Saturday, August 12, 2006

M-Learning in India

It seems the developing world is embracing m-learning at a far greater pace than the US and other 'technological' countries. I attribute this to the fact that not everyone is 'wired', so mobile phones have exploded as the primary communications device.

Now, learn through your mobile phones
Barkha Shah / Hyderabad August 09, 2006
Learning has just acquired a new – nimbler – form. While e-learning is still being used as a supplementary tool to the conventional forms of learning, a new method of knowledge addition called m-learning has emerged in the global scenario.

M-learning or mobile learning refers to the deployment of training programmes on wireless handheld devices, like cell phones and personal digital assistants.

Not many in India would have heard of the m-learning concept, as it requires the use of advanced phones with 3G technology or BlackBerry devices. more

Friday, August 11, 2006

Instructional Design Journals and Submission Guidelines

List of Instructional Design Journals and Submission Guidelines. Thanks to Scott Adam's blog for these links.



XM on Mobile Phones

The other day, I mentioned that Alltel had made a huge leap by providing podcasting service for mobile phones. As if this wasn't good enough, Alltel jumps ahead of the competition again offering XM on mobile phones.

How this can be used for mobile learning at this point, I'm not sure, however, if XM has any streaming educational channels, this is one more step in making education mobile.


I look forward to seeing any educational opportunities that spring from this service.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

More Info from Kevin's Session, Award Winning Instructional Design

The basis for Kevin Kruse's sessoin, Award Winning Instructional Design is Gagne's 9 Events of Instruction:

  1. Gain learner's attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present the content
  5. Provide learning guidance through tools such as analogies
  6. Elicit performance through practice
  7. Provide feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job

eLearning DevCon Day 3

Day three at eLearning DevCon was a half day and it seemed most people saved attending the best sessions for last- at least if one counts the attendance of these sessions as a reflection of their being 'the best'. As with the other sessions, once the presentations are posted, I'll provide some more in depth comment on each one. I haven't yet latched on to live blogging as Brent was doing during the conference. (note: I noticed a few others live blogging and I will attempt to link to their blogs as soon as I discover them.)

Now for today's sessions:

  • Podcasting: A New Learning Distribution Channel (Debbie Richards)- Debbie provided a very useful session on how to produce and publish podcasts. This will be one worth writing on more. Now that Alltel has launched a mobile phone podcasting BREW client, I feel the trend toward podLearning will explode soon. The question is what should we name it? podLearning, eduCasting, eduPodcasting, castLearn, mobileCastEdu? Like everything else with e-learning, I'm sure the buzzwords will change on a weekly basis.
  • Learning 2.0, The Revolution has begun! (Brent Schlenker)- Another conference shortened by technical difficulties, but still very informative. We all know Web2.0, well Learning 2.0 is basically what was coined as asynchronous learning last year. The possibility of using blogs and wikis to teach is interesting, but, even with my support of eduChaos, I still worry that at some point, chaos must have a level of control. One only has to look at how conspiracy theories have become 'common knowledge' (think of all the Halliburton/ War for Oil conspiracy bull shit). One can expect that the community would police itself and it would all balance itself out in the end, but we can simply look at John Conyers recent impeachment proposal to realize how the conspiracy fiction is a self feeding monster (OK, I'll shut up with the politic here and leave that for Abaraxas.)
  • Large Organization Round Table (Brian Miller)- A very informal group discussion on some of the issues that currently face large corporations in relation to e-learning. Sadly, with all my searching, I am having problems finding others with similar issues or have solved the problem of creating a unified, on demand, help agent. Most of the people I've talked with either have already gone with RoboHelp or are ten steps behind where we are.
  • Flash Components: Guru Results with Minimal Effort (Karessa Torgerson)- Potentially a good session, but for some reason, this session seemed to not flow well. Karessa seemed to know her topic from a technical end, but, like many others, this session would be well served to have been offered with more time or multiple sessions with actual hands-on activity.
  • Award Winning Instructional Design (Kevin Kruse)- The e-Learning Guru once again brings some logic and common sense to close the session with real world steps to creating quality e-learning. The overall outline of his plan is common for most designers and is similar to the FKA model we use.

