Monthly Archives: February 2015

eLearning Takes Off on JetBlue and Virgin America Flights

By | eLearning Solutions | One Comment

you above all jet blue

Fasten your seatbelts because eLearning is taking off—literally. While the veneer of civility in airline travel is long gone and the airlines no longer feed your stomach, they are beginning to feed your mind. We’re not talking the usual mainstream drivel; second-rate, release-to-DVD; or other warmed-over offerings—we’re talking first-class eLearning selections at 35,000 feet.

Your Head in the Clouds

Flight attendants have always struggled with the best (read easiest) way to pacify their captive audiences, and today it’s harder than ever, since passengers have to fork over additional money for meals of mystery meat and unrecognizable sides, and in many cases, a bottle of water. Today, JetBlue and Virgin America, two innovative leaders in the airline industry, have found a way to engage discerning minds above the clouds—by offering the best of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to their inflight audiences.

JetBlue Mines Coursera

JetBlue and Coursera are cooperating to offer passengers access to some of Coursera’s most popular lectures. Fly-FI Hub, Jet’s Blue’s inflight entertainment center, hosts the lectures through a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) system where passengers access the lectures through their own devices instead of through airline headsets. The Fly-Fi Hub offers 10 selections per flights, including selections from The Wharton School, University of Edinburgh and Berklee School of Music.

Virgin Goes Intergalactic

Well, not yet, but while we wait, passengers can take advantage of selections from The Great Courses, a catalog of more than 14,000 lectures, on Virgin America flights. With diverse offerings such as Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Inexplicable Universe” from the course, The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries; “Becoming a Spy” from the course Espionage and Covert Operations: A Global History; “Cook Like a Pro Chef: Lessons From The Culinary Institute of America” from the course, The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking; and many more; passengers will find something to while away the hours while enriching and expanding their minds.

MOOCs for the Rest of Us

Why limit MOOCs to inflight enjoyment? Businesses can leverage their eLearning dollars by augmenting their enterprise-specific eLearning courses through the MOOC universe. Leadership training and soft skills are two areas ripe for the pickings. For companies just transitioning from traditional classroom training, a combination of MOOCs and social learning can bridge the gap until the company implements an eLearning program.

New to eLearning? Make Sure You’re Reading These 10 Blogs

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super fly

Whether you’re just testing the waters or you’re ready to plunge into a new career, if you’re new to eLearning, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Differing opinions, strategy, and philosophies can make muddy water out of your experience. So, don’t go alone: Let these amazing eLearning blogs, sites, and experts be your guides in all things instructional. These are some of the best in the biz:

  1. Jennifer Valley  Jennifer Valley boasts over five years of instructional design experience, and her site is packed with resources for the newbie. A self-proclaimed eLearning geek, she offers info on everything from animation to authoring.
  2. Mike Taylor  Want your information and your visual impact too? Check out Mike Taylor’s blog. He’s an eLearning expert and designer whose blog packs a hefty graphic punch. Great for a design-centric novice who wants an insider’s opinion.
  3. Elliott Masie Elliott Masie offers an incredibly consistent blog (and newsletter) that can bring you up to speed on the latest trends involving leadership, strategy, trends, and all things eLearning. A frequent contributor to other publications, Masie’s newsletter is read by over 52,000 L&D pros, so you should probably be one of them.
  4. Connie Malamed More than just an instructional designer, Connie Malamed likes to get into learners’ heads using a combination of learning psychology and practical strategy. She also offers an app (Instructional Design Guru) and a book (Visual Language for Designers, 2011), and did we mention she also runs a podcast, The eLearning Coach? Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for all things eLearning.
  5. David Anderson  David Anderson is a prolific eLearning expert, plus he curates and writes a number of eLearning articles, relying heavily on his wit and wisdom to talk about the latest trends and strategy for his Articulate blog.
  6. Bryan Jones As a consultant for Fortune 1000 companies, Bryan Jones has learned a thing or two about eLearning. And luckily, he’s willing to share on his blog, where he covers media-based topics, since the site is also a treasure trove of eLearning stock images.
  7. Tom Kuhlmann Practically synonymous with eLearning, Tom Kuhlmann is a name that most in the industry know. He runs the Articulate blog Rapid eLearning, where he holds the hands of eLearning novices, thanks to his 10+ years of insight and experiencing in the industry.
  8. Garr Reynolds  As a worldwide speaker and thought leader for eLearning, leadership, and presentations, Garr Reynolds offers everything from Ted Talks to a Presentation Zen book that details ways to capture learners’ attention and tap into motivational factors.
  9. Ryan Tracey Ryan Tracey’s eLearning Provocateur blog covers topics like eLearning tips, upcoming industry conferences, and learning theories. An instructional designer at heart, Tracey puts his 10+ years of experience to work by offering up opinion-based articles that just might influence the way you think about eLearning.
  10. Jane Bozarth  It might not be the most visually stimulating blog we’ve ever seen, but don’t let that deter you: Jane Bozarth is an extraordinary instructional design specialist who is an expert on the creation, design, and even outsourcing of eLearning modules. It’s a no-nonsense approach perfect for someone who still needs a solid foundation in eLearning.

