A recent article in the Learning Solutions magazine talks about a new way for instructional designers to reach the mobile learner. The buzz is around HTML5 which is starting to take centre stage in the development of learning solutions. mLearning, or mobile learning, is a trend that is just gaining speed and becoming more desirable for designing instructional materials. It doesn’t aim to replace eLearning. It is rather a branch of the eLearning tree adding value and relevancy to it to accommodate the mobile needs of learners.
Using mobile devices in education is not new. From texting for group work to using iPads for podcasting, mLearning is happening. What has not changed is the way we design instructional tools for these new devices. One can argue that there are enough apps for different types of mobile devices that you can purchase. However, they were specifically developed for a particular device. Or if they happen to be available for different mobile operating systems, then the developers had to actually create a separate app for each of these mobile devices in order to fit their system requirements and specifications. A task not only time-consuming, but also very costly. One major reason for this is none of the mobile devices support Adobe’s Flash, the existing language for instructional designers to use. Apply, Google, and Microsoft are all against Adobe’s Flash and none of their mobile devices support it. So the answer for instructional designers may as well be HTLM5.
HTML5, it appears, will be an alternative to Flash, especially for developing cross-platform mobile applications. It has the backing of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera. RIM’s BlackBerry platform will also support HTML5.
To read more about the topic, visit Learning Solutions Magazine.