m-learning 2015 – Buzzword Bingo

by Geoff Stead

Overwhelmed by the latest EdTech Jargon? If so, you need Buzzword Bingo! (Buzzword Bingo? If you don’t know it, Dilbert does a good explanation here. Everyone gets a chart of buzzwords and checks them off as they hear jargon during a meeting.)

Our game is a little more subtle, though. It’s about ensuring you to know  enough about each of these terms to separate out the Buzzword Buffoons from the serious practitioners. Use our handy scoring guide to figure out who knows what they are talking about, and who’s drinking a little too much of their own KoolAid.

Learn your Buzzwords: Use our handy (point scoring) guide to master the buzz.

Gamifiction – serious stuff! Good m-learning is always connected with motivating your learners, and there are a few fantastic examples of game-mechanics embedded into a learning task, to enhance learner motivation. Sadly, there are many more BAD examples of adding a quiz, badges and a leaderboard onto dull content, in what Robert Gadd famously calls “lipstick on a pig”. Minus 1pt for every instance of lipstick on a pig. Plus 5pts for every engaging game.

Responsive design / HTML5 – this is the absolute entry-level of any mobile friendly website. If your solution doesn’t even support this, you shouldn’t be presenting at mLearnCon – rather get back to your desk to get coding! Minus 1pt for any solution that promotes responsive design as their main selling point. Plus 1pt for tools that make it easier to share content across all shapes, and size of device.

Performance Support – One of the coolest things about mobile learning, is that it takes learning to the moment of need. And more often than not, that is performance support. For some strange reason, Training, and Performance Support seem to live separate, and parallel lives. But mobile is here to change that. Plus 5pts for mobile content that is truly designed for the moment of need.

MobileMinus 5pts for any solution that is not available to mobile employees, in their hands, when they need it. ‘Nuff said.

xAPI – This is cool stuff, though widely misunderstood. If you need to track learner interactions, but you no longer have one central platform (like an LMS) that you send all your learners too, you need a new way to collect learning data from multiple sources. xAPI is the way to do this, and a small group of pioneering platforms support this kind of disaggregation. Plus 5pts for platforms that fully embrace it. Plus 1pt for people that are working on it. Minus 5pts if it is on some future possible roadmap.

 Augmented Reality – AR is coming of age. There are loads of new ways to surface additional information about the world around you. Look for examples that help learners move beyond their mobile devices to the world around them. Plus 1 pt for cool ideas, and funky headwear. Plus 5pts for something you could quickly adapt for your own learners.

CHAMPIONS – Some of the coolest aspects of mobile learning are where you go beyond the smartphone as a small screen, and start using the wider affordances of mobile. Context Awareness. Social. Personalization. Together with friends at Float Mobile, Qualcomm have just released the CHAMPIONS  framework as a reminder of these unique affordances. How many are you making use of?  Plus 1 pt for each letter you can check off:

Micro Learning – Is this just another buzz-word? Or is it what Mobile Learning should be doing anyway? Either way, if you are serious about effective use of mobile learning, you MUST be thinking small, reusable chunks of content. TL? DR!  Plus 1pt for short, sharp content. Minus 1pt for a new buzzword on old learning.

Learner Centered / Personalized – If you are serious about being in your learner’s hands, you have to be serious about making sure they get what they want, and what they need. Plus 1pt if they drive their learning. Minus 5pts if everyone gets the same, long, structured content.


Did we miss any? Post comments below.

Play along with us – when you hear bad, or good BuzzWords during mLearnCon, share them with us all. Tweet us at  #buzzwordbingo #mlearncon

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