While it’s definitely important to develop your own eLearning voice, learning from some of the best in the biz can help you navigate your way, shape your opinions, and help you gain your footing in a fast-moving industry. And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our very own eLearning blog as well.

 

Kinetic Keyboards and the Future of Adaptive Technology

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high tech keyboard

For all of the advances in computer science in the last 30 years, one component has remained relatively the same through every update: The keyboard. Why? Because of all of the functions for which we use the computer, typing is the one done from what boils down to muscle memory. The location of each key is ingrained after years of use, so any drastic change to the keyboard would result in re-learning how to type.

Therefore, keyboards (albeit some changes to shape, color, and material) have remained the same for decades. Until now: Scientists have created a keyboard that not only generates energy with each keystroke, but also detects the user based on keystroke habits, such as speed, pressure, and typing style.

Not only is it good news for the long-neglected keyboard, but it’s an excellent sign for adaptive tech, where technology actually conforms to the user (and not the other way around). Adaptive tech is a vital component of personalized eLearning, increased engagement, and improved functionality.

If it Ain’t Broke…

Sure, your keyboard probably works just fine, but it’s what you do with your keyboard that can make it less effective. Consider this scenario: You store financial information on your computer, but you’re smart and protect it with a password. But we all know that passwords are anything but infallible, and if you’re like most people, your password isn’t exactly CIA-level.

That’s where a new and improved adaptive keyboard comes into play. By detecting the user based on the user’s typing habits, the keyboard can lock out anyone who isn’t authorized to access certain material. Cool, right?

Adaptive Advancement

Adaptive technology might be great for people who still use “password” as their password, but we’re more excited about the larger picture here. When technology assimilates to the user, that user gains a more personal experience. Less time is then spent adjusting settings and telling the technology who you are, and more of the details are sorted automatically by the technology itself.

Obviously, this has excellent applications in eLearning. Adaptive eLearning (where the material conforms to a person’s profile, location, language, position, and other factors) makes grabbing the necessary information faster and more effective. Consider a sales floor manager who needs the latest information about a new model of car. Rather than signing into a module, choosing her dealership, and then selecting the car, the module might already detect location and position, making navigation that much easier.

The creation of this keyboard proves that what we now know and utilize about adaptive tech is just the tip of the iceberg. The bottom line? More and more people want their technology to seamlessly combine with their lives. Changing out your old crumb-catching keyboard for something a little more 21st century might be the first step in adapting to adaptive technology – and whatever else comes next. For more information on the development of this keyboard, check out the original study here.

 

Are GoPro and the NHL Creating an eLearning Dream Team?

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Go pro nl

For the first time ever, GoPro announced in January that it would officially be partnering with a national sports league: The NHL. And while past efforts to enhance the watchability of hockey have fallen flat (we all remember the FOX glowing puck disaster of ’98) this partnership promises to be a benefit for hockey lovers and players alike. The best part? The way GoPro promises the capture the grit, sportsmanship and yes, the brawls, in professional hockey is more connected to eLearning that you realized.

The NHL by the Numbers 

To put it simply, the NHL is currently suffering from a viewer crisis. Here’s how the stats break down: 35 percent of hockey-watchers are in the 35 to 54 age group, 92 percent are white, and 33 percent make over $100K per year. In short, people who watch NHL are old, rich, and Caucasian. In contrast, the NBA has a much more evenly distributed demographic, with a 45 to 40 percent black to white ratio, and a fairly evenly disbursed age range of viewers. As for income, 32 percent of NBA watchers fall in the $40K to $75K zone: The middle class, and prime marketing real estate for advertisers.

