Video Games: A Help or a Hindrance?         Recently I came across an article on this very topic and it struck me that since Totem Learning Ltd is all about using VR and AR to create video games and apps using game mechanics it would be interesting to see what the article had to say and try to relate it back to what we do.   The article goes on to suggest (with quotes from former President Obama and President Trump) that videogames are part of the issue surrounding violence especially with young people. However, research into that is still ongoing and it is not certain as to how much video games are to blame as there are several other factors that contribute to such violent acts taking place. The article then shifts to talking about the positive effects of video games which is important to note. Totem Learning has an article all about this ( read more ) but our own case studies such as the one with the  University of Liverpool  has indicated that playing serious games has actually improved grades, information retention and overall engagement.   One interesting thing the article did highlight was the demographic of video game players. Studies found that there was a higher proportion (31%) of women that were “gamers” compared to boys under 18 years old (18%). These figures definitely remove the stereotype of only young men playing video games. However, the overall proportion of female and male “gamers” regardless of age still demonstrates that more men play them. Whilst people have tried to connect the idea of video games and an individual displaying aggressive behaviour there is in fact no conclusive evidence that there is a link at all. Studies are actually showing that violence amongst the younger generation has declined as a result of video games becoming more popular.   Action games such as ‘first person shooter’ games aren’t always harmful either. Studies have shown that these gamers that play such games have improved visual processing skills as a result. Totem Learning’s serious  games  are designed to improve one’s soft skills but also to improve things like hand-eye coordination, problem solving, creativity, strategy and so on. We combine psychology with game mechanics and elements of Learning and Development to create games that are memorable, beneficial and that generate ROI and we offer consultations if a client or organisation is in need of a bespoke game tailored exactly to fit their criteria.      To find out more about what we offer please don’t hesitate to  contact us  today!

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Video Games: A Help or a Hindrance?

Many people have this idea that video games cause violence and aggressive behaviour but is this actually the case or are video games actually proving to be useful?

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       Project Management: Why playing our game can be a more beneficial route         Project Managers are in demand in the UK and around the world, more so now than ever. Training to be a Project Manager is not always straightforward as you either need to climb the ranks, do a degree in Management, get many many years of experience within one industry or sit through a conventional eLearning course. Granted, getting practical experience is vital and this should be something anyone who wants to pursue a career in Project Management does as the theory side of things won’t teach you everything.   But have you considered an alternative way to learn about Project Management and develop the necessary soft skills for the job? We have at   Totem Learning  . Our serious games, notably   Unlock: Project Management  , have done incredibly well at teaching people these skills in an engaging and beneficial way. We trialled the game at the   University of Liverpool   within a Msc class studying Programming with Management. The result were phenomenal and the pass rate rose to 100% as a direct result of using this game. It is one of our best-selling games and it has proven to also generate ROI which is something all companies are desperate for. If you’re going to invest in any software to develop the skills of employees or help them with their own ambitions, practical training partnered with our Unlock: Project Management game is the way to go!     Serious Games   are a whole new innovative way of learning and developing skills. Totem Learning are all about creating bespoke games tailored to meet your organisation’s demands and produce the most effective result. Our agile management system means everyone on the project is always informed and feedback is constantly encouraged so that the client walks away with something they are more than happy with. Using serious games as a way to teach professional skills is being done more and more simply because of ease of access, it is a fun way to learn and it is cost effective. Having a game that provides an interactive scenario-based activity at each level means that players remain focused and happy throughout.   The industry is a growing one and Totem Learning are at the forefront of serious games development and our games have won many awards. We are a finalist for the Lloyds Digital Business of the Year Award 2018 too as well as winners of Coventry Telegraph Awards 2017 for Business. We work with clients around the world and our Unlock: Project Management game is set to be trialled in 23 countries. These are only a few of the reasons why Totem Learning’s Unlock: Project Management game is the one to get all your employees trained in. The entire concept is to ‘unlock’ potential and develop and individual so that a company can become innovative which is something needed in the UK judging by the stats (  read more  ).

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Project Management: Why playing our game can be a more beneficial route

Why Totem Learning’s ‘Unlock: Project Management’ serious game is the one to use when training up employees and developing their skills.

