Friday, December 14, 2007

The iPod in Education - video overview

//This new mLearn Vidcast looks at how the iPod can be used for educational purposes - over 7 different examples are detailed and demo’d, with practical uses of things such as quizzes, podcasts, audiobooks and more covered.

For Part 1 (setting the master volume, coverflow, Audiobooks, iQuiz maker, exporting quizzes to the iPod) click HERE.

For Part 2 (podcasts, iTunes U, adding your own video, world time, stopwatch) click HERE.

or to watch other videos.//

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Setting Up Mobile Posting

This is just a placeholder post to test and set up mobile blogger settings.  This should allow me to pick up posting on a more regular basis.

Developing Us! M-Learning and More… Mobile Learning

Leonard Low once again provides us a brilliant discussion on developing mLearning and more.

» Developing Us! M-Learning and More… Mobile Learning

There are many barriers to teachers trying out and using new and innovative approaches in teaching and learning. It can be hard to find the time to explore and develop new ideas; online “social learning” sites such as YouTube may be blocked; or teachers may not be able to access equipment or funds needed to try out new ideas (such as for mobile learning activities). And that’s if a given teacher even has the inclination to pursue innovative teaching and learning practices; while most teachers are at least interested in new ideas for teaching, there are many more who are just fine with doing it the way they’ve always done it, and see no reason to change.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A bright future for mobiles in schools? Yes.

//Rather than just reporting on what others have been saying about this new frontier in mLearning - that being kids using their own mobile phones for learning - I’ve written my own paper dealing with policy responses from schools and Education departments. Mostly these have only touched on safety issues - but I also include in the paper plenty of examples of their positive use in education. I even talk about why they should be used and make reccomendations that hopefully future policy makers can use to get the balance right. Enjoy!

Policy before practice: Reactions, Revisions & Recommendations for the educational use of mobile phones.

Copyright 2007 Jonathan W. Nalder
QUT Masters of Learning Innovation Program, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane.
Learning Difficulties Support Teacher, Tullawong State School, Caboolture.

Although ICT integration is growing across all sectors of Education, the one device that most symbolises the current stage of the Digital Revolution, the mobile phone, has not been welcomed into classrooms. Many policies have been written to deal with the negative social and disruptive consequences of the use of digital mobile devices in Education; however less effort has been made to balance such policies against the educational needs of students dealing with the ongoing impact of the Digital Revolution. This paper aims to examine the reactions of current policy to the presence of mobile phones in education and then detail emerging examples of their use to enhance learning. The paper concludes with a summary of recommendations drawn from these examples that may form the basis for more learner-centered policy to be developed in the future.

Mobile phones, policy, school practice, mobile learning, mLearning, ICT in Education

Introduction 1.0
The widespread introduction of the printed book from 1650’s onwards put large amounts of information in a portable form for the first time, enabling it to be taken wherever a learner traveled. Policy at the time involved a range of responses to this information revolution, from book burnings to the passing of restrictive legislation. By the 1800’s however, the ability to access and then build on the stored information made possible by printed books contributed in turn to the Reformation, the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution and the Digital Revolution.

Introduction 2.0
The widespread introduction since the 1980’s of the personal computer, the internet, and now ubiquitous mobile devices, has allowed large amounts of information to be carried and accessed wherever a learner goes. Policy responses to these developments has ranged from widespread adoption, to the banning of websites and devices. What future developments this ‘always on’ access to local networks and the entire internet, combined with the digital storage capabilities of todays devices will lead to has yet to be determined.

It is important when examining any issue to know what has come before. While technology is always changing, be it from scrolls to printing presses, or room-sized computers to handheld ones, the reactions of those who use it may not. After all, it was over 200 years after printed books became available before the University of Paris allowed students access to its library on the grounds that they undermined the authority of the Teacher and the importance previously held by oral debate (Farrell, 2001, p41).

The benefits of the micro-chip (developed in 1971) and the hard disk drive, while confined at first to large corporations and universities, have since impacted wider society (and by implication, Education) in three successive waves. The first was the appearance in the early 1980’s of several ‘personal’ computers that were affordable to consumers and schools. According to Culp, Honey and Mandinach, a 1983 report by the Commission on Educational Excellence was the first to include a recommendation that all high school graduates in the United States should “understand the computer as an information, computation and communication device; [be able to] use the computer in the study of the other Basics and for personal and work-related purposes; and understand the world of computers, electronics, and related technologies”(“A Retrospective”, 2005, p280).

Growing out of smaller Government and University computer networks of the late 1980’s, the internet became widely accessible to general users from the early 1990’s. Thus desktop computers could now not just create and store large amounts of information themselves, but use new software by AOL (which allowed access to a restricted web) and Netscape to ‘browse’ thousands (and now millions) of databases and websites. For educators and students, this has allowed research to extend beyond the walls of the classroom and to usher in the use of e-learning incorporating email and chat rooms. More recently, the development of online sharing and social tools (known as Web 2.0) has added another layer of networking to the uses of the internet such that now, “students are not learning alone, in their room, in silence”(Breuleux’s, 2001, p3). The net is initiating a transition whereby ‘school’ as a controlled, separated entity will move to having “a more fluid relationship” between places of learning and the once outside places of work, practice, and play.