It’s a major problem for NHL advertising revenue, since (obviously) older, rich, white Americans are only a small subset of where brands are spending their advertising bucks. In order to increase advertisement revenue, the NHL needs to attract younger viewers and a more diverse audience overall.

How GoPro can Help

That’s why the partnership with GoPro is a top shelf deal all-around. Armed with GoPro cameras, the NHL can give viewers a new perspective on what happens on the ice, hopefully garnering a younger demographic who are excited by the prospect of seeing up-close extreme sports. At the same time, GoPro solidifies its position as tech giant in play as an official sponsor for a national sports league: They’ll receive hefty branding opportunities to increase tech market share in an extremely competitive industry. The win-win scenario doesn’t just stop at the NHL and GoPro.

Believe it or not, the partnership doesn’t only benefit viewers, GoPro, and the NHL, but also the players themselves. Think about it: If GoPro gives viewers a bird’s eye view of what’s happening on the ice, it can give the same benefit to players before a game. More than ever, pro sports teams need to score every advantage possible to remain viable contenders, so getting to watch opponents before a game could make the difference in the final score.

Useful Learning

Consider it a type of custom eLearning: As teams face off against each other, the footage captured by GoPro could be used during training and practice, especially for championship games. Hey, watching game 5 before heading in game 6 could be enough to identify weak spots in strategy, identify the other teams’ play calls, and prep offense accordingly.

So, while the partnership with GoPro might be the NHL’s way to break up their long-stagnant demographic woes, allowing teams to watch the footage could become a one-two punch: A different way to watch the game, and more exciting match-ups to boot.

 

FB@Work: Facebook Time Wasting Costs Employers $650 Billion per Year

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facebook at work

Employers lose 650 billion (with a B) big ones each year thanks to the workforce’s obsession with social media. Blocking, banning and bullying hasn’t worked to turn off the spigot, so does it make sense to harness the medium by adding a new Facebook platform to the corporate mix and requiring, or at least sanctioning, its use? Is it possible that things could be different this time? What could possibly go wrong (or right) with this scenario?

FB@Work—a Millennial’s Dream Come True

Last month, Facebook rolled out a soft-launch of Facebook at Work (FB@Work), the enterprise version of its product that targets companies with more than 100 employees. Pilot partners get first crack at the new collaborative suite, which Facebook hopes to propel to the de facto standard for corporate communications.

Facebook is familiar. Most employees will encounter a zero learning curve, and fellow employees are the only friends on the @Work account. Communications are limited to corporate collaborators with a firewall existing between Facebook and FB@Work accounts.

The user experience is nearly identical to Facebook’s except that it is limited in scope, with no apps or ads for now. The news-feed will contain items newsworthy to the enterprise. Collaborators can network, plan projects and events, share news and documents and use FB@Work for social learning, providing education beyond the eLearning classroom and encouraging career development among natural leaders.

FB@Work’s strength is its user profiles. Suppose, for example, you need to locate someone in your company with expert knowledge in a particular area. Facebook’s in-depth profiles allow you to pinpoint individuals with that expertise.

Show Me the Money

The question about monetization looms. How will Facebook finance this venture? Several possibilities exist: a membership fee, monetization via ads, a tiered approach or a free service. Even with a membership fee, this could make sense for some large enterprises—they wouldn’t have to run social media on their intranet, and it would reduce server space needed to archive emails when most communications move to FB@Work.

EYE Spy

The showstopper for some enterprises would be the issue of who owns the data, how it is used, and confidentiality. Until these issues are nailed down in an airtight TOS that can pass an enterprise’s legal department, look for companies who guard their secrets to turn their backs. When FB@Work rolls out in full, it will be available in iOS and Android apps as well as a desktop version.

 

 

Walk This Way: 4 Benefits of Walking Meetings

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Sometimes, getting employees to consistently operate at full capacity is no walk in the park. But even with all of the tools to help motivate employees (work lunches; brainstorming sessions; coffee) management might still find themselves hitting a wall when trying to eke out all the potential of which employees are capable. And while keeping them glued to their desks might seem like the answer, it might be those sedentary hours that are working against them.

