What I’m Looking Forward to at DevLearn 2010

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DevLearn 2010 is just around the corner. Once a year eLearning professionals get together and present and share ideas and important topics and issues that are prevalent in the industry. It is a tremendous event to network, learn and grow if eLearning and now mobile learning are part of your job responsibilities or if it’s your passion.

This year I get the privilege of speaking in a concurrent session but I am mostly looking forward to soaking in a craniumload of information that I can bring back to my business and be more effective and successful. In fact, there will be a handful of topics that I will be specifically targeting because I know they have specific applications with our clients and for Float. Here is what I am looking forward to learning more about in San Francisco when I attend DevLearn.

Who’s going mobile? There is no escaping the fact that eLearning is becoming more and more prevalent on mobile devices. Not long ago, I used to say that mobile is an emerging technology and platform but it has shed the “emerging” tag and it is here and in the field. The exchange of ideas about mobile learning has risen above theory and proof of concept and is now including case studies and lessons learned. I’ll be searching for companies and organizations that have implemented mobile learning and be asking them questions about everything from their process to good and bad experiences to metrics used.

Case Studies. We have found that there is no better way to explain the power of mobile learning than to show an actual deliverable that we have created for one of our clients. I am anxious to see mobile learning applications that others have built and learn why they made certain decisions. Why did you choose a dedicated app instead of a mobile web app?  What development approach did you take? What were your target devices and why?  Is your course performance-based or knowledge-based? How long has the app been live and how is it being received? If you have a story like this to share, corner me at DevLearn.

Show Me Your Tablet and I’ll Show You Mine. There is an avalanche of tablets about to break loose that is going to cause eLearning professionals to give careful consideration to training on these mobile devices. Many of our clients are buying iPads even before they have a strategy for what they are going to do with them. We don’t necessarily recommend this, by the way! I’m looking forward to discussing tablet strategies. Who’s planning to go for a Windows 7 or Android tablet? What about the Blackberry Playbook? How are they going to use them? Are you considering the use of any of the tools on the tablet like geolocation?  What apps are you already using on tablets and why did you choose them? How are they performing? I wonder if this will be the first conference where I don’t carry around a tablet… made of paper.

Stakeholder Stories. Oftentimes, one of the biggest challenges in implementing mobile learning is convincing all of the essential decision makers in the organization that mobile is a viable and effective alternative.  Anybody who has brought mLearning to the field has had to deal with IT, the executive management, marketing, branding and anybody else in the company who has a vested interest in the end deliverable. I want to hear those stories of how messaging was conveyed to the stakeholders. Sure there will be some horror stories but I am confident there will be even more success stories to share and I am excited to hear about all of them and share some of my own.

What’s your story? Obviously my focus is on mobile learning. After all, Mobile Learning is part of the name of my company. But if you are going to attend DevLearn, what are you looking forward to learning and experiencing? What’s your burning issue? What knowledge do you need to bring back to your colleagues back at the office? What restaurant are you going to no matter what? Share your feedback in the comments below.

DevLearn is an annual conference for eLearning professionals held by the eLearning Guild. The 2010 conference takes place from November 3 thru the 5th in San Francisco.

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Scott McCormick is a founding partner of Float. Building on more than 30 years of experience in training, eLearning, and mLearning efforts for Fortune 500 companies, Scott helps companies embrace new learning strategies and deliver results. Scott is in charge of client relationships with global leaders in healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, and insurance, and is instrumental in building new business and contributing to Float’s thought leadership efforts. Scott is featured in Float’s latest book, “Mastering Mobile Learning,” available from Wiley and ASTD Press.

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On October 25, 2010
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