Posts Tagged "Clark Quinn"

Designing #mlearning Book Review – Chapter 6

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I intend to provide a brief synopsis of each chapter of ‘Designing mlearning‘, but more importantly I intend to answer the questions that Clark poses at the end of each chapter and then pose those same questions back to you ‘Dear Reader‘     Chapter 6 – Getting Concrete This chapter provides an insight into several real-world, concrete examples which demonstrate a range of mlearning possibilities and applications, each of them following this template. (which with a little tweaking, would make a nice business case template) The organisation: Who was involved? The challenge: What was the need? Why mobile: What made mobile a solution? Making the case: How was the solution presented? The solution: What was actually done? The benefits: What was expected? The results: What was observed? Lessons learned: What recommendations came out of this project? There were an impressive number of examples in this chapter and I won’t spoil your future reading by going into each one, however what I will highlight is a few surprises that some of these case studies held for me? I had always assumed that Blackberry was a particularly crappy platform to develop for and in turn deliver content via, this assumption was based upon the low number of apps available for BB and the teeth-sucking and eye-rolling that took place whenever BB development was suggested to some former colleauges. This chapter helped to reshape my perceptions of what can be achieved via BB as a result of reading a case study which centered around the delivery of pharmaceutical sales training and performance support to field sales teams utilising their BB Bold 9000 and 9700 devices. This reshaping of my BB expectations will certainly be of use to me on in my new role within an organisation whose mobile solutions at this moment in time, is BB. Reading many of these case studies also brought to light just how long many people/organisations/vendors have been developing mobile solutions (as we might define them today) with Hybrid Learning Systems developing XML SCORM compliant mobile solutions in 2006 – that’s 6 years ago folks! There are no questions being posed at the end of this chapter, which was a little disappointing as I found that in previous chapters they had helped to focus my thoughts and gave me an opportunity to openly reflect and...

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Designing #mlearning Book Review – Chapter 5

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I intend to provide a brief synopsis of each chapter of ‘Designing mlearning‘, but more importantly I intend to answer the questions that Clark poses at the end of each chapter and then pose those same questions back to you ‘Dear Reader‘     Chapter 5 – Getting Contextual We start this chapter off with the statement “content may be king, but context rules“, which provides a nice stepping stone into a number of examples that Clark provides to show what others have done to take advantage of mobile capabilities, via some concrete examples as opposed to abstract principles and possibilities. We start off with an example from within the formal K12 education sector in which it was identified that laptops were the wrong form factor for children’s little hands so Elliot Soloway started developing software for the much more ‘form factor friendly’ PDAs to support note-taking, collecting and the sharing of data, whilst elsewhere the portability of mobile devices has supported children in conducting out-of-class experiments. We then skip forward to Higher Ed and look at how students are accessing course management information such as schedules, syllabi and assignments from their mobile devices as well as accessing online recordings of lectures. The are a few interesting examples of educational establishments providing iPods, iPhones and iPod Touches to students (with varying degrees of success), which has regenerated my thinking around providing low-cost devices (I’m thinking iPod touches) within businesses to facilitate the uptake of mobile device usage. We naturally progress onto Organisational uses of mobile devices, where Clark promises us some case studies in the next chapter, but for now we are reminded of the use of handheld scanners for stock control, data tracking, healthcare data provision, a drug trial in Canada using Blackberries to remind subjects to take their medication and finally the perhaps most recognised use within businesses, of employees connecting with Enterprise-wide contacts and calendars. We finish off the chapter with these questions being posed (along with my responses): What examples of mobile use have you seen that can provide models for what you might try? A few weeks ago I attended an eLearning Network event during which I observed a demonstration of a native app ‘shell’ that allowed content (of pretty much any file type I think) to be contained within it. For me the real ‘wow’ factor of this was the fact that access to each piece of content could be set to activate upon arrival at a physical location as opposed to having everything ‘on show’, this led to me to start thinking about whether it would be possible for the content to be activated as a result of other factors i.e. those that have been mentioned in this mindmap that was produced last year. All I need now is an opportunity to put this into practice! What barriers do you face in your context, and what possible solutions have others found? As a vendor, one of the biggest barriers I face in my role, is the client perception that mobile learning is ‘shrunken down’ desktop learning. I attempt to overcome this perception by demonstrating ‘best use’ examples of mobile devices and even challenge/question the client as to how they use their mobile device to support themselves in both their personal and professional lives. This usually leads to an interesting conversation that highlights that ‘shrunken down’ desktop learning didn’t figure in their response. I won’t say that this approach works all of the time, or even most of the time, however I’m sure it provides food for thought……  So folks,, why not take a...