Despite the wishes of many Education departments, not all rollouts of these new technologies have gone smoothly. A report in 1999 from the UK Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) stated that there are acute problems in IT in 4 out of 10 schools, and that “[in secondary schools] there is little sign of the technology being used to support deep learning”(Sharples, 2003, “Disruptive Devices”, p505). Cuban, in Reeves, (2002) concluded that in Universities, dominant teaching practices remained largely unchanged in the years where new technologies were introduced and that “traditional forms of teaching seem to have been relatively untouched by the enormous investment in technologies that the university has made since the 1960s”(p129).

In Australia, the Queensland Department of Education has recently released a ‘rollout’ policy to cover its current educational ‘Smart Classrooms’ initiative. It states that “Schools are now educating a generation of students who are growing up in a digital world” (2007, p5), but doesn’t mention the latest development in the digital world. Parallel, but now combining with the rise of Web 2.0, has been the continuing minutiarisation of computers to the point where mobile digital devices such as MP3 players, PDA’s (personal digital assistants) and handheld game systems are proliferating. One device stands above them all in its adoption to the point of becoming ubiquitous - the mobile phone. As of 2003, approximately 95% of all nations have mobile phone networks, with “the majority of the world’s countries have more mobile phone subscribers than fixed landline ones (Katz, Rice, 2003, “ Comparing internet and mobile phone usage” p602). Indeed, it “has become one of the fastest-growing communication technologies ever, with subscriptions reaching over two billion worldwide”(Campbell, 2006, “Perceptions of Mobile Phones”, p280).

Partly because of this, Sharples (2003, “Disruptive Devices”, p505) suggests moving beyond desktop PC focus to mobile networked devices because: “The assumption that computer-mediated learning will occur in the classroom, managed by a teacher, is now being challenged”. This is due to the rise in use of mobile communication computers even by children, to the point where in 2001, a UK survey found that “48% of children aged 7-16 owned a mobile phone and that on average they send 2.5 text messages per day”(Ibid). Attewell and Savill-Smith report even more alarming 2002 figures for the UK showing that 90% of the 15-19 age bracket owned mobile phones (2004, p4).

To read part 2 (Reactions), part 3 (Revisions) and part 4 (recommendations) please click HERE to download the .PDF file.//

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

When is an ipod not an mLearning device?

There has been a debate over this for a while, but today’s new ipods seems to have started debate again! Especially because the new Touch model (here via engadget) will sport a browser allowing access to all kinds of extra functionality like the web and online document creation (such as google docs).

Not everyone is happy though - see this post by fellow Australian mLearn blogger Leonard Low AND the comments that follow. Why not get into the debate here or there as well (also features Tony Vincent from the excellent ‘Learning in Hand’) ?

My take (commented as jnxyz) is that “no one ever said the ipod was built as a ed device. I’m only aware of one portable digital device that ever truly has been (OLPC). All the rest we’re just adapting and working with it. We should never be dazzled Leonard, but why not take whatever advantage we can of the tools that are common. Until all schools get OLPC’s or similar, that’s our educator’s lot I’m afraid… Or is there another alternative device out there?”

What’s yours?

See also these previous articles here about ipod’s and education:

- Let’s get the ipod’s in schools debate started!
- Schools ditching technology

Monday, August 27, 2007

Kids, Mobiles and the what it all means

Yes, the issue that won't go away - especially as far as schools are concerned. Not only is there the problem of them being stolen from students bags, there's the 'status' problem for kids who don't have them, and cyber-bullying for those who do. Despite this, there is a huge potential for the use of mobile phones in learning, especially for those school districts whose ICT funds still go largely to maintaining desktop labs.

I know at my school, up to a third of upper students have them - even if only a percentage have camera's or bluetooth capability, there still may be 100 or more mobile devices in my school every day - certainly swamps the 5 PDA's I have access to.

To access the full article and links, head to

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The 360 mLearning Report from eLearning Guild

The 360 mLearning report from the eLearning Guild is now available to download.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get the OK to release the two case studies I had prepared for the report in time for the publication, however, there are two excellent case studies included with this report:

Case Study: Integrating m-Learning with a Learning Management SystemTristan
Evans, president of Perago Learning Solutions, Inc., explains how his company
integrated m-Learning with a Learning Management System, and how you can do the
Case Study: A Look at Mobility within the Walls of Tyco International,
Ltd.Don McDougal, Director of Learning Technology at Tyco International shares a
view into his company’s mobility strategy, and provides us with a unique
opportunity to see their progression from pioneers to accomplished experts.

