Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#skillsoftp11 SkillSoft Mobile Strategy

Presentation: What Comes Next: Mobile
Presenter: Pam Boiros, Tim Hildreth, SkillSoft

Mobile Challenges
- Multiple platforms –
- Speed of technology change / no standardization
- Speed – lack of bandwidth
- Security - variable
- Economics – can assume access to PC. Can’t assume access to mobile device.

2009-2014 Radical changes
- Usability improvements
+ Full-screen phones
- Data intensive devices
- Increasing broadband availability
- Rise of the tablets

More companies deploying phones to more people

Some companies figuring out how to incorporate employee own phones

Mobile as subset of learning portability
- Another dimension of getting stuff to people
- Can mean courses on the laptop (downloads) and synch
- Chapters and videos are portable (Books 24x7)
+ Chapters as PDFs
+ Leadership development channel
- Books 24x7 – mobile browser interface
+ Native iPad support
+ Kindle and eReader compatability

Mobile learning is not a one size fits all solution
- Pure learning and assessment
- Reinforcement / Refreshers (Learning Nuggets)
- Performance support / job aids (no more than 5 min long)
- Data collection / surveys and analysis

Mobile learning framework
- Supplements but does not replace traditional eLearning
- Component of corporate “learning ecosystem”
- Tracking and reporting remain key
- Appropriate content, appropriate device, appropriate time
- Must be simple

Device support
- iPhone (3 or 4), iPad, iPod
- Blackberry’s newest phones + Playbook
- Android phones and tablets (2.3 or higher)

2 pronged
- Server-based solution for broad support
- If needed, light-weight apps for select devices to support download, notifications, and seamless login
+ Mostly browser-based, html 5 solution. Moving away from apps. Want to be more OS independent
+ Big challenges for app – have to go through the specific “market” (like iTunes)
+ Want them to hit standard SkillPort URL

Supported Content
- PowerPoint
- Audio
- Video
- Mult choice and short answer questions

Focused on getting customer content that can be pushed out vs. SkillPort content
- Product updates
- Podcasts
- Assessments

SkillSoft content that they are focusing on making mobile (phase 1)
- Books 24x7
- SkillBriefs

Dialog Design (6.0, Aug / Sept) – to be mobile tool
- Will support audio and video
- Remember: Flash won’t play on Apple devices
- Direct publish capability being put in
- Can assign just like any other content in system

SkillPort 7.3 – main mobile enabled SkillPort
+ optimized for smartphones – can get view based on how access SkillPort
+ Phase 2 update release – optimized for tablets
+ Assign msparks to learners like any other content
+ Search, MyPlan, MyProgress [won’t see most of the SkillPort tutorial library. Can find and put in MyPlan for later]

3rd party LMSs – still tricky space. Mobile accessibility dependent upon which one you are using.

Future thoughts
- SkillSoft content – not viable until tablets hit the market. Phones too small for courses.
- many hurdles
+ Limited flash support
+ Limited support for Java applets
- Research projects focused on Business Skills library
- What will it take to get library of content and tweak? No dates, but pursuing.

Can see new ways to re-engage learners with the touch screen vs. mouse interaction

Stuff to think about
- Do you have an active initiative around mobile? In organization? In training?
- Are you thinking about phones? Tablets? Both?
- Have you standardized on any particular devices?
- Have you thought about the kinds of resources you think make sense for mobile delivery? Learning? Performance support? Assessments?
- Are you plugged into your IT department? What are THEY thinking (since they will have to support you)

1 comment:

George V. said...

Shame on you SkillSoft, for having more excuse than solutions. Excuses that stopped being applicable 5 years ago. So many companies have found ways to work around most, if not every single one of your "reasons".

It's time to wake up to a reality that devices are getting to be more mobile.