Thursday, February 16, 2006

mLearning: Mobile Learning and Performance in the Palm of your Hand

I received notification from Dr. David Metcalf that his new book, mLearning: Mobile Learning and Performance in the Palm of your Hand is soon to be released and I'll have a small acknowledgement based on some case studies I've submitted to David.

The following is a brief review from the Institute for Simulation and Training.

In his new book, mLearning: Mobile Learning and Performance in the Palm of Your Hand, IST’s David S. Metcalf II lays a foundation for learning on the go by cell phone or personal data assistant (PDA) device.
“Rather than allowing your time to be completely wasted by circumstances beyond your control,” Metcalf tells commuters and business travelers enduring the endless down-time of mass transportation travel, “[w]hat if, in the not-to-distant future, you could gain back hours of such useful time each day?” Read the rest here:

As soon as I receive my copy, I'll provide a detailed review here

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mobile Learning Sign Language

We've seen demos on foreign language courses using Mobile Learning. This course is on American Sign Language (ASL) Finger Spelling. Robert Hall of Talisman Interactive created it for the PDA a while back is now available in a Flash Lite version.

This course displays some of the best fundamentals in Mobile Learning; clear and simple graphics, easy navigation, and course content that fits well with the mobile device.

Click here to download the ASL Finger Spelling SWF or ASL in new HTML window sized like a phone

This mobile learning module has an advantage over paper-based training, such as flash cards in it shows the motion of the character being represented. For example, check out the ASL spelling of the letter J in the example above.

Macromedia is offering free Flash Lite seminars. Click here for more information.

Mobile Learning Design- the Post-It Method

One of the biggest challenges in the development of mobile education content is dealing with the screen size of the learning platform. A mistake many developers make is their attempt to reverse engineer or repurpose existing e-learning courses for a mobile platform without really understanding their learner's device limitations.

Sometimes the most complex solutions require simple solutions for the best results. In the case of developing storyboards for m-learning content the answer probably on your desk already- Post-It Notes.

Once you determine what device your audience will be using, it is easy to choose what 'software' to use.

For PDA users, the larger 3 x 5 post it is almost a perfect match to the screen.

For small screen mobile phones such as the Motorola V710, the smaller 1 x 3 Post-It will work.

With the variety of Post-It notes available, almost every device screen size imaginable could be represented.

At this point, you will take the information from your content Model of Performance and start placing it on your chosen Post-It notes. You'll notice that the limited size of the Post-It notes will force you to consider what content is vital and what is filler.

Group your content into categories, especially if your content could be sent as separate files or courses. Remember that the memory and download speed on mobile devices is greatly limited.

At this point you now should start creating the flow for your course. I personally prefer to use the Post-It tabs as a way to identify different types of interactions, similar to the icons one would use in Visio.

That advantage of the Post-It method is that changes can be made to your story board on the fly. This visual method of design could always be reproduced with many commercial software programs such as Visio, however, I found it somewhat easier to jot notes and move Post-It notes around a board or wall much easier in this early design stage.

The drawback to the Post it method can be a complete loss of an entire rainforest for those who are too verbose in their content writing.

If your office looks like the image below, you may want to consider hiring a contractor for your instructional design jobs.

This article was originally published at .
This article was also referenced in the publication, Paper Prototyping in a Design Framework for Professional Mobile Learning by David Parsons, Hokyoung Ryu, Rameh Lal, and Stephen Ford for the Institute of Informatmathematicalematical Sciences, Massey University, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.

Other references to this article can be found at .

Educational Development for the Gameboy Generation

Educational Development for the Gameboy Generation

An interesting opportunity is popping its head out in the future of M-Learning. Portable video game devices could hold the key to creating easy to use interactive training programs.

Devices such as the Nintendo DS raise the bar even higher by providing collaborative gaming. The Nokia N-Gage brings an expandable platform of gaming and mobile communications to the forefront.

With these innovations, the real gap is raising the interest among developers to venture in the educational field.

The University of Michigan school of education has ventured in the development of educational programs for the Gameboy Advance. Two games are currently available to try out including a math and spelling skills game.

The original full article was posted at . We are currently attempting to gather archives of this site and we'll post the complete article at that time.

This article was also referenced in the Australian Flexible Learning Framework symposium and in the publication, Learning on the Move- Mobile Technologies in Business and Education, by Kristine Peters.

M-Learning World Recreated

Welcome to the temporary blog for After some problems with our web host, we're currently looking to re-create our site with a new host and many new features. In the mean time, we've create this blog for discussions on Mobile Learning technology and other educational technology topics.

Over the next few weeks, we'll try to recapture our many discussion topics from and re-post them here.