Download the full report from the eLearning Guild here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Answering LinkedIn: Will it (mLearning) become a worthy alternative for ILT/CBT/eLearning?

There was an interesting question posted on LinkedIn recently.

mLearning is the talk of the day. Will it become a worthy alternative for ILT/CBT/eLearning?

This question does go to show that people still look at mLearning as a replacement for eLearning instead of a tool to be used in the learning function.

To properly look at mLearning, one needs to not think of the 'm' in mLearning as 'mobile' and instead replace it with the term 'my' (as in myLearning). This is because the key to mLearning's success thus far has been that people are becoming more and more mobile and devices are becoming capable of accessing a wide variety of content. We are at the branch point now where 'mobile learning' has lost its newness and now we can clearly look at it as another tool in our chest.
mLearning should fit the need of:
The Right Content
on the Right Device
in the Right Format
at the Right Time
in the Right Context

mLearning is exploding right now, but, if any of us thinks it will replace the ILT/CBT type learning, then we will lose it's true power.

From Leonard Low» Mobile Blogging + GPS data = Locoblog Mobile Learning

Further extending the concept of blogging beyond blogging mobile-ly (moblogging), Locoblog automatically uses embedded GPS data in uploaded images to associate each image with a location as soon as it is uploaded; these locations are then viewable on a Google Maps map embedded in a viewer’s web browser, where they can be browsed sequentially or visually (using the map).

Read the rest here:
» Mobile Blogging + GPS data = Locoblog Mobile Learning

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mobile Learning is Best Practice

In the school system in which I teach, laptops are being made available for every Teacher over the next 3 or so years. Exciting as this is, there are some districts overseas where every student has a laptop. In particular, the state of Maine in the USA is in its fifth year of providing iBook laptops to all its thousands (25,000+) of students. This kind of long term project has great potential to provide feedback then on whether the technology is just a gimmick, or if it has had a positive impact.

As reported by 'The Ellsworth American', a Main newspaper, surveys of nearly 5,000 middle school teachers from throughout Maine show that laptops improve motivation, engagement and class participation for special needs students and for students considered “at risk” for low academic achievement.

The results have been overwhelmingly positive. To read the rest of this post, go HERE.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

mLearning with PDA survey's

For my first cross-post from the mLearnxyz blog, I'd like to zoom right back to my frontline: Tullawong State School, Caboolture. This is the second year in a row we have run a unit using the free Ninepoll survey program on our Palm Z22's.

Year 7 students with learning difficulties are required to brainstorm different survey ideas before writing them out with A,B,C and D answer options. They then enter these into Ninepoll and check their spelling and punctuation. Next up students rehearse approaching other kids and teachers to ask politely if they have some time, then read out their questions and answers before using the software to record the responses. Ninepoll adds up all the responses in different categories and displays the data as bar and pie graphs.

There are of course several reasons why we use this unit with our students. Obvious ones include exposure to the survey genre, practice at editing, and learning PDA skills. But their are two others also which I have observed that are just as important. The first relates to confidence, and it is truly remarkable to watch kids who are used to struggling when it comes to literacy task gain the confidence to approach even the Principal and clearly state their questions. The other area is about bridging the digital divide. Its no secret that many students with learning difficulties come from disadvantaged backgrounds. For these kids, the chance to learn how to use a PDA in primary school is just the sort of headstart they need to expose them to a wider world of digital possibilities than they may otherwise be exposed to.

So yeah, we're proud of these students, as are their classroom teachers. So do you think that there should be a skatepark at school? There are screenshots of this and other survey's the students created available at flickr group 'mobile tech'

- Jonathan Nalder

Everyone Welcome our Newest Author- Jonathan Nalder

I've decided that is not just about my opinions and experience, but should be more of an open forum.  With this said, I've invited several new authors to share their experience.  
Our newest author is Jonathan Nadler

Jonathan Nalder is a 32 year old Learning Support Teacher currently studying a Masters with a focus on integrating technology into education. Having first opted for a PDA instead of a desktop back in 2003, he has since set out to explore the rich world of mobile learning - where the advantages brought by technology can be accessed anywhere, not just in one lab, or on an old PC at the back of a classroom. First writing about mLearning in early 2006, Jonathan has now published over 60 articles and posts at, authored video podcasts (over 16,000 views at youtube and teachertube), and continued to explore the improved engagement and outcomes his students experience through being able to access digital devices such as Palm PDA's, digital camera's, voice recorders and even pedometers!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

mLearning is not just Mobile- m(y)Learning now means YOU.

I've received a lot of emails asking where I have been the past several months. Yes, I'm still alive. As other designers can attest, there are times when the you have so many large enterprise projects hitting that you just want to set your computer aside when you get home.

During this time I have been thinking about what mLearning really is and what should be the goal of

I've come to realize that the m in mLearning is far more than being mobile.
mLearning is the new paradigm of education. One could look at the m in mLearning as MY.

