Mar 2, 2010

Design your mobile app for tomorrow, not for yesterday!

Recently reading one of my favourite blogs about e- and m- learning (Upside Learning) I found a post describing five tips for implementing mobile learning applications.

As a summary, you can find the full entry in Upside Learning, they give these tips:
1. Keep it short and simple
2. Low Information Density
3. Easy with the Multimedia
4. Include Elements of Collaboration
5. Provide Tools (Applications) and Not Just Content

I agree this tips, and I encourage you to follow them. But from my experience in mobile learning implementation (in my PhD), I'd like to add some own tips to create something useful and innovative:
6. A mobile device is, first of all, "mobile", so use it on the move! In out of the classroom activities, such as in a botanic garden to teach about flowers, etc.
7. Geolocation: Take advantage of where the student/teacher is in each moment, so you can better personalize the offered services. In the example of the botanic garden, if the student is near a Sequoya give him/her (multimedia) content about it, let them discuss about it in a forum for this particular Sequoya, create a chat around this particular location, etc.
7. Take advantage of the existing services and knowledge in your e-learning platform. Re-use! Don't create everything again from scratch!
8. Design your application supposing full connectivity, although you don't have it now, not restrict your functionality just because you are afraid of the fee for connecting to the Internet. Mobile broadbands are getting cheaper and more spread everyday, so design your app for tomorrow, not for yesterday.
9. Be social! Provide social mechanisms to engage students in your application, e.g., give awards to the student that send most messages to others, build more knowledge or know more answers. This is the key to keep your application alive!

I have some other ideas, but no more time, so I'll post them other day.

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