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       Games=Grades: What Happened When University Of Liverpool Used Totem Learning’s ‘Project Management’ Game        Serious Games   are a growing market in the gaming world as well as the educational one. Aside from our corporate ventures,   Totem Learning   strive to work with as many  educational institutions  as possible all around the world. Recent information provided by  Plan International  indicated that roughly  23 countries  are interested in the pilot of this game,   Unlock: Project Management   and the success of this game is highlighted in a case study conducted with the  University of Liverpool.    In 2015, we collaborated with  Dr Ronald Dyer  in order to integrate and use the   Unlock: Project Management   game within a core module, ‘Uncertainty and Risk Management’ as part of the assessment method within their Msc in ‘Programming & Project Management’. The case study proved to show some fantastic results. Over the period from  2014/2015 - 2016/2017 , there was an overall increase in the mean mark from  58.4  to  66.4  and the pass rate went from  89.3%  to a phenomenal  100% . Dr Dyer stated that the results proved the game has “achieved its objective” and that it was “an example of good practice in Teaching and Learning”.     Unlock: Project Management   is designed to encourage players to  think like Project Managers  using high pressure single-player scenario-based gaming whilst covering project management skills needed at Level 2 training. Deal with  stakeholders ,  project scope ,  planning ,  issue management ,  risk management ,  reporting  and  balancing . The game is set on an island where you must provide low-cost sheltering for the affected population. Each of the six levels are scored and there is an opportunity for self-assessment at the end (  click here   to see game trailer).       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Playing the game with the  assessment feedback  allowed changes to be made to the style of teaching too. Dr Dyer noted that “ultimately this has led to co-constructed schema creation with students as to which theoretical gaps presented a challenge and the subsequent implementation of improved learning plans”. Totem Learning are all about finding new methods through  gamification, immersive solutions and digital experiences  to improve the way things are learnt as well as educate every generation on the   benefits of gaming     rather than focusing on the negative preconceptions. We asked whether, in terms of  ROI , it paid off and Dr Dyer more than affirmed this “the total value of ownership based on acquisition of the game far exceeds its monetary cost”, and as a result more  licenses  were renewed!   Totem Learning also hold  consultations  and provide a   bespoke service   so that any organisation from any industry around the world can benefit from our expertise. We are dedicated to improving things, being as innovative as possible which is something the UK needs (  read more  ) and in providing clients with brilliant games that do generate ROI. For more information   contact us   today and see how we can help you!

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Games=Grades: What Happened When University Of Liverpool Used Totem Learning’s ‘Project Management’ Game

Read about how grades improves at the University of Liverpool’s Msc course ‘Programming and Project Management’ when they used Totem Learning’s game…

