Sometime late last night, POC Interactive’s first app, Assert Yourself, passed QA and is became available for purchase in the Ovi Store at http://store.ovi.com/content/112986. Assert Yourself! is a rich-featured interactive assertiveness training and self-confidence course. Assert Yourself! covers communications skills, presentations, SMART goal setting, interview skills, workplace bullying, and more. Assert Yourself! boasts a strategy of “21 days to a new you”. Each day for 21 days you will unlock a unique exercise, from videos to quizzes to using the phone’s microphone to improve your speaking, and a customized “Mirror Checklist” of daily assertiveness goals.
What’s more, we have our first press mention, thanks to Village Gamer! Village Gamer reports news from the Canadian interactive digital media industry, and we’re honored they picked up on us. Check out the article here.
We’re based in Mission, BC. Mission’s mostly a blue collar town, and it has been hit pretty hard by the recession. There are lots of folks here out of work. Often the only choice here for families is to have dad leave the province to find work to support his wife and kids.
There are also lots of folks here with smartphones.
Assert Yourself teaches communication, self-worth, and presentation and body language. Job hunting, speaking with managers, and of course the dreaded job interview, bring all of these skills together. A candidate needs to project confidence, keep their composure, and stay assertive. As we developed our course material we came to realize how relevant it was to finding work, and so a late change we made to the app was to add a module on job interview skills.
Think about it. If we could get our app into the hands of people looking for work, we could really make a difference! Imagine if everyone on Employment Insurance with an iPhone, mid-range Nokia phone, Android, Blackberry, could grab our app for free. In the next couple of weeks, we are going to be setting up appointments with various government officials and seeing what we can do to get our course material into the hands of people looking for work.
There are enough “time waster” apps out there. If POC Interactive could be responsible for finding people work, now wouldn’t that be something?
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.