The Apps Argument Revisited

This is kind of a short post, but In an earlier post, I asked the question “Are Apps the future of Mobile Learning?”. Well Judy Breck added another layer to this over at  Golden Swamps in her list of 7 suggestions she’s offering to mobile designers. Judy opines on the value of apps as the mobile learning space matures in her 2nd suggestion.

“2. Don’t make long haul commitments inside of walled gardens. An app is a potted plant. Realize the app will either one day move into the internet or it will eventually be euthanized like Encarta.”

I think all of Judy’s suggestions are worth considering, and she brings a lot of experience to the table. But all of the buzz surrounding apps gets me thinking that maybe they are a little more likely to stick around in one shape or another when it comes to mobile learning. The downloaded app provides a more tangible and personal object for the learner than the cloud-based “go to the mothership” application. The mobile culture is very personal and the things in it are very personal. People personalize their devices with cases, ring tones, themes, and of course… apps. Those apps are something they own and something they like to show their friends. Apps are cool and people can share and share about them. Keeping some of that personality will endear your learners to your content and they might even find your learning content cool. Mixing the power and collaboration of the cloud with the personality of the app might really go a long way in making learners excited about mobile learning.

You should take a look at all of Judy’s suggestions here.

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