Friday, January 12, 2007

iPhone Impacts Mobile eLearning

I tried getting a post up about the iPhone on the day of the keynote but since I have switched to the NEW version of blogger all of my typical posting apps have been messed up. So, I've discovered my new work-arounds and now I'm able to post again. I was hoping the new version of blogger would convince me to NOT switch to Wordpress, but its not looking good for blogger.

Anyways! The iPhone! Its beautiful! I love it! Mark Oehlert and I having already discussed saving our pennies for the big June release date.

So what does this mean for Mobile Learning? It certainly changes the technology landscape for what's question. Corporations have already commited to the Blackberry, and many of those same companies are testing or preparing to implement iPods for their employees as learning devices. So, for the same price you can now get a device that can handle both...AND THEN SOME!

Will corporations make the switch? I highly doubt it. PCs are simply too entrenched in the large corporate cultures. But the rest of us should take a serious look...small business, and even midsize companies. One device to replace them all. If the others are smart phones then the iPhone is the genius phone. You will actually be able to sync EVERYTHING from your Mac and be able to access it on the iPhone. Not in some crippled version of a browser, or mail app, but the same beautiful full featured apps that Mac users are familiar with on their desktops and laptops. I'm hating my Treo650 more and more each day.

So you say, "Brent, give me an example"? Okay, I was listening to a podcast version of the keynote this morning and the selective voicemail feature struck me. Wow! So, its already cool that you use a graphical interface to access your voicemail any order. That's cool enough, but what else does that mean. Hey, why not use the voicemail system in the same way that we have intended to us podcasts for elearning?

Bingo! Instant podcasts, but created using a technology that everyone already knows how to use. There aren't THAT many "silver learners" out there that are still uncomfortable with voicemail? So now, you create a voicemail that becomes an artifact on the system no different from an email, a wiki page, an mp3, or avi, file. Perhaps we can drag 'n' drop those email files into garage band and make them part of a podcast, or mobile learning module. Collaborative audio recordings from translators in different languages: You send a script to them in Language A, they call you back and read the script in your voice mail using Language B, and you pull the voicemail file into your editing/authoring app. Many possibilities here.

I hope to have Judy Brown, the queen of mobile learning, on an upcoming podcast to discuss this in more detail. Or maybe I should wait until I have one in my hands...hmmm. Not sure.


Anonymous said...

Brent, I too a a Mac User, and until Tuesday I was a 'rip from my cold dead hands' Treo fiend. I think the iPhone is beautiful and revolutionary, but do be aware that there apparently are still some limitations.

It's not a full mac, and they're apparently going to treat it more like the iPod, tightly controlling what's available. So you won't have your whole suite of PalmOS apps available, or even widgets.

Also, it's not clear whether it will support DUN. So don't toss that 650 yet.

bschlenker said...

Thanks for the reality check, Clark! I really do enjoy my Treo, but to be honest, it has frustrated me on many more occasions than I would prefer. I don't use the mail app or calendar anymore now that I am not on Outlook w/ Intel. The only app I use now is the web browser which is darn slow for my gmail, and google maps. The Treo version of Maps is awesome and fast. I do love that.
I simply love Apple products and now that, even treated as an iPod, the iPhone will have some treats under the hood that we can exploit in the learning development community.

Dennis D. McDonald said...

Brent - I agree with your enthusiasm. A questions is how open Apple will be to third party developers, including game developers, for this "platform."