessment feedback. The future for the game looks bright as the  Swiss Market Research Society  has signed up as of 2018 and the  Dutch MOA  expect to have completed their addition of a Learning Management System. It’s a great thing to add to any programme looking to develop people into professionals.     Licenses are £30 (+VAT) per person but there are specific deals for schools, higher education institutions and corporations.

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How the ‘MicroLaunch Online’ game has become “a resounding success”  

Read about how the game ‘MicroLaunch Online’ has been a success in Management and Business School all over the world!

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       ‘Johnny English Strikes Again’ and VR?   Yes, once again pop culture and the world of technology collides again. But what’s exciting is the fact that VR headsets are moving from TV shows to the big screen in a national favourite: the  ‘Johnny English’ franchise . IMDB have summed the plot up as the following: ‘‘Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analog methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success’.  We, at  Totem Learning , have developed our own experiences using VR headsets which we showed many schools at the  National Enterprise Challenge  last month and it was certainly a hit with the younger generation. Perhaps they are slightly more competent with the technology than ‘Johnny English’ seems to be. The trailer actually mentions the term  “virtual reality”  alongside how it’s all an  “immersive”  experience which is great publicity for the field of VR and technology in general.  It’s interesting to see how once ideas like this were as part of ‘sci-fi’ or as a ‘gadget’ that didn’t really exist, however, it is fair to say that in this  digital age  we are seeing more of these ‘gadgets’ used in everyday life.  So how do we at Totem Learning use VR?  Well we can’t quite say that we are taking part in anything remotely like what ‘Johnny English’ does but VR is used in our games to create simulated environments whereby a player can  learn and develop skills  through game play. It has proven to be very successful in improving information retention as well as engagement ,  making the learning experience something people  want  to do as opposed to feel they  have  to do.  The use of virtual reality (VR) is forecast to grow massively by  2021  and be an industry worth billions. From  2014 to 2018  the number of VR users worldwide gre from  200,000  (all of whom were innovators or hardcore gamers) to  171 million  (which include a far broader market whereby innovators and hardcore gamers are not the majority). It is  fast-growing  and more and more industries are choosing to embrace it. After all, it is only a matter of time until it becomes very  mainstream  and the film industry has already started embracing the idea and showcasing its use. But whilst it’s generally been associated with entertainment, Totem Learning are on a mission to show how it can be useful within the  Learning and Development industry  as well as much more.

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‘Johnny English Strikes Again’ and VR?

How is the latest addition to the film franchise using VR and what do we at Totem Learning think about the future of VR?

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       Kids and Video Games: Is it always a negative thing?       In this day and age it’s not uncommon to hear statements like “kids are glued to the screen”, “they’re addicted to their phone” or that “video games are too violent!”. Whilst there are certainly some problems associated with the younger generation growing up in a world where technology is everywhere,  it is not all bad .  Having a generation that has been raised with mobiles, laptops, tablets and so on means that things become  easy . They are  quick  when it comes to learning how to use a new piece of technology, they can  teach parents/grandparents  how to use it and they are familiar with the existing technology already. With this in mind,  Totem Learning  find that making the shift from generic video games to learning games is not that challenging. Our game,  ‘Unlock: Employability ’, is specifically  catered towards the younger generation . The game is designed to have all the ‘ fun ’ of a virtual game but the focus is on  development of skills and learning . Our team of artists have created an island that the game is set on and the game is multiplayer which encourages group work (this will end up building the base skill of teamwork when it comes to  employability ).  Our games are  interactive  and encourage the player to make active choices just like in the real world. We want to change the way people think about games. It is  one of the biggest industries in the world  and there is massive potential especially since we are well and truly in the ‘digital age’ and have been for a while. Totem Learning design  bespoke games  for all industries and we’re continuously looking for the next challenge. A study at  Oxford University  suggested that children who play around 1 hour of video games a day end up being more sociable, happier and calm. However, kids often play a lot longer than 1 hour but perhaps if this time is being spent largely learning rather than fighting villains or racing cars, we may be on to a winner. I think the best thing we can encourage is for kids to play video games but to also go outside and learn about the real world. For one, it will improve the action they take in the game as well as keeping them healthy and engaged in the real world as well as the virtual ones.  

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Kids and Video Games: Is it always a negative thing?

We often hear negative things about games and gaming but what are the benefits of having a younger generation who have grown up in a digital age? How have Totem Learning adapted to create something helpful using games?