eLearning DevCon Day 2 Recap

Day 2 at eLearning DevCon was another hit and miss day in relation to content. Here is a highlight of the breakout sessions today for those who couldn't attend or attend a specific session:

  • Mobile eLearning, a Reality (Bob Sanregret)- Bob Sanregret of Hot Lava Software didn't disappoint with an exciting session on Mobile eLearning. Unlike other conferences, most vendors who present usually spend the entire session plugging their own product. In this case, Bob provided a good balance of what he has produced (without it being a sales pitch) along with other case studies.
  • Instant Development of PDA/Mobile Games for eLearning (Dan Lim)- Dan Lim gave a very impressive demonstration of how to develop games for PDAs or other mobile enable devices. The tool he created was easy and used a simple text file to create an XML file that was bound to the .swf file. The key question however is, does he have this product available for sale or download as opensource- sadly the answer is No and I left the session feeling like someone just described the best hamburger in the world, but then said you cannot have it.
  • MPEG4, Flash 8 Video (Nick Floro)- One of the exciting new features of Flash 8 is it's ability to edit video. This session should have been very informative and useful, but sadly, due to technical difficulities, it was mostly Nick talking to a blank presentation screen.
  • Authoring eLearning for the iPod and More (Troy Stein)- Troy provided an excellent session on how easy it is to create and publish eLearning Video content for Podcasting. This is a session that I will go in to further detail here once the presentations are posted on the DecCon website.
  • Building a HTML/XML based Rapid eLearning Development (Jeff Moyes)- Potentially a good session that I needed, but most of the time was spent describing the coding line per line in one component without any showing the end result. This session either needed more time or multiple sessions to really bring everything together.

I will try to post today's sessions later this evening, but for now, I will play tourist in Salt Lake for a few hours.

More Info on Alltel's Podcasting Service


  • Kyocera KX5
  • Slider Remix
  • LG AX355
  • LG AX390
  • LG AX4750
  • LG AX5000
  • LG UX4270
  • LG VX3200
  • Motorola V3c (RAZR)
  • Motorola V710
  • Motorola e815

Axcess Mobilcast brings exciting podcasts and radio programs to your mobile phone. Podcasts are like radio shows. Each show consists of a series of episodes or compilation of music you can listen to on your phone. The main menu shows a list of channels such as music, news, movies/TV and comedy. The user navigates through the menu in iPod style, using the left and right arrow keys. To listen to a podcast, simply click “Listen Now” and the episode will begin to play within a few seconds. If you are interrupted or need to pause the playback, the episode will resume playing where it left off. Axcess Mobilcast delivers an up-to-date catalog of podcasts to the phone over-the-air. The podcast catalog is organized by category for easy browsing. The catalog is updated regularly while in use. If users don’t find the podcast they’re looking for, a search feature is provided for users to search the full Axcess Mobilcast repository of more than 2,500 different podcasts from around the world.

    Edu Podcasting Gains New Tool

    The challenge with using Podcasting as a mobile learning platform is that to be truly mobile, your students must have some sort of Mp3 player.

    Alltel has just launched a product that will make podcasts available to all of their customers who have BREW (Axcess) capable phones. A quick search showed that most popular phones include a BREW client.

    What does this mean to mLearning? Podcasting has been used as a educational tool for over a year now, but has been limited to the students having a mP3 player or access to their PC. No longer. With podcasting being available on BREW enabled mobile phones (most cell phones), this will reduce one of the main problems in mLearning, cross device compatiability.

    No longer will students be restricted from mLearning opportunities because of device limitations. This may be a defining moment in the acceptance of podcasting for mass education.

    News Release:

    Alltel Wireless and Melodeo Announce New Mobile Podcast Service

    Axcess Mobilcast offers
    easy podcast listening for Alltel customers
    WIRE)--Aug. 8, 2006--Alltel Wireless (NYSE:
    AT - News), America's largest network, and Melodeo,
    Inc., the first interactive podcast community for PC and mobile phones, today
    launched Axcess Mobilcast service. The service enables Alltel Wireless customers
    to easily search and listen to thousands of podcasts on their wireless phones
    for a monthly subscription of $3.99. Alltel Wireless is the first company in the
    United States to bring this service to market.