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Designing #mlearning Book Review – Chapter 4

  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I intend to provide a brief synopsis of each chapter of ‘Designing mlearning‘, but more importantly I intend to answer the questions that Clark poses at the end of each chapter and then pose those same questions back to you ‘Dear Reader‘   Chapter 4 – The technology it’s not about We start this chapter with a nod to the fact that the iPad (1) was announced during the writing of this book. Given that this is still considered a ‘recent’ book, this shows very clearly how dynamic this market is. From looking forward we take a look back at a brief history of mobile devices commencing at the Palm Pilot, skipping ahead to mobile phones, through media players to smartphones. From there we review the advent of handheld games, tablets and recording devices, before acknowledging that by the time many readers pick up this book some of the descriptions will already be out of date. We then take a look at a trend that gives a fairly clear indication of how things are going at the moment – “convergence”. More and more devices are providing a 1-stop shop for much (if not all) of the functionality that we used to associate with multiple devices. Towards the end of the chapter we are reminded just how quickly this field is developing as Clark suggests that we may even be moving towards wearing glasses with a Heads Up Display - imagine that! We finish off the chapter with these questions being posed (along with my responses): How can you take advantage of any of the dedicated devices (media player, camera, PDA, phone)? I’m not sure that we really need to go out of our way to take advantage of the plethora of dedicated devices, after all our learners are already using them within their day-to-day lives to take pictures, record video, access the web, read novels etc. Given that dedicated devices are in my opinion “High Street” what I think we need to do is to tap into learner’s familiarity with them and start to drip-feed examples of how they can use them within a workplace environment. Why not model some good examples using dedicated devices? Often when I facilitate face-to-face activities, I make a point of recording audio feedback, video voxpops and photographs of interactivity using dedicated devices in order to model good practice for the attendees to (hopefully) follow. How can you capitalize the increasing ubiquity of the converged devices? Let’s be honest most organisations (even now) are not providing converged devices (read phones and tablets) to support learning programmes or ‘overtly’ to maximise performance. I believe they are providing them so that you have little or no excuse for not responding to emails! But let’s not let this worry us, instead let’s leverage the growing distribution of mobile devices for our own ends and start to offer resources, assets etc that can benefit from the functionality of the converged device. Have you considered the tradeoffs of providing (devices) versus supporting devices ? I guess the provision of devices ensures (to a certain degree) greater control and in turn ‘peace of mind’ (wrongly in my opinion) to organisations, but hey, if it  increases the chances of mobile uptake then maybe it’s worth it? Of course, this approach no doubt brings significant expense with it in terms of providing the devices, however I’ve no doubt that it is easier to support 1 x device type as opposed to trying to support learners own devices. Of course allowing learners to use their own device means that...

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Designing #mlearning Book Review – Chapter 3

