We welcome Kasper Spiro, CEO of Easy Generator as a Guest Writer to TWIST to share his thoughts on the last week’s mLearn Conference and Expo.
I loved this mLearncon, I really did. When I had to come up with a title for this recap it didn’t come to mind immediately. At first glance there was no leading trend or great news. I had to reread the posts about the previous mLearn Conferences I attended before it came to me.
The Maturity of mLearning
In years past, there where some early adopters in mLearning, but most of them were just publishing existing courses to tablets. The rest of the attendees were thinking “I need to do something with mobile, but what and why?”. That is the difference with this year’s conference. mLearning has matured.
At first mobile was seen as a replacement for eLearning, and people where bringing their old courses to tablets. This year I saw many examples of mLearning that really take advantage of the unique features of the mobile devices and more and more on phones, not tablets. Smart phones are location and context aware and you have them always with you; this makes it ideal for performance support while you are on the go. Mobile is also ideal for short nuggets of information pushed to mobile, especially short video’s. People are beginning to use the other features of the devices, such as cameras.
Design principles are more clear and more people have a proper strategy in place, ensuring the place of mobile learning in the total learning environment. Another sign of us catching up with the technique is that we are also looking forward. There already is a discussion on wearables (like Google Glass, smart watches and other sensors that we will carry in the near future). A great step forward.
It was a great conference. I attended three keynotes and 10 sessions, almost all of which met the expectations I had, varying from good to excellent. I learned a lot. The highlight of the conference for me was the keynote by Karen McGrane. It was a great presentation and it put a lot of things for me in place. That is my biggest personal take away. I will use many of the tips shared in her session in the product development of the new web edition of easygenerator.
Mobile Blogging at a Mobile Conference
Since mLearncon is about mobile, I decided to write all my post without using my laptop: Tablet and phone only. This worked out really well for me. I used my favorite app (mind node) for creating mind maps, the conference app (which was really great), and the WordPress app (which has room for improvement).
I was able to post the blog most of the times before I left the session room. This worked better for me than writing all the posts on my laptop in the evening. I’m not sure how useful these posts and mind maps are for others; to be frank I do write them for myself. Making the mind maps is my way of organizing and processing all the information, it is my way of learning. And my blog is developing itself as my extended memory, I check on old posts very often.
Here’s a list of all of the posts I wrote at mLearnCon:
- Conference preview
- Keynote Larry Irving
- Session on Content as an api by Robert Christy
- Joe Ganci on Authoring tools
- David Kelly on wearable devices
- Karen McGrane: content in a zombie apocalypse. Wysiwyg is dead!
- David Wentworth on the maturity of mLearning in corporations
- Jason Haag and Tyde Richards on the combination of EPUB3 and XAPI
- Tim Wright with an instructional design foundation crash course
- Gary Woodill on Design thinking
- Sara Arkins with a crash course on design and interfaces
- Mark Schuster on spaced mobile learning at AT&T
- The panel discussion on mobile learning