In a bold move to turn handsets into a more educational tool Nokia have teamed up with the not for profit organisation Mindset Network and the South African Government’s Department of Education in order to trial a pilot project based around the Nokia 6300 handsets. Called M4Girls the handsets come loaded with educational material designed to “help improve the mathematics performance of Grade 10 girl learners.”
Reportedly, the initiative will be piloted in two South African schools, and students lucky enough to take advantage will have access to educational games and other material created to meet the needs of the national curriculum according to Engadget Mobile.
In a Nokia press release they expand on their aims. “This project demonstrates the potential of mobile phones to enable social development and improve education especially in underprivileged areas, ” says Micheline Ntiru, Head of Nokia’s Community Involvement Programs in the Middle East and Africa. “Young people are increasingly using their phones to gain knowledge via the internet, social networking and interaction with their peers, so it makes sense to introduce learning through these devices. By combining Nokia handsets with innovative content, and the enthusiasm of the teachers and pupils this scheme creates an opportunity to really help create new skills and opportunities.”
Friday, May 02, 2008
I have been asked to look into a product called Flypaper. Has anyone tried this out? What are your opinions? How have you implemented this in your training programs? Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Quick note: I've been trying out a great new feature that Alltel has, Voice2Text. This service converts voicemail to text messages. I can see a lot of great mLearning opportunities with this. A service like Voice2Text allows the end user to choose how they are presented with the information. If they aren't in a place where they can listen to voicemail, it may be more convenient to simply read a text message.
Imagine pairing this with a voicemail distribution system. I'll start working on how this can be used on more specific learning applications.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Newswire / Press Release: Atlantic Link Launches Rapid e-Learning for the Sony PSP - Education/e-Learning/Training - Atlantic Link | NewswireToday
Download a Sample eLearning Course for the PSP
Atlantic Link's ground breaking rapid e-learning authoring tools have taken
another significant leap forward. The software now allows courses to be designed
specifically for the Sony PSP Slim & Lite.
The courses can be deployed locally (from
the Memory Stick Duo) or from the Internet, giving users a true mobile learning
experience. They also look superb, because all the functionality of Atlantic
Link’s rapid e-learning authoring tools can be applied to small screen format.MD
Mike Alcock explains, "The traditional problem with courses on the PSP is that
they’ve never been designed for the smaller screen and are often shrunken
versions of courses designed for viewing on PC screens. To tackle this we have
enabled our software to author at the native screen size of a Sony PSP. Because
the output of Content Point is Flash, the courses still contain all of the high
quality and interactivity of Atlantic Link’s usual output, but with the benefit
of small screen design. Quizzes, games, activities, audio, video and Flash
animations are all supported, giving users the richest possible course
experience." Authoring is undertaken with the same software that is already
delivering the fastest e-learning authoring for major companies across the
globe.Mike Alcock continues, “The potential applications for this technology are
huge and almost mind-boggling. Tourist guides, language training, product
training and updates, maintenance guides and training, medical training,
interactive museum guides, schools training, the list is almost endless. With
the government focusing on ‘personalised learning’, we believe that we are at
the forefront of the next wave of e-learning. Because our rapid e-learning
software is so incredibly quick at producing courses, content producers now have
a method for producing huge volumes of highly interactive content for the Sony
PSP in hours instead of weeks. Needless to say we are enormously excited about
the possibilities."If you have a PSP Slim & Lite (or just want to look at a
course), view a sample of Atlantic Link's PSP e-learning at the link below.
How do we achieve a balanced solution for mobile content and applications? The iPhone has really raised the bar for mobile web browsing, and most mobile devices will soon have high quality browsing even if the screen remains small. Similarly, the growth area in handhelds are so-called ‘converged’ devices: smartphones or wireless-enabled PDAs. Consequently, I propose it will be a plausible approach to start thinking of web apps as a delivery vehicle for mLearning.
Web standards for screen size started at 640 x 480, and have ranged through 800 x 600, to 1024 x 768. The iPhone has established a significant enough market presence to drive a variety of sites to create a version that accommodates the iPhone’s resolution of 480 x 320. Phones can go down to as low as 160 x 160, so that might be your lowest common denominator, but I believe a safe bet could be 320 x 240 which is fairly common on a variety of devices. The new 800 x 600?
The point being, that thinking about small web apps may be the cost-effective and logical approach to provide mobile access, content. 160 x 160 is the new 640 x 480, etc. Already there are blogging tools for phones/mobile devices, and wikis are just web pages, etc. Web 1.0 is likely to be a viable solution, and the convergence of Web 2.0 and mobile is a promising place to play. Anyone game?
I would like to challenge Clark on one more thought. Maybe no standard size is the new standard? We have years of instructional design methods and standards regarding when to put what content in training. With mLearning, it seems many folks are trying to smash existing content standards into preset screen sizes. Instead of thinking lowest common denominator, why not consider mailable content to the end-user's situation? By this, I mean that content isn't written with one single screen size in mind, but instead, we take the approach of creating content that, by design, will modify itself to the user versus simply the screen size.
Think about it this way, if a user is accessing training on a 160x160 handset, he obviously is looking for something, at a time or in a location, that prevents him from accessing this content from a different venue. Does he need a quick answer? If he needs a quick answer or quick training, is a truncated eLearning course the best solution?
Over and over, it has been said that one of the factors in mLearning not taking off is screen size. Maybe we as developers are partially to blame as we've been focusing on fitting old eLearning models into new formats? Maybe we need to start changing our models to fit our user's full experience, not just his screen size?
Just something to chew on for a while........
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
technoLOTE.com is becoming a great mLearning resource. Here are some more iPod/mLearning ideas from technoLOTE.