  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I intend to provide a brief synopsis of each chapter of ‘Designing mlearning‘, but more importantly I intend to answer the questions that Clark poses at the end of each chapter and then pose those same questions back to you ‘Dear Reader‘   Chapter 3 – A brief history of learning and cognition Confession time! I’ve struggled somewhat with this chapter, having had to read it 3 or 4 times in order to be able to internally process its content for this review. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing at all, but it did feel a little awkward for me having breezed through the first 2 chapters and seeing them as confirmation of my current thinking. In chapter 3 Clark starts off by reminding us (I’m liking the fact that he is drumming this into the reader) that mLearning is, by and large, not about learning, but about augmentation. About letting us as human beings get on with what our brains do well and providing support for what our brains struggle with (rote learning), rather than trying to ‘drill’ the information into our/others heads! Let the mobile device remember the facts and allow yourself to make decisions or detect nuances in the many variables we base our decisions every day. In case we haven’t got the point yet, he reminds us that mLearning is not about putting courses on a phone (I’m hoping he raises this point again, as it seems to be something of a common misconception in my opinion) Clarke then takes us on a whistle-stop tour of media psychology, that I’ve got to be honest, wasn’t any clearer on the 4th reading as it was on the 1st – perhaps I’m not of the target academic demographic for this book, perhaps I’m reading it at the wrong time of day; I don’t know.  What I’m hoping is that this lack of comprehension doesn’t impact upon my understanding of the rest of the book….. we’ll see…. We finish off the chapter with these questions being posed (along with my responses): Are you considering more than just courses and including performance support? As a member of the vendor community, I have seen a fairly respectable number of mobile solutions being provided to clients and I have to say that the vast majority fall into the ‘course on a phone/tablet’ category. We could go into the whole “who’s to blame for this?” debate, that we’ve all no doubt contributed to in some way, shape or form in the past, but on this occasion I’m not going to, maybe you’d like to in the comments section? What I will say is that I’ve seen a few good examples of performance support apps for the NHS (detailing drug dose calculations) and for some areas of retail (providing ‘just-in-time’ support for a new season range of products), as yet I’ve still to see any solutions that make use of the phones native functionality. Is your pedagogy advanced beyond the basic “event” and content presentation learning approach? I think the answer above goes somewhere towards answering this question. Some organisations are obviously only seeing mobile as a portable desktop solution, whilst others are grasping the potential for it to ‘augment’ their people. I’d say that it’s probably (based upon a Sophisticated Wild Arsed Guess) less than 3% who have spotted this. Do you include social learning as part of your learning solution? I’ve seen a growing number of clients who are currently/planning to include social learning as part of their solution. My fear is the assumption...

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Designing #mlearning Book Review – Chapter 2

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I intend to provide a brief synopsis of each chapter of ‘Designing mlearning‘, but more importantly I intend to answer the questions that Clark poses at the end of each chapter and then pose those same questions back to you ‘Dear Reader‘   Chapter 2 – The Details In this chapter Clark shares a small exercise he undertakes when speaking on the subject of mobile devices, in which he allows people to acknowledge that cell phones, PDAs, iPods are ‘mobile learning devices’. I have to say that I’m surprised that there is anybody left on the surface of the planet that wouldn’t recognise those devices as mobile learning devices and wonder whether that is an exercise that may have lost its impact since the publishing of the book? Some blisteringly high figures are shown as to how many hours a day the average American spend accessing the mobile web (and let’s not forget that these figures are 2-3 years old!!) Next we take a look at, and dispel, some popular misconceptions around mlearning including (amongst others) such classics as “we can’t provide mobile devices” “courses on phones doesn’t seem like a good idea” (the response to which is thankfully used to introduce performance support) “mlearning is limited to smartphones” We then take a look at the business case for mobile learning and Clark explains that he believes that it should be the role of the learning function to take on the role of designing mobile performance – a point which I disagree on. I believe that it should be the function with the clearest understanding of mobile learning and greatest passion to succeed that should take it on. In my previous organisation I spent the last 12 months as a member of the Comms team driving forward the organisations understanding of what mlearning was, wasn’t and how it could add value. I even pitched to the L&D team themselves and was met by some of the misconceptions that are included in this chapter. So I’m far from convinced that L&D should be the only potential champion of this. We finish off the chapter with these questions being posed (along with my responses): How many mobile employees are you supporting? This question raises an interesting point in my mind which is “what is a mobile employee”? Surely, unless you eat, sleep and live in your work environment then you are ‘mobile’? Admittedly there are some roles (such as mine) that have a very overt mobile nature to their role and as such attract the term ‘mobile employee’, but surely we should start to consider the effectiveness and value that all employees can add if they can maximise their mobility? Anyway, to answer the question we deploy 43 smartphones throughout the organisation. How widely distributed are mobile devices across your employee population? 43 of ‘em, making about 30% distribution. What are the opportunities for improvement in mobile worker performance? Being able to complete web forms for various parts of our processes from mobile devices as opposed to Office docs from lap/desktops.  Accessing client data immediately prior to a meeting.  Accessing of network based data via VPN  What are the benefits of mobile access to content for the employee population at large? Flexibility of working arrangements.  Maximising ‘desk time’ by better utilising ‘dead time’ i.e. travelling, waiting for meetings to start etc Potential for less stress as they can call up info ‘as and when needed’ as opposed to waiting for ‘desk time’ So folks, why not take a look at the questions above provide your own responses in the comments below? Chapter...

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