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      10 Professional Skills and Why You Need Them       Organisation and Time Management   This is essential. On a daily basis, businesses face unexpected obstacles and a host of other issues so if you’re already ahead of the game and prepared, these inconveniences become minor rather than major. Managing time and prioritising work is a skill that has to be learnt whilst you are in that particular job. Having a work diary or a regularly updated calendar can make all the difference though. It is hard to keep track of everything going on around you, so it is worth investing a little time in organising as much as you can so that things look clearer.      Decision Making and People Management    If you happen to be in a role where you need to oversee others or a project then you need to be able to make decisions and have an answer to every query. This will restore faith in your ability and reassure your team who count on you knowing what needs to be done. Our game   Unlock: Project Management   can help develop these skills and has been a success in both educational institutions and has recently been something 23 countries around the world want to trial to improve the skills of locals! It is one of our best-selling   serious games   and has enabled many people to feel more prepared about it all.      Awareness of business conduct    First impressions are everything and no one wants to make a client feel awkward or worse, leave them thinking you have no idea what you’re talking about. Depending on your role and the industry you work in, dressing smartly and having a tidy appearance is a good start. Knowing what to say and (often more importantly) what not to say will be invaluable if you hold or attend meetings with clients. If you’re dealing with international clients it is worth understanding their business conduct and getting to grips with what works and what is a big ‘no’.      Creativity and Innovative     The UK is in desperate need of innovation (  read more  ) and companies are keen to employ people who have something additional, often called the ‘wow factor’. You need to be able to think outside the box and come up with original ideas or methods as to how things can be done! Totem Learning are all about innovation and   our consultancy service     is there to challenge clients and ourselves. We want to push ideas to the next level and that’s something all businesses should consider if they want to compete in a global market.      Critical Thinking and Problem Solving   As well as the ability to think outside the box, it is also essential for you to be analytical and think carefully about each idea or method. Problem solvers are key to an organisation as sooner or later, a problem most certainly will be encountered so to have someone on the team who is ready to tackle anything and find a way to make sense of something is vital. Our games can develop some of these soft skills, allowing you to gain insight into the kinds of scenarios where these issues may arise.      Negotiation   This is a tough skill to master as, depending on who you’re negotiating with, it can take a lot of patience and a lot of time. It’s worth seeing how it’s done by watching other people with more experience tackle it. Watching videos on body language, tone of voice, what to say and so on can be a good way to help give you some guidance although it won’t be the answer to everything as each negotiation is different and should be handled carefully.      Emotional Intelligence   One of the key things to understand about serious environments such as the working environment is that you are still dealing with people at the end of the day. Not everyone will have a good day or be ready to handle news, remaining calm in this setting and knowing how to approach people is important. Being aware of a mood change and knowing how to offer advice at the right time can really help support others.      Industry expertise    The best thing that can help reassure your colleagues is your expertise and knowledge of the industry you work in. You will be able to understand and make decisions far quicker and far more accurately if you have a grasp on the industry, market, global competition and future scope.      Ability to work under pressure and motivate    A lot of the time, the working environment can be stressful if there is an ongoing project or something pressing. Being able to juggle a few things links back to time management but it also means you have to juggle it with a calm and clear mindset. You have to be able to motivate yourself as well as potentially others so that the job is done before the deadline. Having a positive attitude and a strong work ethic certainly helps with this one.      Confidence    No one appreciates a ‘cocky’ or arrogant attitude but when discussing an idea or providing knowledge on a matter, you should appear confident in the delivery. This will mean people are less likely to doubt your abilities and it will mean you don’t come across as someone who will back down from an idea you believe strongly in.    If you have even a few of these skills, you are on your way to hopefully a successful career. You will come across as someone approachable, confident, intelligent and serious at the right times. Skills like this can be developed through E-Learning courses, but if you are looking to find a way to develop them in a way that is far more engaging and has proven to generate a ROI for organisations then   click here  .

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10 Professional Skills and Why You Need Them

What skills do you need to make you a success in the corporate world (or any organisation for that matter!) ? And more importantly, how can we at Totem Learning Ltd offer you a fun and engaging way to master them? Read on….

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       Flash to HTML5 Conversion with Totem Learning and Mitr Learning & Media      We’ve realised that a lot of content is powered by Adobe Flash and this is no longer going to allow newer programs to run. By 2020, it is predicted that roughly 84% of Flash content across the internet will not be viewable on desktop browsers unless they have the Flash plug-in which needs to be enabled in order for people to view the virtual content but that means jumping through a lot of hoops. E-Learning courses and learning games are going to be far more inaccessible if the conversion is not made which will potentially slow down the process for companies relying on such courses.  Totem Learning specialises in developing serious games and digital solutions whilst Mitr Learning & Media focus on innovative design and technology solutions that are respected worldwide by the likes of Google, Philips, HP and more.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We can help you make that conversion from Flash to HTML5 and make the entire process hassle-free with affordable prices! Learn more about what serious games are ( read about it here )  and the unique  service  at Totem Learning!    Contact us

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Flash to HTML5 Conversion with Totem Learning and Mitr Learning & Media

It’s something all companies and organisations who currently rely on Flash to consider quickly!

