A short while ago, my wife, my mom, and I started talking about the way people learn. My mom is a veteran generalist instructor and has taught adult literacy, aboriginal studies, and abuse prevention. That conversation lead into research into TEL, technology-enhanced learning. And that’s where we got the idea to team up and create a series of courses for personal and professional development on mobile devices.
With smartphones, we saw a real opportunity to change the way that people learn. People who don’t have time to sit in a formal classroom can work through lessons on the train ride to work, in a doctor’s office, whenever they have fifteen minutes to spare and their phone. A mobile device provides a level of interactivity that is simply not possible reading a book or listening to a podcast.
The first course we’ve created is Assert Yourself! – Assertiveness Skills and Self-Confidence, a full-featured assertiveness training course. Assert Yourself! is a fully-featured course which includes lessons on communications skills, presentations, SMART goal setting, and workplace bullying. Assert Yourself! boasts a strategy of “28 days to a new you”. The course includes daily exercises tailored to the ten course modules, as well as a daily “Mirror Checklist” for daily assertiveness and self-confidence goals. For front-camera enabled smartphones, Assert Yourself! also provides an “on-the-go bathroom mirror” for quick facial and body language practice or to prepare before an important presentation. The exercises range from demonstrative videos to interactive quizzes to using the device’s microphone to practice speaking clearly and professionally.
I’m very excited about this direction. These courses are usually hundreds of dollars. If you can pay $4.99 on the Ovi store and be able to do them on the ride to work, that’s pretty good value. These professional development courses can also serve as preparation for people planning on taking, say, a thousand dollar six-sigma certification course. TEL is the way learning is going, and we’re one of the first to put it on smartphones.
Assert Yourself! is nearly done. We’ll be submitting to Nokia’s Ovi store at the end of the month, and it should be available early-to-mid April for purchase on all Nokia Symbian^3 and Series 60 smartphones, including the popular Nokia N8, C6, E71, and 5800 devices.