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       Project Managers: Can I be one?       Project Managers are in  high demand  now more than ever. Project Management is no easy task either. It require an individual to work under  high pressure  and  against a clock . However, every organisation needs one because of exactly that issue - things need to get done, and get done well. Project Managers need to be able to negotiate a schedule for work and make sure everyone is working to it. This can be quite the task, especially if you’re handling projects that require an  international scope  or network.  Almost every industry needs them too so it’s important to know exactly what is expected when deciding to take on such a role. You can’t just be good at one thing -  multitasking  is essential. However, with such a role comes the opportunity to advance quickly. So what  skills  do you need for such a role? Well here are a few of the main ones:     Planning and organisation      Dealing with failure and creating a solution      Communicating ideas and schedules to a team      Maximising resources and cutting back on costs      Handling pressure and unexpected issues     These skills often take time to develop and experience is a must. However, at  Totem Learning , our games test your competence throughout a series of levels. They are designed to be engaging, better for information retention than other methods and can be adapted for companies with branding and so on! Rather than learning in a conventional way or through another dull  E-Learning solution , we have something that is far more enjoyable whilst still developing the employee’s soft skills at the end. One  case study  showed that  89.6%  either agree or strongly agree that organisations have  benefited  from employees taking courses in Project Management.    Our game, ‘ Unlock: Project Management ’, also allows an opportunity to see your progress and even provides an assessment at the end. It’s ideal for anyone wanting to develop such skills. The  University of Liverpool  tried it out on a group of students and saw an  overall increase  in grades. It is certainly something employers should be investing in for a greater return and employees that are trained and aware of the requirements for such a position.

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Project Managers: Can I be one?

Find out how Totem Learning can help prepare you for a role that is so in demand!

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       Got an idea? We can make it.       Perhaps the biggest misconception about Totem Learning is the fact that we only create certain types of games with certain focuses. You could not be further from the truth!  Here at  Totem Learning  we challenge ourselves on a regular basis by creating games for a range of industries and all with different focuses. Of course we aim to be one of the key players in the  Learning and Develop industry  but that is not our only avenue. We are always keen to work with a range of clients and holding our  unique consultations  to come up with a game that fits the requirements of the clients, bears in mind the game mechanics and that is enjoyable and stimulating to play.  Whether it is a game focused on makeup, sports, history, English literature, languages, practical skills or whatever you have in mind you can be sure that Totem Learning will offer something for you! We  don’t believe in setting restrictions  and shying away from something that appears to be completely different to games that develop professional skills. That is the point of our   bespoke games  ! We have our ready-made   products   available to buy but we are also keen to keep the creative juices flowing and come up with the next exciting app or game!  We have a strong team of artists, tech experts and business people who are there to advise you on the best moves for  your concept  and our meetings with clients in the past have proven to be insightful, fun and a learning experience in itself. We always end up learning about a new industry or organisation and in turn, they learn that we actually do a lot more than what they initially thought.  So, if you do have an idea for a game please do get in touch. We hold great consultations that are friendly but also honest, so if anything, we can tell you the potential of the idea and what could benefit you!

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Got an idea? We can make it.

Do you have an idea for a game? We’re the people for you! Come along for a consultation and see what we can do for you. You may be surprised at how many different things we can do…

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       Work Experience: How Totem Learning can help you figure it out       At the age of 15 or 16 years old, the idea of your future career sounds daunting. Most people have no clue what they want to do and most avenues aren’t explored in mainstream education. So when they tell you to  “find work experience”  it can really seem like a demanding task. For the aspiring medics, work experience in a hospital is a must. For aspiring bankers, of course experience in a banking environment is useful as is a solicitor’s office for aspiring lawyers.  But what if you have no idea what it is you want to pursue?  Or, if you want to be your own boss, how can you get experience doing this?  Totem Learning came up with a solution called ‘ Experience Works ’. This game is designed to give you a taste of what it’s like working in a variety of industries from  ‘Health and Beauty’  to  ‘Hospitality’ . This way, players can be immersed in a series of  different environments  whilst learning what it takes to fulfil a role in a particular setting with particular demands. We believe that before looking for real life work experience, playing our game  prepares young people for the expectations of employment  and  enhances their professional skills.    ‘Experience Works’ teaches young people about  job applications ,  interviews ,  health and safety  as well as  practical application . It really is worthwhile investing time in learning these skills. Not only will you impress your interviewer, it’ll reassure them that you are mature and ready to be in a professional work space. Since our games are virtual experiences, they are  engaging  at all stages and can be played multiple times to allow for  improvement . They are ideal for the classroom environment, particularly as part of  Citizenship or PSHE lessons  where careers and future plans are discussed.  