Enter the walking meeting: Sure, talking about important stuff when wearing Nikes might seem a little silly, but some organizations are finding that getting away from the desk is proving to be a big boon for creativity, efficiency, and mood at work. Still not convinced enough to swap the boardroom for the boardwalk? Check out some of the major benefits of talking and walking.

  1. Higher Levels of Creativity. In a study by Stanford University, researchers found that subjects were 60 percent more creative when walking rather than sitting. In fact, 100 percent of subjects were able to generate an analogy after walking, when only 50 percent of sitters could complete the same task. Think about it: Employees that are more creative and better problem-solvers simply from taking a walk around the park. It’s a small time commitment that could pay off heftily in the long run.
  2. Reinforced Workplace Culture. Here’s the thing: An organization can preach health and wellness, offer unlimited Greek yogurt in the lunch room, and run work-sponsored marathons, but if the same organization is requiring its employees to spend eight hours in a sedentary position, the commitment to health could come off as lip service. Sitting is quickly becoming the modern equivalent of other bad habits, like smoking, in terms of heart disease causation. By implementing walking meetings, an organization has a chance to reinforce a dedication to health as part of the workplace culture.
  3. More Energy and Better Mood. It seems like just about everyone hits that 3 p.m. wall. You know the one; it’s where all production stops in favor of checking out the vending machine or hopefully checking on the coffee pot. But, thanks to mood-boosting endorphins released during exercise, those who walk before or during meetings are energized and ready to contribute to the team (which means no more dealing with cranky pants from the buzz kill department).
  4. Improve Efficiency. When someone is subjected to the same stimulus for a long period of time—even if that stimulus is high energy or demanding—eventually, the brain effectively blocks it out. Allowing employees to get out of the office and experience new surroundings can kick start efficiency when it starts to lag. A study completed by the University of Illinois found that individuals who experienced a “brief diversion” easily made up the time in efficiency later, especially when compared to subjects who did worked straight through.

Of course, when applied to a training scenario, a walking meeting with all learners might not be feasible. Still, the concept of marrying exercise-based diversions with a work-based task can still apply. Perhaps an educator could schedule training after a walking lunch, or offer a podcast that can be listened to while the learner exercises.

Forcing learners to participate when they’re sleepy, cranky, or otherwise disengaged could mean setting up for failure. By incorporating something as simple as walking as a precursor, all material becomes more effective.

eLearning Job Titles & What They Mean: Forming a Successful eLearning Team

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Imagine a race car, flying across the track and rolling to a stop at the pit for a tire change. All members of the pit crew are so finely tuned to work as one unit that it’s almost like they read each other’s minds. And why do they work so hard to create a seamless experience in the pit? Because it makes for a smoother ride to the finish.

An eLearning team is a lot like that; just without the matching hats. As each member of the eLearning team takes on a specific role, it’s done with the understanding that the output needs to match the effort, training, and results from all other team members. From the first meeting to the final delivery of content, a client’s success is a win for these integral all star eLearning team members.

Instructional Designer

Consider the instructional designer the crew chief: An ID is the client-facing team member that first, gathers all the necessary information and then creates a general strategy for the rest of the crew. The instructional designer usually oversees the entire project, from creating blueprints for a successful outcome, to helping define the tone, look, and feel of a module.

eLearning Developer

The eLearning developer is the one who is trained to work with authoring software to help carry out the instructional designer’s overall vision. Using storyboarding and content development, an eLearning developer sees the project through the eLearning development phase by creating a general structure for the module using the appropriate tech.

Learning and Development Specialist

“Specialist” is one of those tricky terms that can mean a lot of things to different eLearning firms. For some, the L&D specialist fulfills an IT-heavy role in administrating and managing the LMS. For other firms, it’s the L&D specialist who creates the organizational structure of the eLearning module. In any case, the specialist is a support position with an excellent handle on deploying a comprehensive and appropriate LMS.

eLearning Consultant

He’s the guy with his eyes on the track, anticipating movement before anyone hits the gas: The eLearning consultant is positioned to help the team make decisions on the best training methods and delivery for a client’s needs. Leaning heavily on the ADDIE model for instructional design, the eLearning consultant is ace at defining what a client needs and how best to fulfill those needs for a successful project. The eLearning consultant works with the instructional designer from the start to brainstorm and identify everything from appropriate media to nailing down the perfect brand tone.

