#mLearncon recap: mLearning is growing up


I loved this mLearncon, I really did. But when I had to come up with a title for this recap it didn’t come to mind immediately. At first glance there was no leading trend or great news. I had to reread the posts about the previous mLearncon’s I attended before it came to me.Two years ago, there where some early adapters at mLearncon, most of them where publishing existing courses to tablets. The rest was thinking: ‘I need to do something with mobile, but what and why?’. Last year I expected a big step forward, but I was disappointed. There was no substantial progress that I could see. And that is the difference with this years conference. mLearning has matured. At first mobile was seen as a replacement for eLearning, and people where bringing their old courses to tablets. This year I saw many examples of mLearning that really take advantage of the unique features of the mobile devices and more and more on phones, not tablets. Smart phones are location and context aware and you have them always with you; this makes it ideal for performance support while you are on the go. Short nuggets of information pushed to mobile, especially short video’s. And people are beginning to use the other features of the devices such as camera’s. Design principles are more clear and more and more people have a proper strategy in place, ensuring the place of mobile learning in the total learning environment. Another sign of us catching up with the technique is that we are also looking forward. There already is a discussion on wearables (like Google Glass, smart watches and other sensors that we will carry in the near future). Last year we where still catching up with the possibilities of mobile learning. A great step forward.

About the conference
It was a great conference. I attended three keynotes and 10 sessions, and only one was disappointing. The rest varied from good to excellent. I learned a lot. The highlight of the conference was the keynote by Karen McGrane. Really great presentation and it put a lot of things for me in place. That is my biggest personal take away. I will use it in the product development of the new web edition of easygenerator and I believe I can solve that apocalypse. mLearncon is relative small, which makes it extra nice, and this years location was San Diego. Compared to Orlando (learning solutions) Las Vegas (DevLearn) a huge improvement. I loved it. Only the early bird sessions didn’t work well. Very low (to none) attendance and no moderation. For the rest a big compliment for David Kelly and his team.

And the score of mLearncon is …..
Before the conference I came up with the Spiro index. I’m looking for a way to compare conferences. The pre-conference score of mLearncon was 2.375 (the average number of sessions I selected per time slot). During the conference I rated all the sessions I attended, mLearncon scored 7.6 on average. The final score is found by multiplying these two and dividing them by two. mLearncon’s end score is a 9.0. This is the first time I did this so I have nothing to compare it with yet, but I will do this also for future conferences.

Blogging at mLearncom
Since mLearncon is about mobile, I decided to write all my post without using my laptop: Tablet and phone only. This worked out really well for me. I used my favorite app (mind node) for the mind maps, the conference app (really great) and the WordPress app (has room for improvement). I was able to post the blog most of the times before I left the session room. This worked for me better than writing all the posts on my laptop in the evening. I’m not sure how useful these posts and mind maps are for you. To be frank I do write them for myself. Making the mind maps is my way of organizing and processing all the information, it is my way of learning.  And my blog is developing itself as my extended memory, I check on old posts very often. Below you will find an overview of all the posts I did on mLearncon. WordPress doesn’t have hotspots so you have to click the links in the list below the image it to go to the posts.

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The posts:

 

 

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