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       How did we end up here? : The History of Video Games      At  Totem Learning Ltd , we are passionate about all things ‘gaming’ and since it was National Video Games Day just yesterday, why not look back at where it all began and how we have managed to progress so rapidly in the space of just under 80 years? Technological developments, computer programming advancements and pop culture movements have all contributed to the popularity of video games, making the industry worth more than the film industry! Video games have been the subject of controversy since mental health and video game violence has become more of an issue in recent years, there are also many benefits of introducing kids to gaming at a young age ( read more ).      The 40’s: The First Stages of Computer Programming and Basic Games.    1940  - Edward U. Condon designs ‘Nim’ that is a computer that people play against when trying to avoid picking up a matchstick.     1947  - “Cathode ray tube amusement device” invented whereby a player tries to fire gun at a target.      The 50’s: Getting A Little More Sophisticated In Design…    1950  - Computer programmed to play chess with the help of Alan Turing.    1959  - students at MIT create ‘Mouse in the Maze’ on TX-0 computer which was a mouse in a labyrinth searching for cheese.      The 60’s: I Think The Space Race May Have Had Something To  Do With It    1962  - Steve Russell invents ‘Spacewar!’ the first computer-based video game, it spreads across the country.    1964  - John Kemeny creates computer time-share system and now it’s easy for students to write games and soon everyone is doing it.    1967  - Ralph Baer develops his “brown box”, a prototype that lets you play video games.      The 70’s: Time to Play A Role     1972  - Magnavox releases ‘Odyssey’ the first home video game and ‘Pong’, the arcade legendary game is created.    1974  - Maze Wars introduces first person shooter game.    1976  - ‘Adventure’, inspired by Dungeons and Dragons is first role-player game.     1977 - Atari releases video game console, Atari 2600 featuring a joystick.    1978  - ‘Space Invaders’ is introduced in Japanese and USA arcades.      The 80’s: Aracade-mania    1980  - ‘Pacman’ introduced in arcades and becomes fastest-selling game.    1981  - Nintendo release ‘Donkey Kong’ which features Jumperman, later to be known as Mario.    1984  - Russian mathematician, Alexey Pajitnov creates ‘Tetris’ which leaks through to Nintendo game developers.     1986  - ‘Reader Rabbit’ introduced to help people with reading skills.    1987  - ‘Legend of Zelda’ created, it’s a good year for RPG.    1988  - ‘John Madden Football’ is released and it’s a hit as it introduced gridiron realism to computer games.    1989  - Gameboy console is released.      The 90’s: All About The Console    1990  - Microsoft puts ‘solitaire’ game into computer system Windows 3.0.    1991  - Sega find success in ‘Sonic’ game in Japan and USA.    1993  - Due to bloody games such as ‘Mortal Kombat’, USA senate holds hearing on video game violence. Rating system is created as a result.    1994  - Blizzard releases ‘Warcraft’, a time strategy game that introduces players to the world of Azeroth.    1995  - Sony releases the PlayStation.       The 00’s: Are We All Just Simulations?    2000  - ‘The Sims’ game is the first simulation game that models real life. Instant success and it becomes the best-selling video game ever and popular amongst female audience.    2001  - Microsoft introduces Xbox.    2004  - Nintendo DS is released and ‘Super Mario Kart’ is very popular on it.    2005  - Xbox 360 is released which brings HD realism to the market.    2006  - Nintendo Wii is competition as it gets people interacting in an active way using the remotes and sensors.    2008  - ‘World of Warcraft’ becomes most popular Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game ever which redefines how we learn and relate to one another.    2009  - Mobile games and apps become popular such as ‘Angry Birds’.      Recent times: Gaming Has Taken Over The World!     2010 - Swedish developer, Markus Persson, comes up with addictive game ‘Minecraft’.    2014  - Free to Play games become a the new business model and prove to generate profit through in-game products and ads.    2015  - massive growth of eSports and online gaming championships.    2016  - games like ‘Pokemon Go’ mix augmented reality with apps and gaming. It becomes a viral trend.    2017  - Nintendo Switch means players can have a hybrid mobile and home console they can take anywhere they go.    2018  - it’ll be interesting to see where we go in the future… with the increasing popularity of VR/AR/MR and XR, the market is ever expanding. ‘ Serious Games ’ like those developed by Totem Learning are just an example of how gaming is taking steps to be accessible and useful in all industries.     The future of gaming is very interesting and new things are being created as we speak. It is an exciting time for gamers and game developers alike as the industry is being taken far more seriously now. Almost any idea you think of an be made into a game ( find out how )!      Source of timeline information: http://www.museumofplay.org/about/icheg/video-game-history/timeline

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How did we end up here? : The History of Video Games

Discover the history of video games from 1940 to 2018!

