The eLearning “Killer App”??

What do these two things have in common??

In his recent article in Chief Learning Officer, Kevin Kruse observes

    Maybe the e-learning ??killer app?? we??ve been waiting for isn??t an application at all, but rather an appliance. Maybe we need a device that is affordable, easy-to-use, always there and a little fun

He is talking about a Leapster, a Multimedia Learning system designed to teach the way kids loves to play!
Given the uptake of other devices such as Apple’s iPod in the eLearning world (eg Duke University providing 1650 iPods to students), I’m wondering if Kevin has a point?? The iPod shares the same characterisitcs the Kruse identifies as being important for the Leapster; its rugged mobility, its affordability, the fact that it’s always there and a little fun. In addition, in a world where much talk is around the convergence of technologies to produce the ‘ubiquitous device’, these two are examples of a device that does only one thing, but does it very well.

Worth a ponder – perhaps Kruse is onto something here?

2 thoughts on “The eLearning “Killer App”??

  1. I absolutely agree. It is really interesting, my daughters (are 12 and 8 ) are never without their ipods and my 12 year old said yesterday “man if my ipod could also text it would be perfect”, the 8 year old then said “oh and if you could get a Sky channel like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network that would be really cool”.
    Designing the perfect appliance is there at the finger tips ………..most 12 year olds could tell you what it needs to have.

  2. Way cool! I’ve been on about these sorts of devices for a while now.
    Remember the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? The hand held encyclopedia that it was, combined with the Bable Fish translator. All possible now I reckon. Voice recognition input… into a cell phone, combined with a language translation tool like Plus games of course.
    My kids love playing Scrable and Monopoly on the laptop in the back of the car..If only we could afford 2, then there wouldn’t be arguements;-)

    My son is slightly dyslexic, we make Powerpoint spelling games for him, to help cement his spelling. It would be great if we could develop simple games for a cheap appliance that could be widely distributed…that’s the problem as I see it…lots of $ being spent on talk feasts and policy development and not enough being spent on devices and training for EVERY student and teacher.

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