Learning Strategist

The learning strategist is the one who is constantly assessing current trends, competition, and techniques to adopt in current and future projects. By assigning value to all of the components of eLearning and instructional design, the strategist can identify opportunities for improvement, as well as work in tandem with the consultant and specialist to strategize methods for delivery, content creation, and generally carrying out a client’s vision.

Chief Learning Officer

This position depends on the composition of one’s company, and whether the CLO has a formal eLearning team behind him, or if he or she is tasked with monitoring and creating a company’s learning and training programs. Read more about the chief learning officer position here.

While their roles might vary slightly, each of the members of the eLearning team work as one fluid machine. With a clear mission and the ability to engage at exactly the right time through the design process, making it to the finish line is smooth, seamless, and a total win.

How Amazon Plans to Kindle the Fire of eLearning with Interactive Textbooks

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kindle fire

Let’s face it: In the learning world, textbooks are probably more akin to a sleeping pill than a shot of espresso. Traditionally dry and wordy textbooks can actively disengage a motivated learner who wants to touch, see, hear, and experience learning material via something more than words. What’s more, textbooks can seem daunting: Thick, unwieldy, and full of scholar-speak, it’s pretty rare to find someone who is excited to dive into Biology 101 with gusto.

Open Platform Kindle Textbooks

Enter Kindle Textbook Creator: A self-publishing device that can actually turn PDF files into engaging eTextbook files that can include interactive tools to wake up learners who are probably using their tablets (and Kindle Fire) as learning devices.

Kindle Direct Publishing is fulfilling a huge plot hole in the world of technical tomes: While Apple iBooks does allow educator publishing for brand-new texts, Textbook Creator can effectively upgrade existing texts that have been created and are already in use. By adding a few tools and areas for interaction, professors can become e-educators, offering students options for experiencing the curriculum.

It’s true that iBooks can offer more in the way of embedded video and interaction, but it’s a fair compromise for educators who already have pages of solid course material that could be better experienced and utilized with an eTextbook version.

Just Like Papera

One of the main advantages Kindle Textbooks will have to traditional texts is the fact that anything you can do with paper textbooks, you’ll be able to do with an eTextbook. When the PDF file is converted, it’s automatically upgraded with the full tool menu offered by Kindle Textbooks, which includes multi-color highlighters, bookmarks, annotations, and even flash card capabilities.

Of course, unlike traditional textbooks, students don’t have to lug around 20 pounds of books from class to class. It also can dramatically reduce the cost of textbooks altogether, since the development and delivery of an eTextbook is much cheaper than printing paper texts.

By offering professors the ability to publish their own eTextbooks, Amazon (via Kindle) has the opportunity to lighten the literal and financial burden of textbooks on students. What’s more, eTextbooks are much more suited to online courses than paper versions. Educators can easily change, edit, and upload the latest versions in real time, so there’s no risk of outdated information or reprinting a minimally edited version of a past text.

eTextbooks in eLearning

Sure, eTextbooks are a no-brainer for K-12 and post-secondary applications, but it’s not especially handy for learning and development on a corporate level. It’s not that Kindle Direct Publishing isn’t suited to corporate tasks, but rather the fact that most L&D learning materials are short manuals, how-to videos, and tutorials rather than thick textbooks.

It could be hypothesized that if a corporation had an extensive compliance manual, it could be converted into an eTextbook for employees to view on their tablets, but compliance manuals rarely require a high degree of interaction. Mostly used for reference, the ability to look up terms in Wikipedia, for example, isn’t especially applicable in a corporate setting.

Whether or not eTextbooks become a part of L&D strategy, Kindle Direct Publishing shows that some learning giants are thinking outside the book for learning materials. Acknowledging the need (and the mass desire) for texts that are more than just words on a page bodes well for the eLearning movement as a whole.

 

Lynda.com Raises $186 Million for Massive eLearning Takeover

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Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_9.14.13_PM_500x333

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but try telling that to lynda.com. The 20-year-old online learning company just secured $186 million in private investments for their next round of site revamps, including a new catalog of technical offerings and business skills training courses.

Think of it as an investor-sanctioned shopping spree: lynda.com announced last month that, thanks to private equity firm TPG, the site would begin reaching out to other tech companies poised for acquisition. Three companies are already rumored to be in lynda.com’s crosshairs, with letters of intent pending.