Being mobile is one part of mLearning, but the most important part is that education is
written and delivered to the learner in the way that is best suited for their specific function
and need at the time they receive the training.

With this said, I will be expanding mLearning world beyond Mobile Learning and look more at how learning can be personalized for all learners.

Mobile Learning will still be a large part of this site, first because it is a large part of my job and second,
because it is a crucial part of personalized learning.

In addition to expanding my scope, I have also decided to share mLearning-World. If you would like to take part in posting articles, please drop me an email at
I am looking for one or two people who would like to share your educational technology experience on this site.

Thanks for your patience, look for a lot more articles soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Elliot Masie's Learning 2007 Conference

It's time to register for Learning 2007

Dear Learning & Training Colleagues:

You are invited! Learning 2007 is the annual global gathering of learning professionals focused on Learning Changes!

  • Changing Learning Content: Faster, Shorter, View/Listen, Collaborative, Search

  • Changing Learners: Impatient, Overwhelmed, Self-Service, New & Retiring

  • Changing Learning Systems: Evolving LMS, LCMS, Authoring, Social Networks

  • Changing Learning Issues: Governance, Talent, Assessment, Compliance

  • Changing Learning Models: e-Learning, Classroom, Gaming, Performance Support

Join Dan Pink (A Whole New Mind), Jenny Zhu (ChinesePod), Tony Bingham (ASTD), Don Tapscott (Wikinomics), Jane McGonigal (Performance/Gaming), Bob Pike (Creative Training) and our two dozen Learning Deans (CLOs of Key Corporations) as we discuss how Learning Changes!

Learning 2007 is presented by our Learning CONSORTIUM and co-hosted by ASTD. Check out the content, activities and learning options that are detailed on this site.

Monday, June 04, 2007

eLearning DevCon 07- mLearning Session Updates

I've received a lot of emails asking for information on the two sessions I was scheduled to present at eLearning DevCon 07. Unfortunately, some situations have changed and I won't be attending DevCon. I will, however, post the information from these presentations here at  I am also working on creating a 'virtual' session through SecondLife.  When I am able to source a meeting hall & time, I'll post the information for these sessions here.

For more information on eLearning DevCon 07, click here.

Information on the two sessions I was originally scheduled to present:

mLearning is Here-
In almost every mLearning conference & presentation, we've been told that mLearning is the 'next big thing'. From more powerful PDAs, the $100 laptop, the iPod, to SmartPhones, every speaker has always touted the upcoming mLearning revolution.

Generally, these speeches have included disclaimers about the roadblocks to this 'revolution'. Be it battery life, screen size, non standardized devices, or technology adoption, there was always something that prevented the revolution from happening now.

This course discusses how the mLearning revolution is already happening, only it has, like it's generation's (X) early adopters, rebelled against being labeled.

We will look at examples of how mLearning is going on all around us from toddlers to large corporations.

This course is designed to stop people from waiting for the mLearning revolution and instead, jump on board.

Start a mLearning Program Today-
Rapid and Cheap Create Rapid and Cheap Mobile Learning with tools such as text messaging, podcasting and rss feeds.

It is wrongly assumed that mobile learning is 'around the corner.' The fact is mobile learning is here and booming. This program will describe how to quickly create and deploy an mLearning strategy with tools your organization may already have.

In this course, we'll look at how to use text messaging in the classroom for interactive games, creating short podcasts that can be downloaded to different devices and use rss feeds to quickly disperse information to your employees.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

iTunes' Big mLearning Leap

With the newest release of the iTunes store, Apple has made a big mLearning leap.

This content which is available through the iTunes store itself has been provided by top US colleges and universities such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT.

According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, “iTunes U makes it easy for anyone to access amazing educational material from many of the country’s most respected colleges and universities. Education is a lifelong pursuit and we’re pleased to give everyone the ability to download lectures, speeches and other academic content for free.”

So if you’re planning on going to college or even university, then you must check out iTunes U via the iTunes Store. Here you will receive free and informative content that can be loaded onto any iPod with just one click, after which you can view it via your iPod anywhere, anytime.

“From its earliest days, Stanford has sought to serve the public by sharing the knowledge generated by our faculty and students,” said Stanford Provost John Etchemendy. “Our partnership with Apple and iTunes U provides a creative and innovative way to engage millions of people with our teaching, learning and research and share the experience of intellectual exploration and discovery that defines our university.”

Remember, you don't need an iPod or other MP3 player to use iTunes.  Simply download iTunes from and in the store, browse to iTunes U.

The improvements, however doesn't stop with iTunes U.   Apple has also released the Learning Interchange, giving educators and students the opportunity to share courses and resources.

Kudos Apple!

I'm downloading several courses today and will report on the quality and overall experience.  If you haven't purchased an iPod yet, see the links below for some iPods and accessories on sale.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Immigration Debate and Education

The latest immigration debate prompted me to do some thinking about adult education. I don't want this post to be a judgment for or against the current bill and whether it is amnesty or not, instead, my thoughts are about the consequences of this bill.

