Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


iPhone & M-Learning's Future

Some of you may already be tired of hearing all the "buzz" about iPhones. If so, I apologize before I continue...

I LOVE my iPhone! I am by no means a gadget girl - just ask my husband how unimportant e-toys typically are to me, especially after spending all day and many evenings on my laptop. At that point, I am ready to curl up with a good (paper-based) novel. I had a Sony Clie handheld several years ago (which I loved but didn't LOVE) and more recently a Blackberry (which I never loved at all and stopped using altogether). Just a couple of days after iPhone's official release, when my husband said he was picking up an iPhone for himself and asked if I wanted one too, I said "Sure, why not?" (Why should HE have all the best and newest toys and not me, too?? Oh, yeah, I did say that gadgets are not important to me, but I can still be interested in at least checking them out, can't I?)
So have I already mentioned that I LOVE my iPhone? Oops, I did. Instead of boring you with all the reasons I love it (which are all the same reasons everyone else loves theirs), I would rather discuss the iPhone as the coolest m-learning (mobile learning) device ever - and clearly a glimpse into the future of m-learning.

The iPhone is now drawing more attention to the mobile device space than anything in the recent past - more than iPods and video iPods did. So many people will want the iPhone, just like they did the iPod, that it will seem more and more normal for everyone to own such high-end devices. This simply accelerates the adoption of high-end devices by the average person. Despite the iPhone's high price point, cheaper "copy" products will emerge to help the consumer. All of this mimics what happened with iPods. The iPod drove so many of us to buy sophisticated mp3 players, even if they weren’t iPods (which are still pricier than other mp3 players). Similarly, the iPhone will drive people to purchase more capable mobile phones (and video phones), even if they are not iPhones.

As a result, we'll continue to see more and more sophisticated devices from companies other than Apple - larger screen sizes, easier data entry (QWERTY keyboards), better sound quality, and more processing power. As these capabilities continue to improve, mobile device platforms get more powerful for learning! Instead of just accessing podcasts and coaching via timed text messages, we will now start seeing the true convergence of m-learning (on these high-end mobile devices) with what drives pc-based learning today. This means much more game-based learning, simulations, and video. We are already seeing better mobile internet browsers and more websites providing "mobile" versions of their content (just as YouTube does on iPhone).

The introduction of iPhone's advanced capabilities and ease of use can only serve to push other mobile technology manufacturers to "step it up" and try to compete with what Apple has now done. It’s exciting that the iPhone will be such a catalyst for our industry's movement toward a better mobile learning platform!! For the growth and future of m-learning, "It's all good!"


  • I'm with you on this one. being outside the USA I have only just got my hands on the iphone, but I am siotably impressed.

    the real improvement over other smart phones is the apps store. with very cheap applications available I think its a platform thats going to go places because its so extensible.

    By Blogger pete, at 10:35 PM EDT  

  • i agree. its a whole new ballgame with the iPhone out there. I feel, however, that the real challenge will be designing and implementing a whole new set of metaphors (visual and instructional) that utilize the device's true capabilities...
    the standard, page-turning, placebo image based course is out.

    By Blogger aman, at 10:06 AM EDT  

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