What have the cult radio programme, Test Match Special (TMS), and the eLearning Network (eLN) in common? Leaving aside any suggestion that both engage – at the drop of Geoffrey Boycott’s now famous hat – in detailed speculation on obscure and arcane issues, the answer is ‘cake’. TMS has been inundated with cakes since long-time commentator, the late Brian Johnston, once confessed a liking for this traditionally English confection. Periodically – the most recent time being at the end of November – the eLN has also indulged its members with cake. Ten years ago, Bob Browne and Rona Passmore cut the cake at the association’s tenth anniversary celebrations (at the Chartered Insurance Institute in London). This year, to mark the eLN’s 20th anniversary, the cake cutters were Pat Straughan, Adam Woods and Vaughan Waller, along with this blogger, in a ceremony held at the eLN’s ‘London headquarters’ in Belgrave Square.
Comment: Although the computer based training/ e-learning industry is relatively new, it is notorious for relatively short lifespans among its constituent companies and organisations. Relatively few e-learning developer companies have survived the last 20 years – Epic and Echelon are, perhaps, examples while a good many others have not been so fortunate – and professional bodies have come, merged, gone and transformed into completely new bodies. In such a fluid industry, it’s nice to know that there are one or two pillars – such as the eLN – on which to build. Just as the British Empire and Commonwealth has been built on cricket – championed in these latter days by TMS – the UK’s e-learning industry has fed, and been nourished by, the eLN.