mLearning is Here
Provide Your Training Anywhere
The buzz is mobile devices…more specifically, accessing information on mobile devices. The buzz is also that Apple doesn’t support
flash on its iPad, iPod, and iPhone. People confuse this with a general support of online training.
I’ve listened to Steve Jobs, and I’ve listened to Adobe, and my conclusion is that proponents and opponents will have to agree to
disagree—and then find a solution that works for what we want to accomplish.
The term mobile device has been largely redefined with the advent of iPads, iPods, iPhones, Android tablets,
smart phones, and Blackberries, and the like. It refers to any electronic information system that isn’t a desktop or laptop and
is easy to take with you. Nearly a year ago, when Brindle Waye began suggesting to our clients that they could deploy their courses
on Android, the public was just beginning to wake up to the idea. The mobile device age has now generated some definite interest
in various genres, including training and talent management.
The flexibility offered in this mode of information sharing has phenomenal implications, and will, we feel, be instrumental in
convincing the public to validate and affirm alternate forms of education, not just in business. Mobile education is here to
stay and growing, exemplified by the increasing popularity of the term, mLearning.
How feasible is it to deliver training on the mobile device? And, if you want to use flash presentations, what can you do?
Advantages of using the mobile device to deliver training — Easiest way to train anyone, anytime…anywhere. That’s our motto.
Happily, the mobile device lends even more support for this claim. If you have a web browser you can take our courses—and
manage them— on the iPad, Android tablet, Android phone, iPhone, etc. It’s just that easy.
What about flash?
For those of you who use flash presentations, you will have to be a bit more discerning about which tablet you use to deploy your
courses. It comes down to this: Apple does not support flash files on its iPad, iPod, and iPhone. Why not? Suffice it to say
that Steve Jobs is looking to the future of mobile device learning which involves HTML5. But what can we do now? If flash is
an important component of your training, and you want to include mobile devices to deploy them, let us reassure you that Android,
Blackberry, and the new HP tablet products fully support flash presentations.
The future of mLearning — The mobile device will conceivably become the new personal computer and mLearning the new way of
learning. There are good reasons the industry will move in the direction of mLearning, so many, in fact, that it is not reasonable
to list them all in this article. What advantages you might consider, besides carry-it-with-you, learn or manage-on-the-go
ability, is personal ownership, adaptability, low cost, and integration of the emerging concept of “chunk” learning —
learning small portions at a time. I see the mobile platform as an excellent move geared towards the flexibility and ease of access
to the now knowledge required in today’s world.
While small screen view may present some thought concerning the effectiveness and convenience of the iPhone and similar small devices
in taking a full course, the portable tablet has a very comfortable viewing area where information, including courses, can easily
be accessed and utilized with a web browser.
As for the future concerning flash presentations on the Apple iPad, iPod, or iPhone, don’t hold your breath. A lot of energy is
required to play flash on mobile devices and the battery drain does not view favorably in Apple’s eyes. At this time, Apple has
no plans to support flash on these devices.
As far as the practical expectation of mobile devices in business and education…we aren’t just talking about the future. A young
woman I know left her laptop behind, opting for her Androids, along with a luggage bag or two, and boarded the plane for Italy
for a summer semester abroad. Everything’s going well, she says. Her tablet is easy to travel with, perfect for school assignments,
information research, attending to business and email, and, along with other perks, her Android phone app allows her to make
free calls back to the States. Not too bad…in fact, not bad at all…
BearHug: Customer Support Portal
A few months ago, Brindle Waye started using BearHug, from Live Oak 360, to provide a public customer support portal for our
customers and potential customers. You can find this new feature on the main page, and a few other pages, of our web site. Just
click the "Support" widget along the left edge of the page. It will open to show a dashboard window, a "Pulse" window, and windows
for asking question, posting reviews, and making suggestions for future product enhancements. We hope that you will take advantage
of this convenient method for communicating your wants and ideas to us.
The first view you will see when you click our new support icon is a summary page called the "Dashboard." This page shows selected
highlights from the other pages, giving you a quick overview of how things are and what has been happening. From here you can go
directly to any of the other pages by clicking the link to that page.
The "Pulse" page shows you the current status of our servers and applications. As soon as we are aware of any system problem, however
small or transitory, we will update this page to reflect that change in status. You will also find a brief history of our server
and application status on this same page. Clicking the "View All Status Updates" button will allow you to sign up for automatic
notification via eMail or SMS text message to your mobile phone whenever this status pages posts an update. You can also get these
updates as Tweets by becoming a follower of our Brindle Waye Twitter
account or get them as an RSS feed.
The "Answers" page is where you can browse a collection of questions and answers submitted by other users or submit your own question.
We encourage you to become involved in the Design-a-Course community. Maybe today you can help another user with an operational
question, while tomorrow you may find that answer for which you are searching. Of course, you can always submit your question and our
support staff will respond in short order. If you want to keep up with what others are doing with the product, and maybe pick up
some pointers for your own training effort, you can subscribe to the questions page as an RSS feed.
What would you like Design-a-Course to do for you? The "Ideas" page is where you can tell us about it. I can't promise to
make your every idea a new feature, but we will consider every idea that you tell us about.
That's our new support portal. We hope that you are as excited about it as we are.