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My Big Question Response – Predictions for My 2011 #LCBQ

I recently posted my 2011 predictions, but they are general predictions for e-learning and technology. So, here is my response to the Learning Circuits’ Big Question, which asks to be more focused on our challenges, plans and predictions.

First off, over my years in corporate training, I have explored many areas of learning and development. This ranges from classroom training to many facets of e and m-learning. What I am predicting for my own challenges and plans for 2011 is not delving into new technology or mediums of delivering learning, but rather a blending of many approaches and technologies I have in my current learning toolkit. A current example is a large software training effort I am designing that takes advantage of blending technologies and approaches. Believe it or not, this training program will incorporate the following:

  • A web-based training (WBT) course that incorporates QR Codes and social bookmarking in addition to simulations,  instruction and job aids.
  • Blogging that also incorporates use of social media, social bookmarking and screencasts (thanks Screenr and DIIGO).
  • Classroom training – not a traditional classroom format, but a “learning lab” with more advanced explorations of the topic and objectives driven more by the audience than the facilitator or course design. Hopefully also resulting in instruction/tips & tricks shared by the audience and facilitator.
  • m-Learning and informal learning – I am using QR Codes and tweeting to also get content and additional resources out, but more importantly encouraging the audience to do the same. I will be really excited when I see the audience start setting their own objectives and teaching each other.

Yes, the above may look like a mishmash of technology and approaches, but it does support the learning design and the audience’s learning needs. There is a method to the madness and I am not using the technology without rhyme or reason.

Another exciting plan, and somewhat of a challenge, for 2011 is delivering more learning to my audience that is off the LMS. As you can see, much of the fore-mentioned is outside of the LMS. However, here are some more ways I am delivering learning without the need to log-in to the LMS.

  • With few exceptions, my audience in corporate training has been internal. This has recently changed and will change much more in 2011. I have already begun providing training for our external customers, including developing educational games and software demos… not on the LMS.
  • Tweeting and responding to tweets… not on the LMS.
  • Posting job aids on Intranet pages… not on the LMS.
  • Screencasts – These are great for brief, easy to develop, software sims and I have started adding them to our Intranet pages… not the LMS.
  • Guess what, people still learn even when… not on the LMS.

Although these are my own challenges, plans and predictions for 2011, I believe we will see others embarking on similar challenges. So my overall prediction is much more blending of technology applications and more delivery OFF the LMS.

What are your challenges, plans and predictions? Be sure to share them at the Learning Circuits’ Big Question and tweet them too at #LCBQ.

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Dabbling in QR Codes

Diigo QR CodeTag

I have been hearing so much talk, and seeing use, of QR Codes lately. Maybe I am noticing it more because I started dabbling in them myself or maybe they are on the rise. Either way, I want to share a few things about QR Codes. First off if you do not know what they are, here is a quick definition:

QR Code is a specific matrix bar code (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR bar code readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
Source: Wikipedia

To simplify, with a QR Code reader on your smart phone you can use the phone’s camera to scan the QR Code (like the crazy black and white thing at the top of this page) and it will take you to a web page, display text, phone number and/or prepare a text message to be sent.

The great thing is they are extremely easy to create and use in your online learning or in the traditional classroom. Using a QR Code generator (e.g., Kaywa, Snap.vu, etc.), you can create and copy the code to a web page, PowerPoint slide, add it to a manual, print it, etc. Now when it is seen in your classroom or online course participants can scan the QR Code and visit the site, obtain the text info or data.

Here is a demo showing how easy it is to generate a QR Code.

http://screenr.com/Content/assets/screenr_1116090935.swf

Here are a few ways I am starting to use QR Codes:

  • Adding my contact information to my classroom powerpoints and manuals. I even posted one with my contact info outside my office.
  • Include QR Codes in manuals and job aids that take the user to relevant URLs.
  • Adding codes in e-learning courses. For example. the video below shows one in a course that directs the user to social bookmarks containing additional resources and tutorials.

See an example of a QR Code in a WBT course.

