I a recent post, I shared 6 Trends in Rapid eLearning Tools to watch in 2012 and one of those trends I listed was the need for rapid eLearning tools vendors to have a presence on mobile app stores. In fact I think every company that has traditionally made desktop software, needs to come out with a mobile App that complements their desktop software before someone else does.
Something else I have been thinking and blogging about recently is that we are getting closer to a time when we will think ‘mobile-first’ when developing content, but then I thought why not start thinking about developing right on Tablets, such as the iPad. After all, these powerful devices are not longer just about content-consumption but some recent apps have shown we can now do amazing things around creating content, too.
Since my focus is on vendors who develop eLearning tools, almost every day I’m going to the Apple App store on my iPad looking for apps from these companies.
Right now, if you type TechSmith in the App store search box, you get two apps, namely FastTrack and ScreenChomp:
FastTrack is a nice app that enables you to learn about Camtasia by watching how-to videos. The app includes a transcript of the tutorial, plus the ability for you to add feedback about any of the videos you watch. FastTrack features a different view whether you turn the iPad horizontally or vertically. For some reason the audio isn’t working for me, but I’m not exactly sure if this is just me, or is this also the case for other users. I like this app a lot and I give TechSmith kudos for putting it together and posting it on the App store for their customers.
An app about tutorials is the easiest way for other eLearning vendors to have a quick presence on the app store.
The second app however is what excites me the most and to me it provides a sneak peek into what mLearning development apps could look like going forward.
Screenchomp is a simple yet amazing little app that allows you to record anything by using the included tools on a blank canvas, or by loading a photo from your photo library and then using several markup tools, such as the highlighter and the pencil tool. You can use the built-in microphone on the iPad to narrate the process.
Think Camtasia or Captivate but right on the iPad.
Once you are happy with your recording, you can either log in to Facebook and share the recording with your friends, or upload it to the TechSmith cloud and then share it via Twitter or email. I personally would have preferred Twitter over Facebook as the easy way to share screencasts, but that’s just me.
Here’s a short screencast I did for this post: http://www.screenchomp.com/t/HWAUpxmX
I will admit the app needs work, for example it needs more tools, like an arrow tool, a simple text tool but this is a great start and I’m sure the folks at TechSmith are already working on this.
My point is that not too long from now, we will be recording and editing app simulations like we do today on the desktop using products like Adobe Captivate, the question is who is going to bring these mobile apps to us.
What do you think? How close are we to developing ‘mobile-first’ mLearning and do you think we will soon be developing mobile learning right on Tablets like the iPad? Leave a comment.