Saturday, September 30, 2006

Gartner Names Hot Technologies With Greatest Potential Impact

Researcher Gartner Inc. on Wednesday identified the technologies it believes will have the greatest impact on businesses over the next 10 years, naming such hot areas as social-network analysis, collective intelligence, location-aware applications and event-driven architectures.

In its 2006 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle report, Gartner assessed the maturity, impact and adoption speed of three dozen technologies and trends. The list was divided under three themes: Web 2.0, Real World Web and Application Architecture. Under Web 2.0, social-network analysis and Ajax were rated as "high impact" and reaching maturity in less than two years. Collective intelligence, on the other hand, was rated as potentially transformational to businesses.

Source and the rest of the article here:

Gartner eLearning HyperCircle Report-

Friday, September 29, 2006

Save $$ Using iPods Instead of Binders- by Jenna Sweeney

Jenna Sweeney of the Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog has found a unique use for the ubiquitous iPod- saving printing and binding costs.

Here is a snip from her article...

I was particularly struck by something in the article that related directly to corporate training. Someone he interviewed had "been working on an innovation program for a global financial services firm for the past six years. It was relatively easy to convince the client to try podcasting because prior to this year we had been distributing our course materials in a big black binder that included hard copy lecture notes and DVD videos of the learning materials. And this year, instead of doing that we gave every participant a video iPod. Doing this actually cost us $200 LESS per person to use the iPods than for the binders, and that was just for duplication costs."

John went on to say, "(On a quick environmental side note, Wal-Mart recently reported that those big black binders also tend to be the main component in most major landfills. Hmmm... Video iPod and a $200 savings, or spine-wrenching eco-trash. Your call.)" All great information!

Read the full article here:

I know one of my department's challenges is to move towards a more paperless training environment. Who would have thought an iPod could be a tool that would help in that?

20 Ideas: Getting students to use their mobile phones as learning tools- by Doug Belshaw

20 Ideas: Getting students to use their mobile phones as learning tools

I can still remember the excitement I felt after persuading my parents to buy a then-almost-top-of-the-range Pentium computer with its speedy 75mhz processor. Eleven years later, of course, my mobile phone has a processor at least three times as fast as that. One thing you can almost guarantee is that pretty much every student you come across will have a mobile phone. In my school they’re not even supposed to be in school but - as you can imagine - they are used surreptitiously in between lessons. In what follows I’m going to try to outline a few ways in which we can use the technology students already have to motivate them, make life easier, and enhance their learning!

Over the last few months I’ve covered quite a few ways in which mobile phone can be used in the classroom. Here’s a quick recap of some of them…

1. Learning slideshows for mobile phones and iPods

2. QR: what’s that?

3. Setting up an Educational Blog

4. Using technology students already have for learning

5. Podcasting/listening to educational MP3 audio

6. Sharing files via Bluetooth

Read the entire article @

How To Create Rapid and Cheap Mobile Learning- Text Messaging

There are many challenges with setting up any sort of mobile learning program, not the least of which is the diversity of devices. A typical audience may have several types of PDAs, from Palm, to Windows Mobile, to Symbian. A vast majority certainly has a mobile phone, albeit, the platforms for mobile devices range significantly.

There is one feature, however, that almost every mobile device currently has that can provide your group with a jumping off point to create a mLearning strategy- Text Messaging. In this article, we’ll provide two examples that you can successfully deploy today and the steps involved in creating these solutions.

First- What type of content is best for text messaging?
The challenges with using text messaging as a learning platform is limitations in message size, interactivity, and tracking.

Message Size: Some pure SMS services and phones have character limits of 300 characters or less. This consideration means that you must plan carefully what content you deploy and how you use that content. In this article, we are going to use two types of learning content- Data Bursts & Game Show interactions. Both of these content types are tailored around the character limits and other constraints in Text Messaging.

Interactivity: In the Game Show example below, you’ll see that text messaging provides a unique interactivity experience that often isn’t found in other eLearning methods. mLearning through Text Messaging allows two way interaction any time, any where.

Tracking: One challenge in using a Text Messaging platform – especially in the ‘Rapid and Cheap’ method- is that SCORM tracking is mostly a manual process. In both of the examples below, consider this more of an enhancement on learning versus direct SCORM tracked content.