Broadening the Scope

No one would ever fault the ed-Tech field for being unenthusiastic, which historic startup investment deals happening on the daily in a fairly young field. But a company that was founded in 1995 (and profitable by 1997)? It’s an anomaly among competitor sites. But the latest round of funding for lynda.com proves age ain’t nothin’ but a number—and in a field that promotes adult education, that message has never been stronger.

While lynda.com currently offers a catalog of 5,700 courses and over 255,000 classes in four different languages, the Lynda of the future will be less “Learning French 101” and more “Tech Skills 2.0.” A hefty focus on workplace training means the site hopes to become a destination for those looking to increase employability, as well as organizations who want their employees to experience interactive, media-friendly training.

To those with their fingers on ed-Tech trends and overall pulse, it’s hardly surprising news. The natural evolution of the workplace from a set location to a virtual space has effectively catalyzed the need for highly-accessible, highly-adaptive training for employees. At the same time, those employees are leaning more heavily upon technical skills, which may or may not be a strong point. Add that to the skyrocketing price of a traditional four-year degree (Some 30K+, according to the National Center for Education Statistics) and employees are looking to do more with less.

The Natural eLearning Shift

It’s no wonder more and more are being straight into the inclusive arms of eLearning. Whether as a supplement to an existing degree or a method of expanding tech skills, employees are simply responding to the increased demands organizations ask of them.

As lynda.com responds to the rising demand of an alternative method for learning, the entire field gets a major boost from this second successful round of fundraising. Proving that the need is great, the interest is high, and the investors are willing can be enough for startups, small businesses, and newcomers alike to gain some confidence and traction in their own quests for relevancy.

While you might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, that old dog might be primed to teach the eLearning industry a thing or two. And, with $186 million in support for one of the mothers of modern online learning, it’s probably a great time to start listening.

Black, Brown, and e-Reader All Over: E-ink Screens for eLearning Applications

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grammy awards

Even staunch defenders of the traditional book are starting to see the merits of the e-ink reader: Pew Research estimates that 32 percent of American adults own one. And while they might seem overly simplistic, e-readers definitely have their place on the nightstand and perhaps even in eLearning applications.

Before dismissing the e-ink reader as too basic for your multimedia modules, remember that readers love choice. Offering the ability to access material on a second screen might be super-economical and result in some very happy learners.

Double the Fun

Chances are that you watch TV with a smartphone or tablet in-hand; Nielsen estimates that a whopping 84 percent of smartphone and tablet users surf, buy, and socialize while in front of the TV. It’s a phenomenon called “second screen usage,” which is essentially the propensity to use more than one screened device at a time.

And why not? With a tablet in hand, you could shop products, tweet about plot twists, and use IMDB to figure out where you’ve seen that guy playing a corpse on CSI before. Using a second screen satisfies a natural human hunger for in-the-moment knowledge and something to do during commercial breaks.

Now, contrast that behavior to someone using a tablet, laptop, or smartphone to access a learning module. As part of the module, the learner should read a study or page through a manual. While it could be done on an LCD screen, reading on a screen not really meant for that can be tiring and frustrating, particularly if there’s a lot of material to go through.

Adding the ability to access manuals, policies, studies, and other text-heavy documents via e-reader means using a second screen to give your learner more choices. It also means extending your reach, since e-readers are far more appropriate for outdoor and even bedtime reading, whereas a smartphone might be abandoned during those times.

Hey, it’s not perfect: e-readers can be simplistic and don’t work well for anything but, well, reading. Still, they might have a place within your strategy if you think beyond the screen.

When E-Readers Work:

  • When a document is text-heavy.
  • When you need supporting material to a lighter module.
  • When training materials require a large amount of screen time.
  • When downloading a text-heavy file would require buffering and bandwidth on smartphones.

When E-Readers Don’t Work:

  • As a primary screen (they should only ever be used as second or supporting device).
  • When a module relies on graphics and media to engage users.
  • When a learning module requires a high degree of interaction (e-readers may have touch screen capacity, but are nowhere near as sophisticated as tablets and smartphones).
  • When learning must be adaptable to the user.

On the bright side, producing an e-reader version of a case study or manual is extremely low-cost, so it’s not a big deal to add the capacity for a low tech screen to your existing learning materials. Just keep in mind that e-readers are ideal as second screens, but aren’t stellar for standalone learning strategy.

As it turns out, the argument for e-readers and eLearning applications may not be as black and white as it seems.