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       3 ways to get the most out of a consultation     When you have an idea, but you’re not sure how to take the next step or what you need to do to make that idea a reality in the end, it’s beneficial to attend a consultation.  Totem Learning  offer  consultations  (unique in their approach) for clients and organisations who have an idea but would like advice on a course of action. We are specialists in  gaming ,  serious games ,  gamification ,  VR/AR/MR/XR  as well as how to give your business some leverage using  immersive solutions .     1)  Research the consultants      Are they the right people/company to help you?    Are they easy to get in touch with?    Are they going to challenge you enough?     2)  Have an open mind     Don’t be defensive about your idea, learn from them and take advice    Take notes    Don’t go in with a fixed idea because they might point out flaws and tell you to take another route to get a quicker and better result      3)  Be prepared to answer questions      In order to gage the scope, you will need to provide some information on budget, target market/audience, logistics, expenses, future of industry and so on     It is good to have lots of questions and to be able to make it a two-way discussion      It is important to be  positive  in these meetings because that means communication will be easier and a  good working relationship  can be carried out from the very start.

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3 ways to get the most out of a consultation

Find out what things you can do to prepare for a good consultation!

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       “Yes, but have you considered Serious Games?”    When it comes to learning, there are so many different methods. You have the standard curriculum taught by a teacher in a class of students, you have eLearning courses, you have more interactive activities (perhaps using the famous smart board) and much more. But one question that isn't asked enough is "have you considered serious games?". The reaction to this question is often something like "what is that?". Hopefully this article will tell you more about why you should make the change to learning via serious games and why Generation Z are prime targets for this creative and beneficial way to develop skills needed for the future.    What are serious games?   It’s a good question. Not many people are familiar with the term ‘serious games’. The word ‘game’ tends to put many professionals off but they often fail to look into it further to see the  benefits  of introducing them to employees. However, I believe the best place to introduce serious games would be to kids. Serious Games essentially leverages the power of computer games for a new cause. They use the  mechanics  and  design  of a game but incorporate  psychology  and content that challengers players to learn and develop  skills . They need to improve a series of soft skills not usually taught at school, and yet expected by the time you apply for work experience. Serious Games provide a platform that is  cost effective ,  time-saving  and  secure . It is a risk free simulated environment where players can understand the consequences of decision making in any workplace or role. This is brilliant for school children and young people to get to grips with early on. They will be more than ready by the time they apply for a real job.   Why are children and young people such good targets for this?     Generation Z  (typically aged from 8 to 22 years old) are prime targets for these games. Of course, adults can use them for career development or scenario-based training, but serious games are a great use of the technology that this young generation are used to.  Totem Learning Ltd  allows for engaging learning to take place which increases information retention and overall performance. It is quicker for Generation Z to get to grips with it because many of the games can be played on  devices  they are more than familiar with.     Why it is better for development and career prospects in the long run?   Playing serious games means that you develop  observation , you see a change in your  behaviour , you can get a useful  assessment  on your individual skills as well as you can  replay  the game. Serious Games can monitor how engaged you are with the task and can evaluate your performance, telling you where your weaknesses are. This is why the opportunity to ‘replay’ is so key because each time, you will hopefully  improve . Skills like communication, teamwork, time management, efficiency and leadership are skills you can develop with serious games which eliminate the tedious process of an  eLearning course  and replace it with something fun whilst still keeping all the important information within the  game-play .   The future of the classroom   Serious Games is a  growing market  forecast to be worth  $6.6 billion by 2020 , but perhaps even more. The popularity of VR headsets means that consumers, of which Generation Z are key, are becoming far more familiar with the idea of virtual reality and augmented reality. In China, classrooms are already using  VR headsets  to help with teaching the curriculum and they’ve been more than useful when it comes to Geography lessons whereby a student can wear the headset and discover what life looks like underwater or in a desert. The uses of VR in the classroom can only expand from here which makes way for a very exciting future where people can understand and experience far more than before. At the  National Enterprise Challenge , held in Telford not long ago, the school children we spoke to said they loved learning through VR and AR and wanted more classrooms to incorporate it within their teaching.  

