Monday, January 31, 2011

Celebrating the iPad Anniversary : Are You Migrating e-Learning to iPad?

It's been a year since the revolutionary iPad was first announced. Several organizations have realized the importance of delivering training through the iPad. Yet, the best practices are not widely shared, and many 'e-learning to iPad' projects continue to be explorations into the unknown. One question about elearning migration to iPad concerns the choice between a native iPad app versus the browser. In this post, I draw on the experience of working on several mobile learning projects and technology products at Harbinger Group to offer a thought.

For delivering e-learning content, there appear to be two ways to go. One, build a native iPad app for delivering an engaging learning experience that fully leverages the iPad's device capabilities. Two, use the browser to deliver content and reduce development costs. Which way to go? After nearly a year of working through several iPad projects, the emerging consensus here seems to be a creative combination of both approaches. Static content can be delivered through browser, with minor modifications to suit the screen size. That part is a no-brainer. Even much of the interactive content can  be delivered using HTML5, through the browser. Only some parts of the course - where you either need to use unique device capabilities or you need to create a unique user experience - lend themselves to app development.

So, in a course migration project you may choose to develop an app that contains HTML elements. These, in turn display pages that contain HTML5 interactions. This helps you save development costs and make the most of the iPad, while re-using the interactive HTML e-learning content that plays on the laptops.

Any readers would like to offer additional insights and best practices? Any real-life examples?

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! thanks for pointing out the fundamental benefits of HTML 5 as a development platform for mobile content...I was wondering if the benefits could also include "tracking" the content from the mobile devices, more like what happens in an eLearning environment...tracking eLearning content is given and a must, but I haven't heard much about tracking the mobile content; I am interested to know if mobile content can also be tracked and if HTML 5 / browser approach has any solution for that...would appreciate thoughts on this.