The current bill in the Senate will basically provide 12-20 million people, who were once living in the shadows, some sort of legalized status. From an educational and business perspective, this may be an interesting opportunity. There will be millions of people coming out of the shadows who may want to participate more in society. There is, however, an educational gap that needs filling. From the obvious ESL to computer, business, and citizenship courses, the adult educational opportunity is huge.

Imagine learning centers, similar to Sylvan centers for children, that cater to immigrant adults that helps them learn English and the skills they need to prosper in legal society. Yes, there are programs similar to this, but generally they are not targeted at this group, instead only modified for this group. This idea could also be franchised.
This is just a late night brainstorm....

Friday, April 27, 2007

OK, I give up.. Second Life IS a learning tool.

I've often stated that anything can be used as a learning tool, even the common stick, however, I have been hesitant to do anything with MMPORPGs as the time required to really become a part of these environments is far more than I have- heck, lately I have little time to even update this blog.

Last night, however, I stumbled across a virtual seminar in Second Life sponsored by BSU and EDUTech about using virtual gaming environments in education.  My eyes were opened to the possibility of Second Life.  Not only was I learning about using virtual gaming environments in education, but I was attending this in a virtual gaming environment.

The implications of this are far beyond what people thing of when games are mentioned.  Case in point, our new management structure within our department doesn't have the same belief in the importance of attending eLearning conferences such as DevCon.  With virtual worlds, such as Second Life, conferences suddenly become accessable to everyone.

Maybe when I earn enough lindens, I'll create an mLearning group on Second Life...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Making Content on Small Devices Look Great

Life has been quite busy lately, other than some major development projects, we are piloting a program to send quality tips to cell phones of reps in various types of call centers.
Sadly, this has meant neglecting my writing. Yesterday, I found a great article on the Opera Developer's Forum about making the best use of a mobile device's screen.

Making Small Devices Look Great

Snip:   In this article "device" means a small, mobile unit such as a smart phone or PDA. The rules for designing for small devices are mostly the same as the rules for good design in general, but some factors are particularly important. 

  • Low bandwidth
  • Browsing without graphics
  • The Device Screen
  • Limited Input Capability
  • The Processor, Memory and Storage
  • Mobility

I'll look at each of these challenges in subsiquent articles, however, it seems that the biggest roadblock a developer must overcome is the desire to reproduce eLearning content on a mobile device.  This is the wrong approach.

Instead, we should ask ourselves:
  • How does our audience use their mobile devices on the job?
  • What information does our audience need while mobile?
  • What is the best way to deliver that information to our audience?
  • How do we get 'buy in' and recurring use of mobile content?

When we look at content as something that is beneficial to use on the device versus simply changing traditional eLearning to fit on a mobile device, we will find that it is actually usable and accepted.

A perfect example of this is a quality program I am piloting right now for mobile devices. I could have easily developed a CBT that would fit on a mobile device, or even created a 'quality' podcast, but that wouldn't fit in with how our audience uses their phone.

Instead, this group needs small, bite sized chunks of data. A simple, daily text message with a quality tip actually has more impact for this audience than a more complex solution. 100-200 characters of information also requires that you think about what is the most important, sticky point you can make. This is a challenge for someone like myself who is often too wordy.

Reference: Create Rapid and Cheap Mobile Learning- Text Messaging

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Training Top 125- Kudos to my team!!

I just wanted to pass along some kudos to the great team I work with. For the sixth year in a row, we've won this award, and this year, we jumped up to #37 in this worldwide ranking (35 place increase from last year) . In addtion, a company we spun off last year made the top 125.

Our team also won a Best Practice Award for a sales training program.

From the presentation document:

Alltel Communications, Inc. “Leading It Right” was created and delivered to this communications provider’s frontline leaders based on the company’s core values and how its leaders display those values in the context of their jobs. A required course for all frontline managers—and open to other interested employees—more than 2,100 employees attended the program in 2006. “Leading it Right - Operations,” for other senior management, emphasizes how to leverage coaching engagements, provide practical leadership techniques, and how to serve as coaches for frontline leaders. According to Alltel, thanks to these programs, there has been a noted improvement in employee morale, job satisfaction, and greater understanding of Alltel’s values. BP

Windstream Communications Specific training at this communications company is followed by course assessments developed by its content management system. In the Call Center New Hire Program, a quiz is created every week that features five to 10 questions assessing the rep’s understanding of weekly updates.
Supervisors review scores to determine if more explanation is needed on a rep-by-rep basis, with scores recorded in an online database for documentation.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Relevant Networking-

Anyone who is a member of LinkedIn and other business networking sites may find that these networking sites are lacking something important, relevance.

I've recently discovered a new networking site that is for professionals who are interested in personal growth.

What I like about this site over others is that, not only is it pretty much a blank slate in the forums and groups, being new, but those who have started and joined the site are passionate about sharing knowledge that will help you grow as a person, not simply business connections.