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“Yes, but have you considered Serious Games?”

Discover how serious games can help ‘Generation Z’ as well as professionals. Find out what the universal aspects of serious games are and what the future of serious games could be…

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       The Need To Innovate    “ Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity ” (Michael Porter)  We often tend to gloss over the word ‘innovation’ because it seems too broad and overused. Marketing campaigns are perhaps guilty of using this word too much without backing it up as to  why  innovation is so great. Innovation is essentially all about changing it up. Thinking about  how to do things differently  to (hopefully) produce a  greater outcome . If there’s anything to say on this, it’s that the  UK  needs more of it.  Granted, there are many businesses out there that are innovating like mad. However, according to the  UK Innovation Survey in 2017  carried out by the  Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy , the report points to the fact that we aren’t innovating nearly as much as we should be. That goes for larger companies as well as SMEs. This is a concern for us at  Totem Learning Ltd  because we are a small company based in Coventry dealing in rather big ideas. We create  award-winning games  to develop skills using the latest technology in the field of  AR, VR, MR  and  XR . For us, innovation is a key component of our business and it ought to be for every business regardless of the industry it happens to be situated in.      Out of the  13,194 UK enterprises  used to collect the data, the overall conclusion was that “ the proportion of innovation active businesses has fallen in nearly every industry ”. Out of these businesses, the SMEs were innovating even less compared to the larger ones with 63% of large firms being innovation active, compared to 49% of SMEs. This has likely contributed to the closure of smaller companies who  aren’t performing well enough  to meet demands or compete in the wider market. There are many schemes in place to promote entrepreneurship and get young people into business but are we preparing them for the reality? The idea of running your own business is glamorous but when faced with statistics like this, I do wonder if those rose-tinted spectacles will suddenly come off. If we are to encourage entrepreneurship,  we need to encourage innovation from the very start . Push people to think 'outside the box', let them come up with new ways of solving a problem and perhaps using real case studies. This is  far more effective  than allowing them to believe they have the skills when they are still only just in the early stages of developing them.     The report also suggests that “ innovators were more likely to export than non-innovators ” which proves crucial in maintaining and improving future relations with global markets and outreach. Totem Learning works with  clients  all over the world and continues to establish a  strong relationship  based on trust in our service and  overall product satisfaction . The need to cater for each organisation we work with is essential and something we do happily in order to make our games as universal as possible. Our  consultation service  is a key part of this. We  question and challenge everything  in order to produce a result that with solid foundations and we believe it is within this creative process that innovation thrives. The UK market itself has to compete with countries who are innovating at a higher rate than us. These countries have booming industry and so, in order to compete, we must push ourselves to deliver something original and exciting. Even with such great ideas, it's often the case that those ideas aren't ever pursued or able to be pursued. Innovation in  business strategy ,  marketing campaigns ,  sales strategy ,  budgeting  and far more are all examples of places where innovation needs to happen within a business.    In addition to this, the survey noted that the biggest drive to innovate was caused by the desire to continue “ improving quality of goods or services and replacing outdated products or processes ” across both the larger businesses and SMEs. However, the constraints pointed in the direction of a  lack of available budget  as well as a  lack of qualified personnel . The survey suggested that the more qualified members of staff, the more innovative the business was. Our ‘ off the shelf ’ games help an individual develop the desired  soft skills  needed in the professional environment which  increases their chance at employability . It is important for all employees to have a good standard of  industry knowledge  because having  expertise  in a particular field means that innovation comes perhaps more naturally and a solution can be reached more quickly. Being able to have several educated minds tackling a problem means ideas can be bounced back and forth,  a good starting point  for innovation.    

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The Need To Innovate

Discover what the UK Innovation Survey 2017 has to say about the rate of innovation in the UK. Find out how Totem Learning is being innovative and how we can help others do so.