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Work Experience: How Totem Learning can help you figure it out

Knowing what you want to do at such an early age is often not possible which is why we have designed a game that prepares people for work experience in a variety of industries through teaching them about job applications, health and safety and more. This should make it clearer when it comes to choosing the right environment to carry out your real internship!

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       Totem Learning: Challenging Your Ideas    It appears that innovation has been a problem for UK businesses in recent years. We have ideas, but no one is pushing for those ‘good’ ideas to be ‘great’. Nick Ismail wrote in 2017 that  ‘only 28% said they are innovating successfully to drive growth and increase revenue’ . This is a shocking statistic to many who believe the  UK  has some of the best small businesses to offer….you’re right, we do. But, having said that, we are suffering from a  lack of initiative and drive . Shane Schutte writes that  ‘over 1,1000 businesses launch everyday, of the top 25 businesses in the world, only 2 are of British origin’  which is again, quite surprising since we’ve always been a contender in business. Not long ago, Birmingham was labelled the ‘ workshop of the world ’ and we had inventions and innovators cropping up everywhere.   But what does  Totem Learning  do that other companies shy away from? We deliver the honest (and often harsh) truth to businesses with ideas.  Our consultations  may seem like we’re nit-picking but after a recent consultation with a Midland’s based company, they were amazed with the result. What they had ended up with at the end of the consultation was an idea that went from having potential to one that was solid and excellent. Our consultants,  Aaron  and  PJ , offer two angles. PJ provides creative ideas that mean out-of-the-box thinking which produces interesting ideas and Aaron is the challenger. He will critique all ideas and keep asking those all important questions: “ why? ”, “ how? ” and “ what? ” as well as many more. It seems like a simple concept but it’s something that is quite unique to Totem in many ways.   Our consultation service is part of our  USP . We want to distinguish ourselves from other companies who are too quick to say “yes, great idea”....when it’s actually average. The team really are  experts  and have a range of experience which means their advice is based on what has worked in the past and what is possible for the future. Of course, you have to go into these consultations with an open mind. Sometimes your idea will need a lot of thought and work and is actually at the beginning stage rather than the end. This can be frustrating but Totem’s energy and  enthusiasm to find solutions  and  encourage innovation  in the UK make it worthwhile. If you are in need of a consultation, we are more than happy to discuss any ideas and take it from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

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Totem Learning: Challenging Your Ideas

Learn more about Totem Learning’s consultations and how we seek to improve the UK rates for innovation with our unique approach.

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       10 qualities every good leader should have        One of our successful serious games at  Totem Learning  has been ‘ Unlock: Leadership ’. There appears to be a growing need for strong and good leaders across all industries. Our game covers all the necessary skills needed at  Level 2 training . This includes things like  negotiation ,  teamwork  and  strategy  along with many more. The game certainly helps improve these skills and allows you to reconsider what areas you need to develop. But what qualities are needed in a good leader? Well after reading a few online articles, looking at forums and focusing on what we already know, there seem to be ten qualities:      Getting involved   One of the best things a leader can do is to get involved. Be a significant and useful member of the team. You will have qualified team members who want to be listened to but ultimately they still need the assurance that they are reporting to someone who understands any issue instantly and can sort it. Working together allows for a more harmonious working environment as everyone feels like they are contributing to something bigger.      Coaching    A leader should be a leader because they have had enough experience handling a variety of situations with generally a good outcome. It would be useful to act as a mentor to your employees, especially those who stand out as possessing early qualities of leadership. It may be interesting to see what they do when you pass on your wealth of knowledge. They will look up to you as a good example of ‘how it’s done’ and this can reassure a team and restore confidence in what you say.      Integrity   Being honest and having a set of principles you stick to is important. People need a leader who is constant and stable. It’s good to know where you stand with them which can speed a lot of things up and avoid confusion.        Loyalty    Loyalty is essential. You should always have the welfare of your company/organisation and your employees as a driving force behind your choices. No one wants a leader who is ambiguous when it comes to allegiance.      Communication    The common phrase is ‘communication is key’...but it really is. Without good communication, no one knows what is happening or what is going to happen. An organisation needs a leader who is able to communicate success as well as problems to the employees or team in an effective way. They also need to be approachable and refrain from ‘talking down’ to someone as that will most likely only cause resentment.        Good decision making   Whilst there may be many good ideas thrown out in a discussion, it takes a good leader to take the best from it and apply it without making the other ideas feel invalid. It’s essential for there to be someone who steers the ship in a particular direction and is decisive when there is a time limit.      Charisma   Charisma goes a long way, especially when needing to convince people that they can put their faith in you to represent the company as the ‘boss’. Having charisma also means you can be persuasive, eloquent and likeable which are all great qualities in a leader.        Vision   A leader should have an end goal for the organisation, or at least goals along the way to reaching that end goal .Without the vision, there is very little enthusiasm and incentive from the organisation to work hard or place their trust in you.      Humility   No one likes arrogance. A leader should be aware of how they come across and being humble will only make you more likeable. Your work and efforts will speak volumes anyway so there is no need to come across as self-centered. People will only be quicker to critique than praise if you lack humility.      Cooperation    If there is ever a disagreement, a good leader should know how to cooperate and make things happen rather than arguing. It’s better to move forward and find a solution and that happens through redistributing workload and listening to what the team are saying.