Example 1- Data Bursts
In this example, we are working with a working with a field sales force at a technology company. As with most companies, each day a sales consultant is training is one less day they are selling. A typical training opportunity usually consists of spending time on technical aspects of a product and not on soft skills.

To improve her team’s sales skills, a sales manager polled her top sales consultants as to key aspects of different products that resulted in sales. She also gathered information from various sales training courses. Gathering all of the information collected, she organized this into 100-200 word chunks like the following two examples:

Sales Tip: Use Examples- ABC corporation saved $100 a month by switching from RDI 750 to 1000.

Did You Know: The RDI 1000 can handle 5 times the users as the 750.

The sales manager then created draft messages in her Outlook, using the properties field to send a message each day for a month. A couple of hours of work has resulted in 30 days of learning content delivered to her sales force. Content like this can be customized to coincide with product launches, campaigns or contests.

Example 2- The Game Show
A customer service group would like to add more fun and interaction into their new hire classes but they cannot budget for gaming software. One trainer noticed that everyone had mobile phones, normally required to be off during class.

The trainer set up two ‘Game Show’ contests. The first uses the mobile phone as a ‘buzzer’. On a PowerPoint presentation, the trainer displays a question or challenge and an e-mail address. All of the participants must access certain content in a reference system and text message the trainer’s e-mail with the answer.

In this example, the trainer also went one step further and sent random text message questions to his class and students would respond with the correct answer. In both cases, the trainer could track who got the answers correct first and, by keeping responses, could track the effectiveness of various training modules by the number of correct vs. incorrect answers.

The second ‘Game Show’ contest involved a survivor type scavenger hunt. The new Customer Service representatives were sent to random retail stores they supported. Challenges were sent to their mobile phones and the students would text back their answers.

In one example, the students were challenged to find the price of a specific model of digital camera. The students would search the store to find the camera and either take a picture with their phone and send it or text the answer back. This gave the students a customer experience in searching for products their customers would want to find.

Setting up your users and content.
In both of these examples, the biggest challenge isn’t in the actual use of text messaging, but in the initial set-up.

In the first example, the sales manager created a small web form asking her sales representatives to ‘opt in’ to using text messaging versus using an e-mail address. If the sales rep used their mobile phone, they were asked who the provider was. Almost every provider has an e-mail address linked to a mobile phone, such as Alltel, whose phone e-mails look like this-

The sales manager then could create a distribution list in Outlook with either the phone e-mail or the users personal e-mail depending on their preference.

In the second example, the teacher also asked for an opt-in, and if a student chose not to, either by not having the service or because they were concerned about going over their text package, they were offered the option of simply using e-mail.

CONTENT IS KING- No matter what path you use when using Text Messaging as an mLearning solution, remember that your content should be brief, to the point, and powerful.

In future articles, we’ll discuss more advanced uses of Text Messages including setting up campaigns and using SMS providers to send, track, and create branching content through Text Messaging.

Why mLearning is Cheap- by Leonard Low

With opinions like this, it is often surprising that mLearning hasn't caught on more:

Why M-Learning Is Cheap.

Many people I’ve talked to at various conferences, online events, and around my own institute have expressed concerns about m-learning being a rather expensive thing for institutions and learners to participate in. The issues I’m most commonly asked about are generally associated with either the cost of hardware (e.g. mobile phone handset, or PDA) or the cost of connectivity (e.g. SMS messages, mobile web data costs, etc.).

People are inevitably surprised when I tell them that m-learning is actually cheap! It depends on the m-learning approach being used, of course… but there are a number of factors that make m-learning potentially quite affordable for both institutions and learners.

For example - if mobile phones are used as the platform for an activity, then it’s possible that the cost of hardware will be zero. Current Australian telecommunications industry statistics are that over 8 million mobile phone handsets were sold in Australia in 2005, 98% of Australia’s population has mobile phone coverage, and around 20 million Australians (95%) own a mobile phone, with penetration among young people even higher.

Read the rest here:

My next 'how to' article will explore this in more detail as I describe how to set up a fast and virtually free mLearning platform using Text Messaging and Outlook.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

mLearn 2006, the 5th World Conference on Mobile Learning

Sunday, October 22, 2006 - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Where: The Fairmont Banff Springs
405 Spray AveBanff,
Alberta, Alberta
(Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps)

mLearn 2006, the 5th World Conference on Mobile Learning, will fulfill the need for stimulating critical debate on and research into theories, approaches, principles and applications of mobile devices for promoting learning. mLearn 2006 will provide an opportunity for researchers, educators, students, technologists and practitioners, as well as professionals from industry, to share their knowledge, experience and research in the various areas where mLearning is applied.

