Monday, May 2, 2011

More on Mobile Learning Trends

By Jay Lambert

Clay Duda, an ILS contributor, recently posted an article to our other blog, Shared Learning, covering the Technology Association of Georgia's Workplace Learning event last week on mLearning. 

You can read his article on the highlights here, 'What Does Mobile Learning Mean to You?' Clay is also planning a follow-up post with more information from the event.

It was a great and informative evening, particularly Margaret Martin's demo of Merlin Mobility's augmented reality app that is just astounding; below are a few other items that stood out to me.
  1. Jason Cohen of Element K made a sensible point about mLearning design and development. He recommended that we all think about the five W's (who, why, what, when, where) before the how. Determine if mobile is the answer, then determine how to make it happen.
  2. Cohen also recommended using video in mobile learning, stating that it 'works fantastically well.'
  3. Readers of this blog know that we are great fans of Conrad Gottfredson's Five Moments of Learning Need.  So apparently is Robert Gadd, President of OnPoint Digital. He suggested that mLearning "is great for the Five Moments of Learning Need." Moments 3 through 5 state that we should put occasional need-to-know or just-in-time information into an accessible electronic performance support system. What is more accessible than the mobile device right in your hand?
  4. Gadd also commented that the trend in learning development right now is to design for mobile delivery. This means developing shorter, nugget-oriented modules at a smaller resolution; if it will work on a mobile device, then it will also play on a desktop or laptop. Single source development is a great idea. But truly, shorter modules are the trend throughout eLearning no matter what delivery medium you are using. Mobile is likely helping drive that, but so is sound instructional design.
  5. As you know, a major obstacle for mobile learning is that you currently have to develop multiple versions to accommodate the different devices - Blackberry, Android, and iPhone / iPad. Gadd predicted that up to 12 vendors could come out with cross-platform mobile authoring tools within the next 12 months. That will be huge for mLearning's expansion.
Mobile is our current industry frontier. It's going to be exciting to see what develops next.

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