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10 qualities every good leader should have

The one thing every organisation needs is leadership in order for things to go as smoothly as possible. But what does it take to make a good leader? How can Totem Learning help with this?

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Why are governments all over the world investing in VR and AR for Education? 

Totem being a UK-based company are always keen to work locally as well as globally all in the name of improving the learning experience and teaching in an interesting way. Read about how countries around the world are seeing real potential in this industry and why the next few years are set to be exciting…

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       How VR headsets are the answer to experiencing the world in a new way   A few years back it would be fair to say that many people avoided the idea of using  Virtual Reality  systems because there was hostility to the idea of choosing VR over ‘real life’ experiences. However, as it has developed and more and more people are beginning to use VR within several industries, there has been more curiosity about how far VR can go in providing a fulfilling experience. I mean, can it?  Many people would still argue that it will never be able to provide anything close to the sensation you experience when you’re in the real location but it can improve certain things at least. Some applications have been created,  Google Expeditions  for example, that are designed for students to be “immersed under the water and into imaginary space suits to experience life as explorers and astronauts”. It’s a fantastic way of  educating students  on what it takes to actually be in those situations, what to expect and how to go about things. Students, for the first time, are able to see impossible to reach corners of the earth through just one headset. This application is already being used by approximately  one million  children in the UK and schools love it.  Some of the benefits of this are of course the low-cost. The headsets are cardboard and the app on smartphones cost only  $15.00  meaning the experience is affordable to many.   Totem Learning  have created similar experiences using VR headsets, an underwater experience as well as an island activity where you have to travel around it and collect points at once you reach a target. This helps you get familiar with headsets, opening up a world of possibility. We brought our VR headset along to the  National Enterprise Challenge  and the feedback from the students was brilliant. They all loved trying it out and finding out what they can see and do with it.  The idea behind using VR headsets for educational purposes proves to be a good one. Students are asking more analytical questions, retaining information better and discovering a potential passion.  Lots of  geographical issues  can be incorporated and emphasised within these games so that children can see (almost first-hand) what damage we are doing to the environment which will hopefully make them more aware of their own habits. It’s a  global trend  at the moment and countries all enthusiastic to see what will come of it.

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How VR headsets are the answer to experiencing the world in a new way

Find out how the global education system is embracing VR headsets in the classroom and what impact it has on the students ‘discovering’ the world…

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       A Beginner's Guide to 'E-Learning'     What is it?   We hear the term ‘E-Learning’ mentioned in many conversations but not many of us know what it is, the benefits of it, current trends and future possibilities. To put it simply, E-Learning is the use of electronic media to assist in the learning process, usually in the delivery of a course completed online or on the system. This idea was met with some cynicism but eventually it caught on and now almost every school and business use some form of E-Learning to help develop and train people. It was designed to make learning more engaging and to move with the times as the possession of mobiles, laptops and tablets became common. It’s very much still about interaction, however, which is important to maintain the same atmosphere.   Why use it?   There are many benefits of E-Learning, the first one being that you learn when you have the time and at your own pace. There generally tend to be deadlines but they only help you improve self-discipline, time management and organisation. You can learn without being in the classroom environment which means that the course is accessible to a greater amount of people. eLearningNC  claim that studies have shown that students retain a greater amount of information through ‘E-Learning’ as opposed to instructor-led classes. It’s also very cost effective as a result of all this and staff/students feel happier taking part in something that isn’t typically mundane. Being an electronic system, it is also easy to track progress.     Current trends   elearningindustry.com published an article that looks at the current trends for 2018. What seems to be a big part of the new training is the use of VR and AR within E-Learning which makes for more exciting training. These kind of developments are using equipment like headsets that are becoming more and more commercially available and cheaper to buy in bulk for organisations and institutions. Another one is the use of intelligent assistants (AI) like iOS’s ‘Siri’ who help aid you along the process and understanding. Gamification is also a significant aspect of the increase in E-Learning. Courses are far better when there are elements of gaming are incorporated within them as there is a reward system and a visual reminder of progress. Workplace enablement is also a massive trend for 2018 as companies want all employees to be at a certain standard in order to have a strong workforce with the capability needed.        Totem’s involvement    But what does Totem have to do with this? We are a company that makes Serious Games using VR and AR which means we fall into the E-Learning industry. We are constantly working with clients all around the world to develop games that will help with learning either soft or hard skills and it’s been proven to be a success! We are keen to deliver an immersive experience that is both interesting and fun. We combine psychology, technology and game theory to make the perfect solution, which can be bespoke should you wish. We offer several online training courses which are all about getting people to fill their potential and progress. As it’s a field very much concerned with the development of technology, we are also having to think outside the box when it comes to using the technology available. Many of the trends for 2018 are used by us too as we want to make sure we are up-to-date on all the things we can do to make E-Learning worthwhile.