Here are also my QR Codes bookmarks where you will find more resources on this subject including links to QR Code generators. Of course the QR Code for this link is below too.

Diigo QR CodeTag

My 2011 Predictions

Well it’s that time again. Here are my e-learning predictions for the coming year.

  • You know I have to include a Flash prediction. So, here you are…  I predict a Flash player will finally be included on the iPad and iPhone this year. This will be mostly due to the fact that so many more phones, and tablets, will be released with Flash, pressuring Apple to do the same.
  • Say goodbye to the “e-” and the “m-” and say hello to just “learning” in 2011. I think we will be less concerned about the medium and will call it “learning” regardless of whether it is in the classroom, computer, phone or wherever else you are finding it.
  • The coming flood of tablets in 2011 will move m-learning much further along. However, I think people will be distinguishing less and less between the terms e-learning, m-learning, and just learning. After all, where does m-learning stop and e-learning begin? See prior prediction.
  • With the economy improving, we will see reinvestment in classroom training and classroom trainers. I believe too many organizations have hastily delved into online training, resulting in developing courses that are better off in in the classroom than online. Plus with so many rushing into e-learning without investing the time in understanding the design end has resulted in ineffective “rapid e-learning.” I think we will see these people who had good intentions are going to move away from e-learning. For those that may be in that boat, don’t give up on e-learning, but please read “Hey You Rapid e-Learning Peeps, Slooow Down and Take a Little Drive on the ISD Side of Town.”
  • QR Codes will become more prevalent in the U.S. In fact, I just started using them myself by including them in a new e-learning course. I also plan to start adding them to job aids, manuals, presentations and anywhere else when appropriate.

qrcode

Want to see what I predicted last year?

Nevermind the iPad, Here Comes the Galaxy Tab… It has Flash

Even I will admit the iPad is an exciting device, but because it is  missing Adobe Flash it is not something in which I am willing to spend the money. As you can see in the video below, we will be able get a tablet with Flash, which is enticing to me. Who knows, maybe with enough tablets coming to market with Flash on them Apple will rethink adding Flash to the iPad.

http://images.tv.adobe.com/swf/player.swf

Google App Inventor – Make Apps/m-Learning

Google is releasing App Inventor for Android. You can find it listed at Google Labs and can learn more about it at http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about.

There is obvious potential for m-learning, including quizzes, educational games, mini-courses, informal learning.. really the sky is the limit. If development is as easy as they claim, then we can focus even more on design and are not as limited by the complexity of app development. The App Inventor uses Open Blocks, which is distributed by MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program. Please note, the apps are for Androids and I will assume they will not be supported across all smart phones, which is a hindrance in developing m-learning.

According to the site, they will be granting access to interested users in the coming weeks. I have put in my request and will let everyone know if/when it is granted. All that is needed is a Google account to sign up.

Here is a video Google provides showing the development of a very simple app.

Google also provides descriptions of examples that have been developed.

Innovative Uses of Mobile Devices in Health Sciences

Cellscope diagram from UC, Berkely

CellScope

Here are a couple of great and innovative uses of mobile devices I stumbled upon on SmartPlanet,com. Not only do these innovations increase the ability to provide better healthcare in the developing world, but also has great potential in mobile learning (m-learning).

http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/cne_flash/production/media_player/proteus/one/proteus2.swf

You can read more about the CellScope at UC Berkeley News.

http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/cne_flash/production/media_player/proteus/one/proteus2.swf

Visit Tapan Parikh’s page to learn about the social media and mobile technology projects in which he is involved.

Preview a Tablet, but This One has Flash

As we all know, that tablet everyone has been talking about recently does not have Flash. Oh well, I am over it. However, Dell will be releasing a multi-touch tablet of their own, the Mini 5, and it WILL have Flash. Take a look of the preview below from Adobe TV.

http://images.tv.adobe.com/swf/player.swf

Yes, I know what you are thinking. A 5 inch screen and they are calling it a tablet? It may be a stretch, but Dell is talking about scaling it up and offering larger versions. Beyond a 5 inch screen and I will let them slide on the semantics.