In October, 2014, the number of active mobile devices in the world exceeded the human population. Today, there are more than 7.36 billion mobile devices actively being used, according to GSMA Intelligence. The vast majority of Americans now own at least one mobile device, but many of us actually have several of them. They’ve become such a fixture in our lives that 60 percent of us now use our mobile devices as our primary or even exclusive internet source, as opposed to using desktop or laptop computers.
The message is clear: our lives rely on mobile technology. At Maestro, we are seeing businesses really working to embrace this reality. We’re receiving more and more requests to help companies move their training content to mobile platforms - to make their learning mobile. Of course, we’re excited to partner with these companies to help strategically transition them into the world of mobile learning.
When developing interactive learning for a mobile device, the learner’s entire mobile experience must be considered and applied to the strategy and design. We always think through the environment and contexts in which a user will access the content. We are careful to ensure the courses and all of their features will be responsive to every device, screen size and operating system its learners might use.
Sometimes, the scope of such a project allows us for custom software design and development. But often times, the project’s timeline or budget requires us to use rapid development tools to move faster and reduce costs. Unfortunately, many of today’s options for rapid development tools haven’t kept up with the extraordinary growth of mobile technology and expected interactions.
We’ve found that the most widely used rapid development tools still rely on a more traditional way of thinking about learning. Where this really gets rocky is when we use these tools and their rather outdated methodologies to try to create mobile learning courses. It’s somewhat like trying to squeeze a square peg through a round hole. It just doesn’t really work.
When mobile first arrived on the learning scene, tools like Storyline were created to help companies take their existing eLearning content and make it accessible on mobile devices. A step in the right direction? Perhaps. But effective mobile learning is not simply eLearning viewed on a mobile device. It’s different. The experience is different. The engagement is different. The interaction is different. Therefore, the actual course should be different.
In a world where there always seems to be “an app for that”, people expect a lot from technology. They expect quality, functionality, engagement and beautiful design. Delivering anything less with a mobile learning course limits its chances for success right from the start.
So we’ve been on the lookout for new rapid development tools that are leveraging the limitless possibilities of mobile technology while also delivering the budgetary benefits of rapid development. We’re excited to see that there are a new tools popping up that seem to understand where we’re coming from. Here are just a few that we’re already looking into:
A tool that works to ensure content is optimized for any device and is accessible online or off.
- Adapt Learning
A free and eLearning authoring tool that claims to create fully responsive, multi-device, HTML5 eLearning content using the Adapt developer framework.
- Adobe Captivate 8
The latest version of this well-known tool has new features including more responsive functionalities, improved gesture support, enhanced HTML5 support and more.
A single-source learning content management system (LCMS) to create scalable, reusable and measurable content for formal courses or to be delivered to any casual self-directed learning environment.
A multi-device eLearning authoring tool that claims to easily create content that looks and feels custom.
Rapid development is a great option for companies looking to get into the world of mobile learning. We’re eager to see the tools catch up to the demands and expectations of today’s sophisticated mobile learner.
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