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A Beginner’s Guide to ‘E-Learning’

We hear this term used a lot nowadays but what does it actually mean? How and why are the world embracing ‘E-Learning’?

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       VR in 'Pop Culture'    At  Totem Learning , it’s fair to say that we all have our favourite ‘pop culture’ crazes. For me, there’s nothing like a good Dystopian narrative with a bit of Artificial Intelligence thrown in. What is interesting to see is the fact that I most certainly am not the only one with an interest in the portrayal of technology and the future of it within pop culture.  Funnily enough, TV shows and films have moved away from the more ‘out there’ concepts like space and time travel and looked closer to home. I’m talking about mobile phones, TV’s, tablets and so on. Things that are in almost everyone’s home. I suppose that’s the scary part about it all. ‘ Netflix ’ is airing it’s fourth season of the critically acclaimed series,  Black Mirror , which is centered around technology that is not yet developed...but that could potentially be developed.  Tech Journalist and expert,  Mike Murphy , was asked a series of questions in an  interview  and in response to a question about technology being used to restore memory (as seen in one of the episodes), he said “the Pentagon is  working on technology  to restore memory to those with neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries, but this is still likely decades from being something that we could all have access to, and it would probably just restore our own ability to recall memories”, but I would argue this in itself is exciting. Many of the episodes highlight the usefulness of such products and developments but they also show the negative aspects of technology.  Whatever the case, it’s remarkable to see how fascinated people are with  VR  and  AR  in fictional settings. It makes you wonder how people would react in today’s world. Totem have had the privilege of experiencing some of those reactions first hand with  our clients  (many of whom have never used anything like it before) and it really is all captured in their shocked and curious faces. We develop 'off-the-shelf' as well as bespoke games that use VR and AR to improve an individual's learning and development. Our clients, globally, have found there is an increase in performance amongst their employees or students which prove that there is a demand and a commercial future for such technology. Our  GuildWeldVR  game, for instance, allows someone to practice welding with a 3D printed piece of welding equipment without suffering the consequences of slipping up or costing the company money. This has only been achieved through the application of VR and AR to produce such an authentic experience.   I think we’re already in the age of technology but it’s really only the beginning. The rate of development is at it’s quickest and every week there seems to be a new version of something coming out.  Chris Milk , founder and CEO of VR company,  Within , states that: “Virtual reality is the 'ultimate empathy machine.' These experiences are more than documentaries. They're opportunities to walk a mile in someone else's shoes” and this is something Totem allows you to do with our  immersive experiences . It'll be interesting to see what the future holds! 

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VR in Pop Culture

With TV shows like Black Mirror gaining popularity, VR seems to be something on many people’s minds nowadays. But how does Totem Learning fit into all of this?

