mLearning, an “a ha!” experience
Want to make mLearning Apps for smartphones? Don’t know where to begin? Read on!
Last week I attended my friend and Twitter mentor @rjacquez #mLearning workshop. I came away with a completely new perspective and action play for developing Native Smartphone Apps with standard web development tools including HTML5, CSS#, jQuery Mobile, JS, and Phonegap. Even more important seems the recent Adobe acquisition of Phonegap build and the direct support for these tools in DW CS6.
While the early work on integrating the smartphone functions into native apps via standard web tools began in 2009, the tools are just becoming mature enough for wider use by learning professionals. In the past year, I began thinking of an psychological coaching App I wanted to build, but got lost in the weeds of the various SDKs and other details needed to begin the process. While I have programming experience in a number of languages, learning C# at a high enough level to deal with making a clean UI and handling the smartphone controls seemed a daunting task.
Now, I have more than hope for efficient and scalable mLearning development with standard tools. For a mere $49/mo one gets full access to the Adobe Creative Cloud containing all the web components except for Phonegap itself.
More research this week showed me that there is a very active Phonegap (Github) on Twitter community with several conference events on both coasts this summer. Mobile Development with web tools is just getting warmed up.
Skeptical? I would be also, had I not taken the lead from RJ and started to build a prototype for the App. RJ suggested that prototyping on paper was a good first step, but I sketch poorly and don’t write longhand any better (PhD syndrome, lol), so I began working with DW CS6, JQM, and CSS3. To date I have perhaps 10 hr. in the development process. Now that I have a handle on the “Ops” UI screen, its time to begin the phonegap side in earnest. Here is a snag of the current Ops screen.
Now its time to dig into the Phonegap api, fully document control functions in pseudo code and then build the prototype for iOS and Android platforms. As part of the development, I will seek to make some standard JS pieces to hook to the smart phone controls. When the prototype is at the beta stage, I plan to invite some of my Instructional Design and Learning friends to check it out. In return for a full review, I will share the critical pieces of the source so that others can use these techniques.
Note that my focus will be on audio and short video components of the learning process that seem ideal for use in functional mlearning apps. Google hangouts for brainstorming will begin in the next few weeks. If interested, tweet me for more info @ermphd.