If you join, visit my profile and add me to your network.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Text-message course helping newcomers learn English

Once again, language classes seem to be one of the best uses for mLearning solutions. This also shows something I've been saying for a while, mLearning is HERE, NOW! It has simply defied being labeled as such.

Text-message course helping newcomers learn English

A pen and paper aren't necessary in an Edmonton classroom where students are learning English with a new tool — text messages on their cellphones.
Under a pilot project, the students at the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers are testing "m-learning," or mobile learning, where they download an English grammar lesson, then answer a series of multiple choice, or true or false questions.

Athabasca University, a long-distance post-secondary school, created the cellphone lessons for those wanting to learn English as a second language (ESL).
"You're controlling it, which is so nice," said Tracey Woodburn of Athabasca University. "A lot of people have been telling me, 'Oh, I can do this when I am watching my kid's soccer practice or when I am on the bus coming to school.'"

'You learn where you are' The students in the class are from all over the world, many from countries where they don't have home phones, only cellphones.
"Everybody has a phone. My husband and I worked in Japan for five years teaching ESL and we were the only people in the school, out of 600 people,
who didn't have cellphones," said Woodburn.

Student Fadieh Al-Kaloti said cellphone learning works well for her. "You learn where you are — in the bus or in the train or maybe in the plane," she said. If the pilot project works, Athabasca University hopes eventually people all over the world will be able dial up English lessons on their cellphone, whether it's the LRT in Edmonton or the bullet train in Japan.

Win a free iPhone and learn something new!

From Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development: eLearning DevCon 2007 - Chance for a FREE iPhone#links

The eLearning DevCon 2007 is coming this summer. I know many of you need to plan your conference schedules early, and you also want to take advantage of the early registration discounts ($749 through April 9th).

Good news! Register with the code iPhone and you will be entered into an exclusive drawing for an iPhone.What? You've never heard of the elearndevcon? Check out what people have said from previous years. For the eLearning Developer that's in the trenches every day designing, developing, and delivering eLearning, this is the best the BEST price....

Book Review- The Brand You 50

This is from a review I wrote on several years ago. I felt it was a good time to revisit how we can personally brand ourselves.

The Brand You 50 : Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion!

In the book The Brand You 50, Tom Peters creates a process in which we can empower ourselves to stand out, both personally, and professionally. With corporations extending their global reach, technology evolving faster than most people can keep up with, and the internet opening all sorts of doors of information, Tom helps us create a path to help us stand out from the crowd and be heard above the roar. As with all of Tom Peter’s books, the paths are given in an almost elementary order with humorous analogies and descriptions, sure to stick in one's head. I felt that providing a simple ‘book review’ would not do justice to the concepts that Tom is conveying so instead I will take this book, brick by brick, through the start of the transformation and self branding process. It is, of course, impractical to for me to cover every topic here, but I believe that this sample will leave you with sweet dreams of your future.

It Is Up To You

The first and most important item in transforming ourselves is to first declare independence from ‘the same old same old’. The first chapter has us create a Declaration of Personal Independence. We need to free ourselves from what we think are the constraints of our job. There are no such things as ‘white-collar’ jobs any more, and as long as we think in those limited terms, we will never be independent from they typical j.o.b.

The White-Collar Revolution Has Started

Just as during the 80s we saw a massive change in the ‘blue-collar’ job sector. Plants that used to take five hundred people to operate suddenly were automated to the point a handful of workers could run the plant. In the same way, traditional white-collar jobs are now changing. With advances in technology, accountants, IT professionals, managers, HR professionals, and customer service professionals are now finding that their jobs may not even exist with in the next few years. According to The Brand You 50, 90% or more of white-collar jobs will either be gone or changed in the next fifteen years. We all must motivate ourselves to surf the wave of change, or drown.

Brand Yourself

Just as it is vital for each company to find a way to make themselves stand out from the competition, it is also vital for us to create our own ‘branding.’ Part of our personal branding is to create a ‘branded skill set’. We must emphasize our marketable skill craft, make ourselves distinct and memorable, and enhance our networking skills so as to advertise ourselves through word of mouth contacts.

Start NOW

With all of the changes taking place, there is no time to wait to improve yourself and your situation. In this chapter, Tom assigns his readers with a starting point to their personal change. Before you go on in this book, it is important that you do the following steps:

  • Evaluate your personal brand equity.
  • Develop an advertisement for your personal brand.
  • Create an eight word mission statement.
  • Describe yourself in a bumper sticker statement.

Although you will expand on these steps through out the book, this will give you a starting point and a personal vision to work on.

Forget Jobs

As long as we look at what we do as simply a job, we will never realize the scope of our impact, nor reach the potential of our work. Change our mindset to think of our work in terms of projects for clients. I found myself recently using this with a group of customer service representatives for a major ISP. I asked each representative to look at each call as a unique project that they were working for a unique client (the customer.) The change that happened with many of these CSR’s, when they changed their work attitude, was tremendous. Not only did each of these CSR’s handle their customers in an efficient and friendly manner, but they all started looking for ways to improve their next ‘project’ by learning from prior ‘projects’. Changing how you view your work will have an impact on how you grow in your work.

