Nuggets from mlearncon

mlearncon…there’s no autocorrect for that word. What is it?

It’s short for mobile leaning conference. For some reason I found the shortened mLearnCon kind of a mouthful to say (plus, I find it unnerving when proper nouns begin with a lower-case letter). My co-worker Craig and I went to this conference together in Silicon Valley in June. I live in Minnesota, so I found it quite unfair that it was warmer back home than it was in San Jose. (I think it’s because San Jose is in a valley, but it still seemed wrong.)

Yet, the conference was worth my while. I came away with a better understanding of Tin Can API (now called Experience API or xAPI…guess they realized “tin can” didn’t sound very futuristic or technological, but I thought it was kinda funny). I also learned what a hot topic it was for most people there, and, while some attendees were hard-core programmers and much more knowledgeable than I, some attendees were much more new to it than I, which I found comforting. (Sometimes I wonder if that’s the main purpose of conferences…confirming that you’re either behind or ahead of the game…or maybe it’s just because I’m terribly competitive.)

I also got inspired about some potential uses for QR codes. You know, those ugly white and black boxes that are kinda like UPC codes? Did you know that you can now make pretty ones?! I think there’s a future in their use with performance support. One attendee  working for a home improvement store in Canada was using them with iPad minis. Workers could scan the QR code and get instant videos, FAQs, and detailed product information in seconds. Gone would be the days of finding (well, usually after waiting for 8 minutes, looking around like a helpless DIY’er) a nice person to help you in the plumbing area, asking them an electrical question, and being sent off to search for a different person to help you. The person you’ve already met could walk you to another department, scan the QR codes on the rack, and answer your questions. I’d look for QR codes to be more helpful to consumers – and learners – in the near future.

We attended some other great sessions on creating e-books, shooting quality (yet efficiently sized) video, and using Articulate Storyline for mobile deployment. All in all, it was well worth the trip…even if was colder than Minnesota.