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       The Age of the Youth?   After last nights gripping match ending in despair for the England football team, it’s important we take a look at how much of a success it was. England got to the semi-finals...something we thought would never happen.  Gareth Southgate  played a massive role and showed us the qualities of a good leader. However, it is his young team that is the focus of the article. What the  World Cup  shows us is that even with a young team who are largely new to something of this scale, there is a drive and a determination to prove themselves. I came across a nice quote about the youth by  Robert Kennedy  who argues that “this world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease” which is something I think we can see here.  What gave the game some added momentum yesterday was the activity on social media sites like  Twitter  and  Facebook , platforms predominantly used by  young people . It’s fair to say that we live in an age where the opinion of the youth is becoming more and more important. Their voices are put out there...and people are taking note. Big brands are targeting young people because of their social media influence and fearless attitude when trying a new trend. Totem saw this at the  National Enterprise Challenge  where so many students rushed over to try the  GuildWeldVR  game, without knowing much about the product) which was a contrast to the teachers and business people who stood back at a distance and observed with some scepticism before being convinced. The enthusiasm of the young people was what made our day brilliant. They really showed the right attitude and early signs of being potential entrepreneurs themselves.    Many people have compared football, or sport in general, to  business . It’s all about teamwork, communication, strategy and leadership ultimately. Totem believes these are skills that we need to push amongst the younger generation to make them ready for the world of work and reach their potential. The world cup has hopefully inspired many to go out there and achieve their own ‘goals’. What we offer is a series of  L&D  serious games, e.g.  Unlock: Employability , where young people discover what it takes to be a top candidate in the world of work (if that’s a route they want to take). Employers will see this as something that gives candidates the edge. If they know a student has completed these games and done remarkably well, there will be a ‘ talent pipeline ’ which means companies will know based on performance if they are hiring the right person for the job without wasting time. Yes, we may not have got through to the finals in the world cup but it sure has got us all thinking about the potential of young people. I suppose you only really know how good someone will be when you see how they tackle the game.  

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The Age of the Youth?

With the defeat of England last night in the World Cup 2018, we have a look at what positives we can take away from it all and how football links to business skills.

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       How are food companies using 'gamification' in training programs?     What is ‘gamification’?   Gamification is essentially the idea of applying the style of a ‘game’ with rules, points, systems and so on with another activity or agenda to further education, marketing plans, business engagement and more. This is something Totem Learning has been involved in from the off-set.  It’s an industry set to be worth billions so many companies are looking to work with companies that offer this kind of VR experience.   How are they using it?   The Grocer recently posted an  article  about how food companies like ‘Eat’ and ‘Itsu’ are installing computer-game style learning programs across their stores to train employees on how to interact with customers and learn necessary skills for the workplace. They are working with UK-based company, Attensi, who have developed “simulations to generate virtual workplace scenarios”. They analyse the data and give feedback on an individual’s performance which is helpful in determining what they need to improve on and what they’re already good at.     How does Totem also use it?   Totem also develops games to help with learning which has proven to be a very interesting and popular field. We are committed to working with clients to create bespoke packages to help people understand the business as well as identifying gaps and strengths. Totem are currently in talks with ‘Mitchells & Butlers’ now about a potential venture so the future for gamification in the food industry is looking bright, but we work across a range of industries so the opportunity really is endless.    What impact does it have?   I think it’s fair to say that for Totem, Attensi and other companies who are involved in creating games that can fit into a professional environment, teach skills, offer feedback and prove to be enjoyable it has a great impact. Our statistics alone have shown that when these kind of games are used in professional spaces as well as schools and other institutions, there has been an increase in positive results showing improvement and engagement.

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How are food companies using 'gamification' in training programs?

Food companies, Eat and Itsu, recently collaborated with Attensi to develop a game to teach their employees basic customer service as well as other workplace skills.

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       Totem Takes Telford: The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge 2018    Wednesday proved to be an exciting day for Totem Learning. We were given VIP invitations to set up a stall at  The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge , situated in Telford this year by Ben and Michael Dyer, the organisers of the event. If you looked at the scale of the event and the length at which they went to in order to inspire children and give them a platform to see what it takes to excel in the world of business, you would not have thought this had been going on since just  2012  after the two overheard people talking in a coffee shop about children lacking the skills for employment.    The event was to begin at 10 am, leaving the team around an hour or so to set-up and network. Our stall certainly looked techy. We had a TV showing clips of some of the games we’ve developed, a laptop connected to a  3D-printed welding tool  which proved to be the most popular attraction and a couple of leaflets which we handed out to explain to people what it is we do.  As soon as word got around that there was a stall that looked at VR, everybody wanted to come along and see what it was all about. It was wonderful to see the products drawing people in. Not only did it make our job easier, it reminded us that we make games that still generate excitement across all generations. The school kids were our real advocates however. Mark, one of developers, was glued to his seat with a constant influx of children all desperate to beat their scores and their friend’s scores on the welding game. Who would have known welding would be so appealing to Millenials?  One of the students from  Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy  said this was “way better than learning about it all like this”. It was great to see the students teaching each other how it works, proving to us that our product was easy to grasp and ultimately ‘fun’. Olympian,  Patrick Huston , also tried it out and was instantly set on beating his own score. We had quite a few businesses coming up to us, curious about what we do. After a quick chat from Helen, Spencer or Hana you could see a sparkle in their eyes at the prospect of future collaborations.  Just before we were about to pack up, the ceremony began with speaker  Theo Paphitis  among others including last year’s The Apprentice winner,  James White . Helen and Hana even managed to get a photo with Theo before listening to him inspire students with his own journey. The whole event was a brilliant experience and hopefully Totem will continue to travel and captivate people.  