Package Yourself

Every brand needs packaging. Think about how different companies brand themselves in their packaging and advertising. What image do they attempt to portray? How does the public receive that image? Think about your craft and skills you described when you branded yourself. How would you package that brand to sell it to the public?

Inc. Yourself

Refer to yourself as your own corporation. When you start looking at yourself as your own corporation, then your focus and priorities will change. How much differently will Your Name work than Your Name Inc.?

Determine What You Value

What is important to you? What are your values about life? Once you have a picture of what is truly valuable to you, work always for those values. Here Tom has us create a mission statement for ourselves that relates to our value statement. Our mission should reflect what is truly important to us.

Develop A Portfolio

We are far more than the little jobs we may do on a daily basis. Each of us must determine what skills we bring to the job. For me, just having an MBA did not say much about my skills in my work and I found that title was actually self-limiting. Each of us must determine the extent of our skills and what we can bring to the table. I have worked with many self-employed people who categorized their skills only by the label they give themselves. Many are amazed at how many skills they truly have by looking at all aspects of their careers. Most self employed people do their own books, taxes, scheduling, advertising, and marketing; with out ever giving themselves credit for it.

Know How Money Is Made

Most people have no concept of what money really is or how it works. For most people, money is something they receive for working and spend for products. It is important that when you go through the process of Branding Yourself you take the time to acquire a good economic understanding. One of the keys that most truly successful people have is they understand the true value of a dollar, and how it works in relation to society.

Market The “Brand You” To The World

This chapter does not entail running out and buying advertising on every TV station through out the world in order to get your ‘face’ recognized. Instead, this is a lesson in global marketing based on those who are successful at it. While each of us may not be an Oprah or Martha Stewart, each of us has the ultimate potential to have our ‘self branding’ reach through out the world. Study how those who successfully market themselves through out the world conduct their business.

Buy The Book

No, buying the book is not one of Tom Peter’s guideposts in The Brand You 50. Buying the book is my suggestion for anyone who wishes to create a ‘happily ever after’ for the rest of their lives. It would be virtually impossible for me to cover every single topic in this review, but if you want to truly maximize your crappy little tasks to gold and you wish to be your own Rolodex then I suggest you consider investing in yourself and buy a copy of The Brand You 50.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The February Big Question- What Question?

The Learning Circuits Blog has given us another challenge with their February Big Question: What Questions Should We Be Asking?

I am glad to see this question, it's about time we as education professionals ask instead of tell. We are often dictating to our learners the information we think they need. We are also 'telling' our learners that they must be taught following XX style because that is what a textbook taught us or what we learned from a speaker at some conference.

We should step back and really think about what responsibility we are placing on our learners. If we develop to some 'textbook' style, then not only are we giving our learners the responsibility of learning the knowledge we've given them, we often now are giving them the responsibility of conforming to our teaching methods.

Given that, my answer would be for us as educators to ask our learners:

What do you need from us?

I believe we will be surprised when we go to our learners that they may have a completely different answer than our assumptions.

Responses thus far:

Monday, February 05, 2007

Promote your mLearning Work

Has your organization developed a training program specifically to push to mobile devices such as mobile phones or iPods?

I would like to hear about your experience. I plan to start a series of interviews on & for our newsletter on real-world application of mLearning.

I'm not looking for your typical 'gurus' on the subject, instead, I am looking for real-world developers or instructional designers who are 'in the trenches'.

If you would like to participate in a short interview, either respond with a comment to this post or drop me an e-mail at

ASTD TechKnowledge 2007 Handouts

Handouts from the ASTD TechKnowledge 2007 conference in Las Vegas.

Friday, February 02, 2007


There is a lot of interesting data in this report:


The measure of m-learning success is important to understand the value of management actions and investment in m-learning. Focusing on technology aspects of m-learning, no research has been done in m-learning success factors from the user's perspective. The objective of this study is to investigate key determinants of m-learning success perceived by users. Potential determinants of m-learning success are inferred from the general characteristics of m-learning system, the literature in Information System (IS) success and expert interviews. The potential factors are grouped into system quality, contents quality and service quality. User satisfaction construct is used to measure m-learning success. The questionnaire is used to assess the satisfaction of users who had recently purchased learning products from m-learning vendors. The data collected by questionnaire were analyzed to check the validity of constructs. Then hypotheses describing the relationships between the identified constructs and user satisfaction were formulated and tested.

