Mobile technologies are changing the way we interact with the world. How does that affect our role in learning and development? Those who want to be in the know attend mLearnCon, the leading mobile learning and performance event in North America. The conference just took place in Austin, TX earlier this month. Impact Instruction Group’s Senior Instructional Designer Virginia Abbott was there. She shares her top 10 takeaways, so now you can be in the know, too.
- Jeopardy! in my pocket. Ken Jennings, the all-time Jeopardy! champion and mLearnCon keynote speaker, reflected on his 2011 Jeopardy! challenge match with IBM’s supercomputer, Watson. Jennings’ shocking loss to Watson is the fountainhead of man’s use of technology to source information. Think of your own usage of Google and Siri.
- Should I stay or should I go? Look around you today. List 10 technologies, then cross out the ones that you think will become obsolete in the near or distant future. Would you have eliminated the eight-track player, cassette player, disc player or Walkman in their heydays? Allison Cerra’s keynote shed light on the speed of change in technology, the fear of change, yet the repercussions of being left behind. Technology should be viewed like a game of Frogger.
- Make your sketchbook come alive. Go straight from your flow chart to real interactive sketches with POP! It’s one of the easiest apps I have ever used. Just sketch your screen, take a picture with your phone, and then add hotlinks. That’s it. No longer do you, or your clients, need to imagine the flow. POP just makes it happen!
- Bye, bye Flash; well hello there, Adobe Edge Animate! Less than a decade ago, I would walk into my office and get so excited to create with Adobe Flash. Visual candy. With the demise of Flash, (yes, we can really say that now), Adobe, although they will not say it is the replacement of Flash, has created the replacement of Flash in HTML5 with Edge Animate. So hop back on that candy wagon, and school up on Edge Animate!
- Responsive couch potato learning. Years ago I traveled a couple of hours for in-depth Dreamweaver training. The training was great, the hotel and associated costs were not. Now that same training comes in many forms, like on-line webinars. And every Friday, you can tune in to live TV with Lodestone, one of the largest instructor-led and online training companies in the U.S. This way I can eat my chips, and learn too for free.
- Bite Sized Behavior Modification. Apple watches are beautiful, and really beneficial to specific segments. But with that teeny, tiny screen, what could it possibly offer to the training world? Behavior modification. Think of it as the good angel on your wrist. What could you change for the better by designing an Apple Watch App?
- Power to PowerPoint. While there are multiple products on the market that are additive to PowerPoint, iSpring is inexpensive yet powerful. It runs the full capability of quizzes, videos, and interactions, without slowing down production speed. What I like most about iSpring is its simplicity of display, no heavy-handed skins here. Also you can drag and drop an embedded video anywhere on the screen you like and even enlarge it to full-screen view. Simple and clean, but powerful and fast; that’s a winning combination.
- Set the pace with micro-learning videos. Lowe’s steps ahead of the pack with its #LowesFixInSix micro-learning Vine videos. I am amazed at what I can learn in six seconds. In micro-learning videos, the power of repetition is in the learner’s control. Get the concept in six seconds? Great! Move on. Or repeat until you do. No more scrubbing through videos to get past “in this video you will learn…” introductions. Old school just got a new micro-lift.
- Take Time for Yourself. No, it is not easy to pull away from work for three days. It’s about time, cost, and effort. With conferences like mLearnCon, the reward is there when you meet your peers from around the world who share like goals, and experience great trainers, and big picture ideas from the keynote speakers.
Virginia Abbott, Senior Instructional Designer
Virginia is an award-winning instructional designer specializing in distance learning. She creates eLearning programs, job aids, and websites that drive business results. Virginia is a two-time recipient of the APEX Award for Publication Excellence in the category of education and training. She serves on the Franklin University Instructional Design and Performance Technology Advisory Board and is a member of Central Ohio ASTD. An outdoor enthusiast, Virginia also serves as a board member for Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy.