Happy February! A number of us traveled two weeks ago to beautiful San Jose for ASTD’s TechKnowledge 2013 conference. Many expo attendees dropped by our booth to explain how they are looking to begin integrating mobile learning into their organizations, and we met a few visitors in person for the first time who follow us on Twitter and keep up with our activities. It was great meeting all of you, and we hope you had safe journeys back home after a conference filled with learning.
One of the main concerns we hear from expo attendees at any conference we visit is budgeting difficulties regarding mobile efforts. This anedoctal evidence helps support results of a 2012 survey of business and learning professionals who say budgeting for mobile learning is the chief impediment to adopting it within an organization. As a result, Float senior analyst Dr. Gary Woodill and managing director Chad Udell offer tips for budgeting for mobile and social learning in our latest white paper.
In this newsletter, we’re offering you an excerpt explaining the top three concerns regarding implementing mobile learning, the three prevailing approaches to deploying mobile, and a brief look of the variables you should be thinking about in your organization.
Excerpt: Budgeting for Social Learning and Mobile Learning in a BYOD Environment
A 2012 survey of business and learning professionals found three major issues that have been identified as impediments to mobile learning (ASTD and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, in Sosbe, 2012):
- Security concerns: 36%
- Integration with company assets: 37%
- Budgetary concerns: 46%
Despite all the noise in the literature regarding the first two issues, budgeting is the dominant issue for mobile learning.
To be effective in both social learning and mobile learning endeavors, an organization needs to take an active role to promote, develop, police, and nurture the growth of a learning community that operates within the corporate cultural framework. This will demand planning, pilot programs, change management, implementation and maintenance. As the existing IT infrastructure will account for most of the technology demands, the major budgetary concerns involve people to manage and support this initiative.
As indicated above, an organization can choose three basic approaches to deploying mobile:
- Corporate-Liable: The organization selects, purchases, and supplies devices (with the software) to their employees.
- BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): the organization supports employee-owned mobile devices and supplies software when necessary.
- BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology): The organization allows access to its systems through employee-owned devices. Software choice is left to the discretion, and responsibility, of the employee.
On first glance, it may seem that adopting corporate-liable devices is the most expensive route. Be careful! There are costs to deploying any new system within a corporation, and some of these costs are not immediately apparent.
BYOT is the default strategy for many companies that fail to build a sound mobile device strategy and supporting policy. Employees start by using a myriad of mobile devices and software to access corporate assets. A company may actually choose this route as the cost advantages are clear, but serious disadvantages are also present. BYOT has all of the budgetary issues that are common to BYOD, but they tend to become magnified. Security and interoperability can become serious problems with ballooning costs. Most importantly, BYOT introduces an element of chaos into your IT and accounting framework.
These devices are a new workplace reality. They are going to be present in your company and they will be performing work-related tasks regardless of management decisions. This means that your company has no choice but to try and get some level of control over their use, or surrender to chaos. As BYOD is already a reality in virtually every company, a policy, support system, and budget must be put in place very quickly.
To download the full report on budgeting for mobile learning in a BYOD environment, visit this link.
A Closer Look: The Tin Can API in the Real World
The words “Tin Can,” “Project Tin Can,” “Tin Can API,” and “Experience API” are popping up everywhere these days, whether it’s a Twitter stream, webinar or conference. Yet, as we experienced even at TechKnowledge, a number of learning professionals are having difficulty understanding what the Tin Can API means for their organization.
We wanted to help, so we created an interactive flowchart detailing how an employee (Bob) integrates what he learned in training with what he does in operations. This experience illustrates the interaction of learning and working in a really tangible, understandable way. Learning events and real-world activities can be tracked with the Tin Can API.
In fact, for developers, we’ve even created what the generated experiences would look like with code samples. On top of the narrative in the story itself, the interaction of the cartoon’s viewer (you), is also generating Tin Can events on the SCORM Cloud Public LRS. You can view the statements it is generating here.
To get a better understanding of what the Tin Can (or Experience) API means for the enterprise, visit this link.
Scott McCormick Speaking at Training Conference Feb. 19
Float’s vice president of business development, Scott McCormick, returns to speak at Training Magazine’s 2013 Conference & Expo in Orlando. He will be delivering the Mobile Learning Crash Course, where he’ll share tips on how to successfully launch mobile learning right now.
The mobile learning platform is a tempest of different devices, new design standards, learning strategies, instructional design requirements, and contextual considerations, to name a few. Without experience in these areas, a learning professional can be left scrambling to meet the expectations of their stakeholders and target audience.
Those who attend this session will learn how to form a team and build a process, how to get buy-in from stakeholders, and the challenges involved in interactive and instructional design, plus more.
To register, visit TrainingConference.com.
ASTD Mobile Learning Certificate Series Comes to Alexandria Feb. 28 and March 1
Float’s Scott McCormick and senior developer Dan Pfeiffer will be facilitating the ASTD Mobile Learning Certificate program at ASTD headquarters in Alexandria, Va., on Feb. 28 and March 1.
As Chad Udell mentioned in a recent blog post, the two-day, hands-on workshop features the following information:
- Intro to basic mobile learning concepts
- Creation of a mobile learning strategy
- Instructional design for a mobile learning effort
- Calculating ROI of mobile learning
- Creating mobile learning prototypes
Sandbox 1.1 Released to App Store
Download your update to Sandbox, our whitelist Web browser for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad). Sandbox 1.1 now features downloadable, pre-configured files; the ability to set addresses, phone numbers and calendar dates as tappable; and friendly bookmark names (with emojis!).
Sandbox is available in the App Store for $2.99, and is eligible for an educational discount.