    Axcess Mobilcast offers continuously updated
    podcast episodes and radio shows from popular sources such as NPR and CNN, as
    well as thousands of independent podcasts from all over the world. The programs
    are short in duration and cover a wide range of subjects including comedy,
    music, sports and politics.

    ..and educational podcasts.

    "As the wireless
    phone continues to become a media hub, Alltel Wireless is committed to providing
    its customers with the most entertaining, useful and innovative applications
    available," said Wade McGill, senior vice president of wireless product
    management for Alltel Wireless. "Podcasts have rapidly become a part of daily
    life for millions of Americans, and by partnering with Melodeo to bring Podcasts
    to wireless phones, our customers can now listen to their favorite programs
    wherever they go."

    Axcess Mobilcast is currently
    available on several popular Alltel phones. A simple interface allows listeners
    to browse categories or search programs with no wait time. Podcasts are streamed
    or downloaded and can be added to the "My Favorites" channel with one click.

    "We're bringing consumers the best selection of
    on-demand podcasts on their mobile phone," said Don Davidge, Melodeo founder and
    senior vice president, sales. "It's exciting to offer podcasting to millions of
    Americans as we move towards a seamless media experience between PC and

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    eLearning DevCon Live!

    Visit Brent Schlenker 's blog eLearning DevCon for a LIVE blog of eLearning DevCon 2006. Hell, it won him $100 from Kevin Kruse for his live blogging during his keynote!

    Highlights from eLearning DevCon 2006

    oday was the first day of eLearning DevCon 2006 in Salt Lake- billed as the eLearning Conference that is more than just 'theories and concepts.' At this point, I have mixed feelings about a week away from my projects, many on a critical timepath.

    Without going into the layout of the University of Utah campus, I will just say that I chose not to stay on campus as many of the comments about the dorms, were, shall we say - typical dorms.

    While there were many paths available, I wanted to focus on two main areas, integrating databases into e-learning courses and simulation design. With that, the following is a summary of the breakout sessions I attended today:

    • Intro to Database Driven Design, Part 1 (Eric Replinger) The intro to database session for me, was very basic as it primarily focused on deciding when to use a database and the basics of creating a database. Still, this was a good introduction to lead into Part 2 (later in the day.) My main wish was (as with many of these conferences, they were in a lab or had more time/space to set up our own computers and work with the instructor.)
    • From Frontlines of Simulation Design (Nathan Kraklauer) I was looking forward to a session on developing simulations that had some best practice concepts or at least a few hints. Instead, Nathan mostly used this session to 'showcase' his own development. The lack of meat may have had something to do with the questions that were asked in balance to the short amount of time given for each session.
    • eLearning Project Management is not an Oxymoron! (Debby Kalk) Debbie has to be the most passionate speaker in relation to project management I've heard, and I was disappointed that there was only an hour for this session. Still, for an hour, this was a highly productive session.
    • Intro to Database Driven Design, Part 2 (Eric Replinger) The second part of integrating databases into a website was very productive as it used Dreamweaver components to make the process easy. In the past this was something I have hard coded or used XML bindings. Eric goes to show that sometimes the most complex way is not the best. I will be using what I have taken away from this session as soon as I get back as I can see how we can use this to streamline many things we do.
    • Captivate, Down and Dirty (Sandy Adams)- Although I am a very advanced user with Captivate, I attended this beginning Captivate session with the thought of seeing a 'better way' to use Captivate from the perspective of a beginner. This session was highly disappointing as the trainer simply and quicky jumped right into creating a quick simulation without any explanation of what was happening (to show non Captivate users how 'easy' it was.) Still, as a non-sales presentation, a small amount of actual instruction would not take away from Captivate's ease of use. I am very tempted to sign up for a conference speaker for a future session as I feel Captivate could be better sold.
    • Keynote Presentation, Evidence based Training. (Kevin Kruse)- The eLearning Guru is at it again, challenging us to be 'Rock Stars' , this time by using EBT to get better results from our training. Once (if) Kevin posts his presentations I will write more on this as, not only was this highly informative, but this is most likely my 'take away session' to present to my team.

    ..more tomorrow