Thursday, May 26, 2005

Authoring systems for mlearning

My search of authoring tools specific to the needs of mlearning using mobile phones came up with very little. In a report prepared by Ericsson, detailing many of the initiatives of 2001, the majority of the software used to prepare material for delivery on mobile phones tended to be written ‘in-house’ as customised software packages for use with specific projects and specific phone types. In my last post, studystack recommended looking into the use of J2ME as a development platform for cell phone applications. A good recommendation that I will pass on to the techies at CPIT.

The majority of the ‘off the shelf’ authoring systems available for mlearning cater to the PDA market. Hot Java is one example that has filled a niche in the market by providing solutions for corporate trainers using mobile technology to meet their training needs. More established authoring tool providers like Trivantis have a version of their popular Lectora software available for developers of mlearning on PDAs. One example of an off the shelf programme is Go Test Go Inc .which is targeted specifically at the ‘test’ taking market, allowing tests to be downloaded and completed on cell phones. Hyperfactory’s project with L’Oreal provides some scope for further development and will need to be further explored.

There is a movement towards putting together authoring software for distributing learning material on to mobile phones. The move by macromedia to develop Flash Lite for mobile phones is one important step forward. Flash is only one part of the requirement for mlearning authoring software. Cameras on cell phones are also starting to be catered to, with Flickr offering download services for mobile phone cameras that allow photos to then be copy & pasted into blogs, web pages etc. and a more cell phone / pda camera friendly package on splashblog.

The ‘testing’ software discussed above can only take mlearning a short way towards my mlearning vision. The capabilities with various software offering a way to archive and work with visual material collected using cell phone cameras is also a start into how a mportfolio could be collated. Therefore, the hunt for a comprehensive mlearning management package continues.

If any readers of this blog are aware of or come across potentially useful mlearning authoring software, please drop me a line.

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