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Totem Takes Telford: The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge 2018 

Totem Learning attended The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge this Wednesday which was a fantastic event to encourage young people to get involved in learning skills and entrepreneurship. Find out how it went here…

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       Two Days with the CNIB       Last week, Totem Learning met with two representatives, Len and Kevin, from the  Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)  to discuss ideas around developing a game to help raise awareness for blindness as well as teach those who are visually impaired (and their families) some day-to-day skills.  Every year over  50,000  Canadians alone lose their sight. It was figures like these that got us interested in the scale of this project and the real impact we could have on so many lives. Len emphasised how, whilst Canada have a good system in place, due to the country being as vast as it is, so many people lived in remote locations which meant it was hard to have regular face-to-face contact with them. Over two days, Totem and CNIB came up with so many exciting ideas. The process made us all think a lot about the needs of such a specific market, the accessibility of games for the visually impaired and ways to use augmented reality to help. It’s fair to say that everyone had something to contribute which made for a great discussion, leaving CNIB confident that they had come to the right place.  Kevin, one of the representatives, lost almost all of his sight a while back and was very interesting to talk to. We discovered how he learnt and practiced things using apps on his iPhone and what kind of tools are in demand. His story of being a music producer, former DJ and businessman was incredibly inspiring and spurred us on without a doubt. One of our potential ventures was looking into developing an existing serious game of ours, The Business Game, a successful game used in over 10 countries that teaches business skills to young people interested in entrepreneurship and emphasises the importance of decision-making. However, the challenge for us was finding a way to make it accessible for visually impaired people with the same ambitions.  Alongside this, CNIB were also keen to look at using augmented reality to help teach people everyday skills such as frying an egg, making a cup of tea, organising a cupboard or using their cane amongst other things. The technical team had a mission on their hands as they had to find ways to make it possible, effective and not overly expensive as there was a large demand. Increasing the independence of a visually impaired person was at the core of this idea and it appeared to be something that would have multiple positive outcomes. At the end of it all, Totem and CNIB summed up a couple of potential projects with great scope and external collaborations as a possibility which filled both sides with enthusiasm. The prospect of working on this project appealed to us because it meant democratizing learning and giving everyone a chance to discover a love for learning which is something Totem are passionate about.

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Two Days with the CNIB

Find out how Totem Learning and the Canadian Institute for the Blind put their heads together to tackle a brand new challenge…

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       Totem Learning with Len and Kevin    This week we have been working with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, exploring how  #seriousgames  and  #gamethinking  can help those with visual impairments. Len and Kevin were kind enough to share their thoughts on the two days we spent together in the video below. If you would like to talk to Totem about how we can help you explore how games can help our organisation please do get in touch!   

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TOTEM LEARNING WITH LEN AND KEVIN

This week we have been working with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, exploring how #seriousgames and #gamethinking can help those with visual impairments.

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       The Unlock: Employability Game        Unlock: Employability is a serious game for the education sector (aka game-based learning). It enables soft skills development for students through immersive, challenging, game play and team work. Set on a mysterious tropical island, learners must work together to solve puzzles and be selected for their dream job.  The game is a 3D, online game, designed to allow learners to practice their employability skills.    Here's what people think of it:   "We initially trialled the game in a lunchtime club and feedback from students was very positive - they said how much fun it was and wished they had more time to use it. So we extended the next session from 30 to 45 minutes which they really appreciated."   Careers and Work Experience Co-ordinator at a Warwickshire Secondary schools.   "Warwickshire County Council is delighted to have supported the development of this game for use in its schools help young people gain more of the skills and knowledge required in the world of work."   Glenn Robinson, Skills for Employment Manager, WCC.   Read more about it  here

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The Unlock: Employability Game

Unlock: Employability is a serious game for the education sector (aka game-based learning). It enables soft skills development for students through immersive, challenging, game play and team work. Set on a mysterious tropical island, learners must work together to solve puzzles and be selected for their dream job.

The game is a 3D, online game, designed to allow learners to practice their employability skills. 

Here's what people think of it:

"We initially trialled the game in a lunchtime club and feedback from students was very positive - they said how much fun it was and wished they had more time to use it. So we extended the next session from 30 to 45 minutes which they really appreciated."

