Over the weekend, I was looking at the entries submitted to the Adobe Captivate HTML5 Contest, hosted by my former Adobe colleagues. The basic idea behind this contest is that Adobe Captivate 5.5 users create a project and then use the HTML5 Converter for Adobe Captivate to convert it into HTML5. The entry with the most votes wins.
First, I’d like to say that I applaud the idea around this contest because it adds some much-needed engagement to the Captivate community, however I wonder if Adobe may be sending the wrong message to users who are interested in mobile, regarding what mobile learning (mLearning) is.
In other words, while I think HTML5 will play a big role in how we develop and deploy learning and how our learners will consume those learning experiences on mobile, I think mLearning should be a lot more than just ‘converting’ desktop eLearning to HTML5.
Mobile experiences are radically different from traditional desktop experiences and thus it’s important to approach the transition to mLearning thinking that our mLearners are used to and expect different things.
Mobile requires a different strategy, a different way of thinking about content, navigation and how to best utilize the device’s real estate and built-in mobile features like gps, camera, accelerometer, etc.
I think the onus is on eLearning Tools Vendors (i.e. Articulate, Adobe, TechSmith, Zebra Apps, etc) to really think about this and make sure the next generation of their tools provides new and innovating ways of truly harnessing the power of mobile learning.
Luckily for all of us in eLearning, we won’t the first industry to make this transition to mobile and because many other industry have gone through, or are going through this same process, there’s a lot to learn from their experiences. I’ve been bookmarking and taking lots of notes recently on great examples I find of companies that are approaching this transition, and it’s my plan to share some lesson that I feel are important for us to emulate. Please stay tuned.
Until then, I leave you with a lively discussion I had on Twitter on this very subject and the replies I received from some of my followers who are also very excited about mobile learning. Let me know what you think about this by leaving a comment below: