The question in the title of this post should guide most (if not all) decisions we make when authoring content for our audiences, this doesn’t just apply to Education, but is extremely important as the technological frameworks that permeate it are constantly evolving. In the fields of Marketing and Entertainment, it’s constantly stressed as an emerging trend that a user can start accessing content (e.g. a movie) on a SmartTV and continue where s/he left off on a mobile device, without breaking the flow of the experience.
The same should be true for learning experiences we design. We, designers and developers of learning experiences, should always ask ourselves “why shouldn’t my learner be able to start experiencing this content on one device and continue where s/he left off on another device?”
A couple of years ago, when HTML5 and other technologies offered alternative ways to provide rich content to audiences that were used to the omnipresent Flash technology were a little cumbersome to learn and glitchy to play with. Now, there is n lack of “mobile-friendly-content-spitting” authoring tools that are as friendly as those that previously authored Flash-only content.
Captivate 6+, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio ’13 (just to mention the most well-known ones) all offer ways to convert old content and create new content in mobile-friendly frameworks. No excuses. We should at least “investigate” the possibility of offering seamless and/or second screen experiences to our learners, yesterday.
It’s not a choice.
I’m not discussing the creation of native apps and content that take advantage of mobile-platforms unique features like location-awareness, gyroscopes, etc. Nothing ground-breaking and uncomfortable. That’s topic for another discussion. I’m simply emphasizing the need to offer what you currently have restricted to a “desktop experience” in ways that are accessible from any* platform.
Free your learner. Now…
Do you face any challenges when trying to seamlessly offer content anytime, anywhere?
* “any” is a dangerous word, perhaps better replaced by “most widespread”
A Few Infographics on “Mobile Learning”