The rapid development of information and
communication technologies (ICT) has led to the increased use of ICT in instruction and learning (8). The convergence of the mobile devices with existing educational technologies provides learners with greater flexibility by making learning available and accessible. The term m-learning is coined to describe the convergence of mobile technologies with e-learning. The development of m-learning products and the provision of
mlearning opportunities are expected to be rapidly expanding. In
business, for example, the importance of m-learning has
been raised as many companies look into mobile technologies to support mobility of their
Knowledge Management (KM) activities. The use of ICT facilitates knowledge sharing and cooperative learning among KM participants (24, 30).

Read the full report here ->

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

IADIS Mobile Learning 2007: Call for Papers

IADIS Mobile Learning 2007: Call for Papers


  • What is Mobile Learning?
  • How to Enhance the Experience without Interfering With It?
  • Affective Factors in Learning with Mobile Devices
  • How Can We Address the Conflicts between Personal Informal Learning and Traditional Classroom Education?
  • Evaluating Mobile Learning: What are Appropriate Methods for Evaluating in Mobile Environments?
  • How Should Learning Activities Using Mobile Technologies be Designed to Support Innovative Educational Practice?
  • How Can We Integrate Mobile Devices with Broader Educational Scenarios?


  • Full Papers – These include mainly accomplished research results and have 8 pages at the maximum (5,000 words).
  • Short Papers – These are mostly composed of work in progress reports or fresh developments and have 4 pages at maximum (2,500 words).
  • Reflection Papers – These might review recent research literature pertaining to a particular problem or approach, indicate what the findings suggest, and/or provide a suggestion - with rationale and justification - for a different approach or perspective on that problem. Reflection papers might also analyze general trends or discuss important issues in topics related to Mobile Learning. These have 4 pages at maximum (2,500 words).
  • Posters / Demonstrations – These have one page at the maximum (625 words) besides the poster itself (or demonstration) that will be exposed at the conference.
  • Tutorials – Tutorials can be proposed by scholars or company representatives. A proposal of maximum 250 words is expected.
  • Panels – Discussions on selected topics will be held. A proposal of maximum 250 words is expected.
  • Invited Talks – These will be made of contributions from well-known scholars and company representatives. An abstract will be included in the conference proceedings.
  • Doctoral Consortium - A Doctoral Consortium will discuss in group, individual projects and on going work of PhD students. Prospective students should send a report of their PhD projects and work so far with a maximum of 4 pages (2,500 words).
  • Corporate Showcases & Exhibitions – The former enables Companies to present recent developments and applications, inform a large and qualified audience of your future directions and showcase company’s noteworthy products and services. There will be a time slot for companies to make their presentation in a room. The latter enables companies the opportunity to display its latest offerings of hardware, software, tools, services and books, through an exhibit booth.

For further details please contact the publicity chair -

Important Information:

  • Submission Deadline: 26 February 2007
  • Notification to Authors: until 27 April 2007
  • Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration: Until 18 May 2007
  • Late Registration (first call): After 18 May 2007
  • Conference: Lisbon - Portugal, 5 to 7 July 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Reference - Weblog Case Study

From, Supernova 2006 - Weblog, for reference, a case study of incorporating Web 2.0 by Dresdner Kleinwort investment bank in Germany.

Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development: Paper-based Learning - DIY Job Aids

Finally, some practical thought.. In Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development: Paper-based Learning - DIY Job Aids Brent takes a realistic look that sometimes good old paper based job aids and gives us some good tools.

This is a sore spot for me as I try to sell including a 'paper based' take-away item in a training I'm designing. The overall training program is a highly interactive system training that includes videos, help systems, 'test-out' options, and practice environments. We've discovered a need for an easy 'take away' cheat sheet (something that can be attached to a monitor) so people can be reminded what menu to use for top tasks..

Many are so wanting virtual only training, that even the thought of a small reminder job aid to help during the transition is shot down.

Never underestimate the power of the tangible item in your learner's hands.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wikis at Work

This article, Wikis at Work from, asks us, could wikis work for you (at your workplace)?
This is something I've been considering and looking for an opportunity to implement for a while.

Here are some snips from the article:

While chaos would seem to reign with wikis, workers — and especially technology workers, including developers, project managers, QA, and product managers — often prize wikis as a way to keep projects quickly and easily organized. Various organizations, including British Telecom, Disney, Motorola, Texas Instruments, and Yahoo!, have adopted wikis for their IT project teams...

Why use a wiki? According to Vanessa DiMauro, a principal at Leader Networks and an expert in online communities and social networking, wikis excel at uniting geographically dispersed project teams, “connecting project management and senior technical staffs with clients and project managers,” and sharing non-static, internal company information, including “prospecting lists, user manuals, and employee directories.” ...

Wikis differ from other collaborative tools — including groupware, e-mail, online communities, instant messaging, intranets, and Microsoft’s Groove and SharePoint — because they allow information to be shared and retrieved in a free-form yet user-structured manner.

Read the entire article here:

I plan to begin a log here into our deciding on and building a wiki collaboration platform here at my work. I am also planning to work on ways to publish and retrieve the contents through mobile devices, truly fusing mLearning and Web 2.0.