This post is a follow on from iPod mLearn oCool!
Most students at most schools will own, if not, have access to, at least one device that can be used for mlearning. iPods and mp3 players are a great place to start - especially if school policy doesn’t allow mobile phones in classrooms. I don’t have the option of using mobile phones in the classroom (as much as I would like to) simply because we don’t get phone reception at our little school in our little country town! One major advantage of integrating some form of mlearning into your courses is that it leaves classtime for other activities that you may not have originally had time for. I’m hoping to use some mlearning to get my students to learn certain amounts of vocabulary so that instead of explicitly teaching the meaning of words in class we can spend the time chatting to other classes on Skype, or creating wikis, blogs and movies.
Some mlearning Ideas for your LOTE classroom:
Here are two short videos that I made yesterday (recorded with a digital camera) that show how I use my iPod with its voice recorder in my class as a tool for recording students spoken work. Well, I really should say how my students use my iPod with its recorder, because even though I changed the display language to Chinese, they still want to get their hands all over it.
The voice recorder I bought to go with the iPod is an XtremeMac Micromemo for around $60.
Adam S. Brooks: Mobile Learning :: Abilene Christian University (ACU) is the first university in nation to provide an iPhone or iPod Touch mobile device to all incoming freshmen
An Apple iPhone or iPod touch will become a central part of Abilene Christian University's innovative learning experience this fall when all freshmen are provided one of these converged media devices, said Phil Schubert, ACU executive vice president. At ACU - the first university in the nation to provide these cutting-edge media devices to its incoming class - freshmen will use an iPhone or iPod touch to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors' offices, and check their meal and account balances - among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed, said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts. ACU's vision for technology has been captured in a forward-looking film called 'Connected,' found online - along with information about ACU's other ground-breaking mobile learning efforts - @ www.acu.edu/connected. [read more]
Monday, April 28, 2008
In this interview branching simulations come up in the topic:
Clark Aldrich: Any time you don't have the right simulation genre that is a failure. A lot of early "simulation" attempts were to use branching videos and other forms of branching stories to teach high potential managers new skills. A branching story is where you're given a bit of background and you have to make an A, B or C decision to move to the next branch in the programming tree and it's a series of answers to questions and you move along through the experience that way.
Branching stories turned out to be remarkably ineffective for high potential managers who really like and value creativity and who come to the table with a pretty good skill set and want to hone and refine their own skills as opposed to being put through a maze. That use of branching story simulations probably is one of the early spectacular simulation failures. You can't use those kinds of branching stories to teach high level management skills to high potential managers.
Karl Kapp: I'd imagine there are still vendors doing just that.
Clark Aldrich: Even as we speak. And in a lot of cases people say, "oh yeah you know we tried those simulations for our managers and it didn't work, therefore, we're not going to do any more simulations." You have to understand where those concerns stem from. The real news is that the exact same model, the same branching story model, works fabulously well with new employees and works fabulously well with unmotivated employees
In this case the branching simulation genre is not a bad genre. It was simply used in the wrong way. When that happens it creates a ripple effect. And that's the whole premise of the book…the proper application of a simulation genre depends on the audience and the content. If you ask an audience their opinion of a certain simulation genre invariably people who give an unfavorable opinion were those who took the simulation in the wrong place and those who have a very strongly favorable opinion took it in the right place.
I personally find a lot of use in well done branching simulations- showing consequences of possible option paths. What are your thoughts on Clark's comments?
I've discovered a new blog today that I would recommend for everyone to add to their feed list.
The New Learning Playbook tracks innovations and trends in corporate learning and talent management among corporations, universities and government agencies.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
"I am looking for the ability to send an email to all our Attorneys via
BlackBerry (1000+) that contains a link. Upon clicking the link a multimedia
file will either download and play or stream (with buffer). The multimedia file
can be actual video or a PowerPoint-type stack that contains audio and automatic slide changes or similar functionality. I understand the BB does not have a
Flash driver, yet, but that might be optimal, if it is in the works.The critical
factor is that our Attorneys do not have to open up a separate application on
the BB and drill down to play a file and that the file includes audio and visual
information (slides or video). Currently I have tested Chalk and Sona Media
Player. Both play video, but I did not see the ability to launch it via an email
link. Also, I took a look at Impatica's technical specifications and they were
conspicuously silent regarding audio.I am told that the BB 9000's will play
PowerPoint, but have not had a chance to get my hands on one to see if that
includes audio. Cost is also a factor, so attrition of old units for new ones is
more viable than purchasing a whole integrated system (e.g., new BES server
software, or license per user pricing), especially if newer units will include
this basic functionality.Of course, this functionality can be accomplished on a
mobile phone. Nevertheless, all our Attorneys carry BlackBerries. Thanks for
your help with this. I don't mind answering questions, having this request
posted somewhere for discussion, or beta testing (non-disclosure OK, agreement
for purchase NOT) device software (not BES software). The vendor who can rise to the challenge will conquer the Attorney Training market"
I have recommended the following solutions (from an email conversation):
First, this should be easy to download so just having a formatted video is important. Of course, your client will need a host server for the video. You can use a product like the Blackberry Video Generator.
This product will create optimized videos for the Blackberry (used on the Pearl and it works, they should have a version for the 9000.) They can then store the file (AVI) on a web server, send thelink to the file via email, and it will trigger a download. (Save>Open should be automatic prompt)
A few other creative ways one could do this via streaming video would be to use one of the streaming webcam viewer software applications like this.
What solutions would my readers recommend? Please visit the Corporate eLearning blog link at the top of this article and submit your recommendations.