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       The Different Types Of Learning and How Games Are Useful     How many styles of learning are there?   There are  7  recognised styles of learning in total:   Visual (spatial)  - using images, pictures and with good spatial understanding   Aural (auditory-musical)  - you work well with sound or music   Verbal (linguistic)  - you use words more in speech and writing   Physical (kinesthetic)  - you prefer being more active and using sense of touch   Logical (mathematical)  - you believe logic, reasoning and systems are necessary   Social (interpersonal)  - you prefer to learn in a group or with more people   Solitary (intrapersonal)  - working on your own      Why it’s important to know this?   Knowing the many different styles of learning is essential for  teachers  or anyone working in the education sector. In a classroom environment, using just one standard style of teaching (that only really plays into one of the methods of learning) is not going to produce results all-round. It also may mean that the teaching and school become one-dimensional which is something to avoid in such a competitive sector when everyone is constantly trying to find new and engaging ways to appeal to students.  It is also important to  employers . In order to get the best out of employees, finding out how they learn best can be a useful starting point. Some people excel when they work alone and have complete control over what is produced, others like to bounce ideas off people and work in a non-linear way. There is no right or wrong. As long as the job gets done, mission accomplished! Sometimes shaking it up a little and doing a team meeting or introducing a new concept using a combination of things that will appeal to many learning styles can boost people’s confidence (as they can relate to at least one learning style).  Finally, arguably the most important person that needs to know about this is  the individual . At least the first 18 years or so of your life will be spent in education, with learning at the core of it all. Figuring out what works best for you will save you lots of time when it comes to studying, will help your teachers cater for you and will mean that you can experiment and have an understanding of what the different methods are. Regardless of your age, learning can be a case of trial and error. Everyday we discover new things which might help us remember something better or develop our understanding and appreciation of something.     How can Totem's games can help?   At Totem Learning, you’re in safe hands when it comes to L&D. Our very own CEO,  Helen Routledge , has a background in Psychology and has written a book on ‘ Why Games Are Good For Business ’ which, among other things, goes into details on the benefits of using games to develop skills. When developing games at Totem, we take into account many things including the learning methods. The useful thing about games, which is perhaps why the industry is so successful, is because they cater for people with different learning styles. There is generally a visual and aural element to it, games can be played on your own or in groups/teams, and with  VR  and  AR  becoming more and more widespread and popular, there is also physical elements. The future of gaming is looking very positive, especially as new developments in education as well as technology can be combined to create the learning games we offer at Totem Learning.

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The Different Types Of Learning and How Games Are Useful

Discover the 7 types of learning and how games can help cater for all of these styles.

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       Consultation at Totem Learning     Why is consultation helpful for businesses and clients?   Consultation is an extremely useful way to develop an idea and start of what can often be a long process. ‘WorkSafetyHub’ states that consultation in general can create a  better working environment  for everyone involved in a project. One of “cooperative rather than adversarial” spirit and “based on exchanging views and considering views rather than argument”.  Nobody likes to work in a hostile environment, especially between two companies, so consultation can be a  great way to start the working relationship  as you mean to go on. Innovation is essential and we are keen to push innovation any way we can. The UK needs creative thinkers, business minds and tech experts - and we are proud to say we have  all three  at Totem Learning.   What to we do at Totem Learning?   We are keen to make sure all opinions are heard around the table and that as many relevant people to the project are present. Due to our vast experience with   VR ,    AR   and the development of   Serious Games  , we believe our consultations offer something more. We believe in creating a wonderful relationship with all clients that will ultimately end up in them wanting to come back with another idea or refer us to another company.  We bring in a range of people from business minds to creative artists to programmers to explain to clients what it will take to create such a game. We are committed to developing any idea -  no matter how crazy  - and you’d be surprised with some of the stuff we’ve managed to come up with in the consultations. The service, therefore, is certainly part of our USP and we are keen to challenge your ideas constantly with having something twice as good (if not more) at the end.   Contact us today:    info@totemlearning.com   +44 (0) 2476 016480

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Consultation at Totem Learning

Why is consultation so important? How can it be a good way to collaborate? What can Totem Learning offer you?

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       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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