Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flipboard - Informal iPadLearning - 5ables

I've been a big fan of the iPad since before the UPS driver handed me the box.  Granted I'm an out-in-the-open Apple fan boy and will put money down for just about anything they make, but the iPad has not let me down.  Honestly, I'm still trying to work it into much of my regular routine.  But I love it and see the future potential. There are very few iPad apps that are simply blowing me away.  Until tonight! 

Flipboard is one of those new apps that helps aggregate your social world of digital content into a beautiful iPad interface.  Its the idea of your own custom magazine/newspaper built specifically for you based on your what your social network is sharing.

@scobleizer pointed the twitterverse to this new iPad app and I was driven to blog about its potential in eLearning. Actually, not Flipboard's potential but the idea and the functionality of Flipboard.  That's what has me thinking.

No one person knows me well enough to know exactly what I want to see.  I don't even know most of the time.  But my collective network as a whole working in a cooardinated effort with my own personal profile has a pretty decent idea of what might interest me at any given time.  This is the dream of the "personal learning network" or "personal learning environment", right?

This is why, as developers of instructional media, it is critical that our content be accessible by this new world of new media.  PULL is a critical concept, and if your content is NOT "PULL-able" then your content is destined to find a home in the cabinet of old CD-ROM CBTs. 

What is PULL-able?
Making your content pull-able is easy.  Its changing your instructional design thinking that will be hard...painfully hard for many. Understanding the 5ables (pronounced: five-ables) is the first step.  Your content must be:
  1. Search-able
  2. Link-able
  3. edit-able
  4. tag-able
  5. feed-able
If your content is all or at least 3 of the 5 (depending on which 3) then you are headed in the right direction.  If you do not know any, some, or all of the 5ables are then you have a lot of work to do.  Start by Googling your own content.  Does it show up?  If yes, then it is search-able.  If not, then you need to figure out how to make is so.  If I find your content somehow, can I copy/paste a link to that content into my own systems and share it with my network?  If yes, then it is link-able.  If no, then make it so.  You get the idea.

Mobile devices will dominate as the primary technology for connecting to the internet.  Its iPad apps like Flipboard that give us a tiny glimpse into what the future has in store.  No, Flipboard is not perfect.  And no, the iPad is not perfect.  But together these 2 are a powerful solution for the hungry learner in all of us.

 DevLearn 2010 Conference and Expo - November - San Francisco, CA
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