Monday, September 25, 2006

mLearning World's New Domain

mLearning World now has it's own WWW domain:

Our domain is still active as well @

As my long time readers know, we used to own the domain, however when our hosting service through the MBA Association went under, that domain was grabbed up before we could bid on the renewal.

Ethics and Mobile Learning: Should We Worry? (from the eLearning Queen)

As a student, instructor, or e-learning institution administrator, are there ethical issues in mobile learning? If so, are they the same as ones one might expect in e-learning? This post discusses several of the more worrisome ethical issues that could accompany mobile learning and suggests approaches to raise awareness. The goal is to avoid ethically problematic design or behaviors. Some of the other issues are not as easily addressed.

1. Privacy issues. detail

2. Uniformity of access. detail

3. Non-biased, culturally equitable delivery and expectations. detail

4. Language barriers. Multiple delivery modes / redundancies. detail

5. Learning preferences. detail

6. Equity of instruction. detail

7. Posting and other concerns. detail

8. Recognizing consequences of actions in an impersonal and sometimes
invisible world. detail

9. Cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking. detail

10. Types of serious games, simulations. detail

11. Gender issues - relationships vs. justice. detail

Read all the detail or download the podcast at the eLearning Queen's blog.

Should Gagne be Buried?

Don Clark has thrown down the gauntlet to IDs in his article, Gagne's Nine Dull Commandments. In this article, Clark challenges the conventional wisdom that if you ‘follow the recipe, learning will surly follow..’

After some witty banter as to how each of Gagne’s principles have fallen apart and have become irrelevant, Clark issues the challenge.. It’s time we moved on from this old and now dated theory using what we’ve learnt about the brain and the clever use of media.

As someone who believes in Gagne’s theory as a strong roadmap, but agree that it has become ‘banal’ as it has been put into practice, I have taken the challenge that a commenter posted to rewrite/rephrase Gagne’s theory to today’s modern media and learners..

Gagne’s 9 Learning Commandments?

1 Gaining attention- Challenge your learners.

2 Stating the objective

3 Stimulating recall of prior learning

4 Presenting the stimulus

5 Providing learning guidance

6 Eliciting performance

7 Providing feedback

8 Assessing performance

9 Enhancing retention and transfer to other contexts

Now that the gauntlet has been thrown down, check back for the Learning2.0 version of Gange’s laws updated at mLearning World.

Also see Don Clark's tombstoning of Bloom's Taxonomy & the Kilpatrick Method.

Skyscape and Alltel Offer Medical mLearning Solution

It always seems the medical profession has been ahead of the curve in mLearning solutions, this is just one more offering available 'off the shelf'.

Source: Yahoo
  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark. & MARLBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Healthcare professionals now can access a comprehensive portfolio of trusted medical and nursing references on select smartphones from Alltel Wireless, America's largest network. The service is available from Skyscape, the worldwide leading service for medical information by specialty for mobile devices.

    "Alltel is excited to be the first wireless carrier to collaborate with Skyscape on a broad scale," said Elisabeth Owen, president of wireless business solutions for Alltel. "This is a wonderful service that gives healthcare practitioners timely access to accurate, up-to-minute information that will help them provide even better care to their patients."

    Alltel users of the Palm® Treo(TM) and the UT Starcom(TM) PPC 6700 now can access information on a variety of topics on clinical and evidence based
    medicine by specialty, including surgical procedures and drug interactions. For a limited time, Skyscape and Alltel are offering healthcare professionals a 20 percent discount on the purchase of Skyscape's medical and nursing references for smartphones.

    "Alltel's customers depend on having a reliable wireless connection, and Skyscape is pleased to enhance this value by allowing Alltel's users to stay better informed with Skyscape trusted mobile medical resources," said Sandeep Shah, president and CEO of Skyscape. "Every year healthcare professionals must assimilate and recall an increasingly staggering amount of knowledge about medical facts and research. Since Skyscape's services always deliver the most current and relevant medical information wirelessly, the deployment of this tailored information on the Alltel network makes it easier than ever for them to access clinical information that will help them provide better patient care."