Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mobile eLearning Virtual Worlds, Environments, and Serious Games

During the 3DTLC conference I was watching the twitter streams of @moehlert and @koreenolbrish (and others).  It reminded me how powerful virtual worlds can be as learning tools, and that there are organizations making them a large part of their training organization.

There are many great blog posts regarding the event (here's one and another and another).  But your best resource from the event conversations is search.twitter.com and search the term 3dtlc.

One comment that was tweeted mentioned a need for VWs to begin making their way onto mobile devises.  Of course I'm very interested in seeing that as well...but I feel like its still a long way off before that works correctly.

or is it really that far off?

I tweeted back that I liked the idea but couldn't see how my World of Warcraft interface could work on an iPhone.  Surprise!  MMOSITE.com has a post with video showing World of Warcraft playing on an iPhone. Wow!  Now I CAN see how VWs will work on an iphone.

It doesn't matter to me whether or not WoW makes it onto the iPhone.  What DOES matter is seeing that it is possible to have a virtual environment on a mobile device.

Both mLearning AND Immersive Learning Simulations still seem too futuristic for many organizations.  And the ROI is not immediately apparent.  Opened-ended "environments" for learning also don't fit neatly into the ADDIE model for instructional designers.  And that is a major hurdle for the industry.  If the creators of learning content can't figure out the value and how to work with these new tools then the proper learning models will not get created.

I'm not saying that learning content will NEVER get created, but the adoption will be slow within corporate elearning. 

Some day the culture will catch up with these amazing new technologies and we won't even think twice about their exhistance.  I'm guessing that as I grow old I will be spending WAY too many hours "INWORLD" throughout my golden years.  Until then, I'll have to settle for a few minutes here and there as life permits ;-)


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