Careers and Work Experience Co-ordinator at a Warwickshire Secondary schools.

"Warwickshire County Council is delighted to have supported the development of this game for use in its schools help young people gain more of the skills and knowledge required in the world of work."

Glenn Robinson, Skills for Employment Manager, WCC.

Read more about it here

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       Blazing the Trail for Female Tech Entrepreneurs    Helen Routledge, CEO of Totem Learning, is showing she is a women who means business. Author of the best selling book, Why Games Are Good For Business and one of the most sought after Serious Games Designers world wide has been a winner in the Women Who Achieves awards for the 3rd year running.  Blazing the trail for female tech entrepreneurs, Helen and her team use Game Design and Game Mechanics to make learning engaging and impactful, leading to improved career opportunities and individual development.   Helen won in the International category because her work with international clients such as The Prince's Trust and FTSE 100 organisations is central to Totems operations. Helen was also selected for the Judges Recognition Award. The Judges Recognition award is selected out of all the finalists. The unanimous decision from the judges, was down to the significant improvement, growth and initiative shown by Totem Learning, Helens leadership and drive and willingness to keep going under the most challenging circumstances.   Helen has overseen the company for the last 15 months and in that time Totem Learning has seen great success including significant revenue and profit growth. Totem has evidenced proven return on investment, increased achievement and performance for learners using its software solutions. This empirical evidence has resulted in Totem winning a Learning Technologies Award for Best Learning Game, against competition such as EY, RBS, and Virgin Atlantic.    Totem also secured the Coventry telegraph Export Award in 2017 and Digital Communications Company of the Year 2 years running (2016 and 2017).   Totem Learning is one to watch - a small development studio based in the heart of the country doing great things.   The Women Who…Achieves Awards are Awards to celebrate the achievements of women in business. In previous years Helen has won, Women Who Inspires (2016) and Women Who Innovates Through Technology (2017)  The judges are made up of business experts including Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo and Business Woman of the Year, Ian O’Donnell MBE, Owner of web Design company Real Point and National Councillor and Policy representative for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Coventry & Warwickshire, Paul Carvell, MD of the SFB Group and President of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Emma Heathcote-James, MD, The Little Soap Company.   The judges were impressed by Helen's business experience, achievements, innovation and drive and the impacts her team have made for their clients.   Helen also shares her business story in the I Am A Women Who book which was launched at on the day of the Awards.   About Totem Learning  Totem Learning is a leading, award winning developer of learning solutions which utilise game design and game mechanics (serious games, game-based learning or gamification).  Totem specialises in creating engaging, effective games for career development, raising awareness and behavioural change.  With a core suite of highly interactive, experiential learning games for business, Totem is pushing the boundaries of innovation in the sector, with multiplayer as well as augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology.   Totem Learning  has a product division, where games can be purchased via license fee, or businesses can commission bespoke games tailored to their specific training needs.  Twitter: @ teamtotem

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BLAZING THE TRAIL FOR FEMALE TECH ENTREPRENEURS

Helen and her team use Game Design and Game Mechanics to make learning engaging and impactful, leading to improved career opportunities and individual development. 

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       Celebrating our very own 'Women In Games' and 'Women In Tech'    The team at Totem are incredibly proud of our CEO Helen Routledge who has been shortlisted in 2 categories in the Women Who Achieves awards for 2018. Helen has been shortlisted in the Women Who STEM and Women Who International categories.  Helen has worked tirelessly to keep innovating in her field and is one of the principle thought leaders for using game design and game thinking for learning and development whether it be game based learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or Simulations.  Over the last year Totem has seen an increase is 64% in international reach and has seen great success across all aspects of the company. We have signed up new partners and our products can now be found on every continent. Something we are all extremely proud of!   “2017 was the toughest year imaginable both professionally and personally so I am absolutely thrilled to be finalist in 2 categories. The others nominees in both categories are exceptional women. I am honoured and humbled to be in such great company.”   Totem is such a vibrant place to work and there are so many opportunities where we can really impact people's personal and professional lives. Every single team member and partner is committed to the vision of using games to help people across the world.  The winners will be announced at the Women Who Achieves Awards on the 27th April at Coombe Abbey and we’re keeping everything crossed!

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CELEBRATING OUR VERY OWN 'WOMEN IN GAMES' AND 'WOMEN IN TECH'

The team at Totem are incredibly proud of our CEO Helen Routledge who has been shortlisted in 2 categories in the Women Who Achieves awards for 2018.

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