Even more from DevLearn 2011

Even more from DevLearn 2011 The keynote speaker on Thursday was Steve Rosenbaum - another excellent keynote session. It has been a really good line up this year.

Steve’s theme was that with the mind boggling exponential growth of information, and its universal availability in the Cloud, the challenge for eLearning is not to provide more information but less - to help people to find the right information at the right time.
Steve gave several examples of the information avalanche, including that it would take you 8 years to watch one day’s uploads of video to Youtube, and that there are now 140 billion photos on Facebook, half of which have been uploaded within the past 12 months!

To make this digestible, we all need to become Curators. The world needs thoughtful filters, we need human intervention not algorithms (farewell Google Search), and we need ideas not data.
A few of the practical takeaways that I noted:

·         Choose your digital clothing – become an intelligent filter for a topic that is a genuine interest. Have a theme and a POV

·         Re-post only content that fits your voice and tone

·         Context is key – don’t just retweet, commentate

Here’s where to find out more about Steve’s thoughts and even buy his book. http://curationnation.org/

For the remainder of the day, my focus was on Mobile learning, so next stop was Tom Crawford’s session on Design for Mobile – the ups and downs of the small screen.  
We looked at the Native App vs Browser debate. Listing the benefits of each it becomes clear that the benefits of apps  are largely for the user, whereas the benefits of Web are largely for the developer.

The best part of this session was an extensive list of Design tips for mobile content, too many to list here, but this link may help http://www.viznetwork.com/about.html
Here is an example Tom gave of platform sensitive design http://bostonglobe.com/  Try resizing your screen to iPad size then to iPhone size and watch the layout change – clever.
Final thought “A good UI without a good UX is meaningless – and vice versa”.
On then to a session by Phil Cowcill of Canadore College, North Bay, Ontario.
Phil demonstrated how to take a piece of learning developed in Flash (CS5.5) and publish it to mobile platforms.

His solution is to “take Flash out of the browser “, i.e. eliminate the need to have Flash installed in order to use the learning asset.
It all got a bit technical for me, but in essence Phil showed how we (well our Flash team) can use the “Device Central” feature to publish to Adobe Air for Playbook, for Android, and for iOS, in each case creating a native App not a Flash file. In fact, publishing for the Apple platform is easier than Android as there is only a single standard instead of dozens.

There are a few administrative hurdles to jump such as needing a P12 certificate to publish in some formats but this was a fascinating and very practical session and very definitely one to take home and try out.
All this and the Demo Fest too. We even managed to fit in the Rod Stewart concert at Caesar's Palace - some guys have all the luck!

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