Blogging the Mobile Learning Revolution as it Happens [#mLearning]


It has been roughly two months since I left Adobe and I could not be happier with every aspect of my life. People ask me all the time what I’m going to do next and for the most part I say I still don’t know exactly, and then in a more serious note, I say that things are becoming more clear every day. I am going through this great exploratory phase where I embrace every opportunity that comes my way. I’m learning a great deal of new things and meeting great, supportive people along the way.

From everything I’m doing and Blogging about, there are certain topics that I’m clearly more passionate about. One of those topics is this mobile thing we are witnessing.

There’s no denying that we are in the midst of a mobile revolution that requires new ways of thinking about developing content and about meeting the ever-growing expectations we have as mobile users. This revolution needs new leaders and innovators, as well as new tools (or at least highly customized versions of existing ones). Mobile in general also requires new user experiences that in my opinion are very different from their desktop counterparts.

This mobile revolution is drastically changing everything we do today, from the way we shop and find the best deals; to how we consume the news and the way we communicate with people around the world. And yes, mobile is also changing the way we are thinking about Learning and developing the next generation of courses, most of us are calling this mobile learning or mLearning.

Just today a new statistic came out stating that less that 10% of the web today is mobile-ready and I would imagine that number drops dramatically when it comes to learning content being mobile-ready.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be an integral part of this revolution as it happens, and so today, I would like to share some new things I am doing as I ‘Blog the Mobile Learning Revolution’ in real time.

1) I’m officially changing the title of this Blog from Trends in eLearning and mLearning to The Mobile Learning Revolution Blog. It’s a subtle change but an important one nevertheless. The more I blog about different things, the more I realize that every time I talk about mobile, be it through statistics or Trends to watch, or educational apps I try, or even Interviews I do, I always get passionate about the topic. Furthermore, if I analyze what most of my Readers respond to and ReTweet the most, data shows that it’s these mobile topics that are at the top, so I think this new focus will resonate well with you, too.

2) I’m also launching a new Facebook page for my blog HERE. Over the weekend, I read this great article entitled 10 Social Media Tips for Bloggers and tip #2, specifically got me excited about launching a Facebook page for my Blog. I’ve been thinking about how to best use Facebook and then I read this article and thought what a great idea. My plan isn’t however to just broadcast my blog posts on Facebook, but rather to use the threaded conversations feature, to share and test thoughts and ideas that are trending for me. This is something I do on Twitter and when I see that something picks up steam because it’s compelling, I then head over to my blog for a more thorough post. What can you do now? You can navigate to this page and ‘Like’ it and let’s start collaborating on different ideas around mobile learning.

3) Finally, I’m also launching a new Blog, specifically for sharing my experience as an Evangelist. One thing I have learned as I slowly write my eBook on what I learned at Adobe and why companies need passionate Evangelists in the new Social Web, is that the best way to stay on track and motivated about writing a book is through a dedicated Blog. Having said that, I started a new Blog here: http://www.techevangelistblog.com/ At the time of this writing, I’m still working on the first post, but if you are interested in what I have to say about being an Evangelist, Social Media and Blogging, you can subscribe now.

So there you have it, from now on when someone asks me what I am doing, I will answer with “I’m Blogging the Mobile Learning Revolution as it happens.”

I hope you join me.

  • RJ, I loved this post!

    I am part of our New Media Seminar on campus and as we discuss “new media” the talk always centers around the use of mobile devices. The common complain amongst faculty is the expense of ebooks and how students don’t always like reading from a tablet device. Other complaints focus on how “in the good ol’ days…” we could dog-ear a page, highlight a sentence or two, insert bookmarks, etc. but the electronic methods of doing the same just don’t have the same feel.

    My reply is always the same. Ebooks and mobile-based content is very much in its infancy and the field of information design hasn’t been able to keep up. Until information designers can get a handle on how to effectively layout information in a device-independent way, we’re going to be stuck with either non-formatted ePub files or proprietary content from Apple or CourseSmart or…

    So, when you write “This revolution needs new leaders and innovators, as well as new tools (or at least highly customized versions of existing ones)”, it really strikes a chord with me because having someone else say it validates my opinion (so thank you for that! {grin}).

    I love my iPad and it will be a cold day in Hell when someone pries it from my dead fingers. But that said, I know that creating device-dependent content is not going to serve the needs of students. I don’t think that Apple is going to start promoting an open-source format for content nor will any of the other hardware manufacturers. And that’s been a major problem – higher education institutions relying on for-profit corporations to provide a solution. They have no incentive.

    There’s my question/challenge. It falls to those of us who are on the technical and information side of mobile learning to develop the new content paradigm. All the fluidity of the ePub format combined with the layout capability of a PDF while incorporating the dynamic content of HTML5.

    Can we do it?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Rob, I can’t thank you enough for your awesome comment. I hear these same issues all the time, and I think these are all things we will need to address as we go through this revolution. I’m encouraged by the fact that others industries are facing the same issues and addressing them in unique ways. So there will be a lot of great lessons for us to learn in mobile learning from these outside industries. I think the mobile OS fragmentation and the speed at which HTML5 can catch up, to say the capabilities of Flash, will also be very interesting to watch and Blog about. Thanks again, Rob.

  • Jonathan Shoaf

    I’m looking forward to the new blog.  My organization is exploring some mobile initiatives and that will be a hot topic for me over the next few months.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Jonathan. I appreciate your comment and please consider also ‘liking’ the Facebook if you can. My plan is to pick a topic daily for all of us to discuss there and then I will come back here to expand on it. Thanks again, Jonathan.

  • BLP

    The new blog title is excellent and especially applicable for our times. I look forward to the conversations you are able to stimulate with these posts.

    • Anonymous

      Good morning and thank you for your comment. I have been thinking a lot about what exactly would most clearly illustrate what I’m really excited about and this is it, I have absolutely no doubt now. Thank you!

  • Looking forward for your new blog RJ. Hoping to learn more from the mobile world. Everything happens for a reason mate 🙂

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