Back to the future. When mobile learning reloads the 80s and inspires the education field

Back to the future. When mobile learning reloads the 80s and inspires the education field

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Jean-Michel Lavallard
Co-Founder – CEO
Educ-i & Digicours

What’s McGyver’s profession?

  • Service Agent
  • Secret Agent
  • Physics teacher

Excited to know the answer? Or even more excited to test your knowledge and win the game?

Jean-Michel Lavallard is CEO and Co-Founder of éduc-i, an organization specialized in the pedagogical engineering and the rise of digital technologies in education, and Digicours, offering didactic mobile solutions . How to  better organize and manage classrooms with digital technologies? Why are mobile educational games boosting students strategic thinking? Jean-Michel Lavallard and his Team of Professionals address these concerns by coming up with innovative learning solutions.

With Route 80, a first Digicours mobile learning application designed in collaboration with Teach on Mars, Jean-Michel takes us back into the 80s world and invites us to rediscover its enchanting classics by confronting them in a unique, instructive and amusing challenge. And collect first reactions on the mobile learning option among the academic community: teachers, students and parents.

We have asked Jean-Michel Lavallard about his motivations on designing a mobile learning application, here is what he explained to us:

  • Among all the instructional techniques, mobile learning caught your attention, why?

The digital has settled into our lives! People aged 7-77 use smartphones and we catch each other’s news on social networks. The education sector has stepped up to the plate too.

I have been interested in mobile learning for several years, as I believe it meets today education sector’s expectations: mobility, interaction, multimedia, short and inspiring training formats and an instant knowledge assessment.

  • What would you consider as an ideal blended learning solution? How to best mix digital technologies with education?

Digital should come within 2 steps. Upstream, in order to diagnose the level of knowledge of each learner and to adjust the training needs accordingly. Downstream, to secure the knowledge through challenge, role-playing and memorization exercises. In between, classroom training remains essential to transfer part of the knowledge.

  • Which learners community do you target with the mobile learning, in particular “Route 80”?

Teachers and parents all have a common concern, our children and students educational welfare! The objective is to provide academic communities with new innovative educational tracks. We have first designed “Route 80″, a light and entertaining subject, to show them all the mobile learning underlying assets: learn or recall knowledge, while playing and joyfully challenging other learners. Mobile learning allows students to access content from home, communicate with teachers, and work with other people online. The value of mobile devices is that they allow students to connect, communicate, collaborate and create using rich digital resources.

  • How has the educational community responded?

Learners’ feedback was very optimistic. They appreciated the app social feature with its dual play mode and its score charts. They learnt about each other’s through the game! They also realized that they increased their knowledge while continuing having fun! They appreciated the enriched design, functionality and navigability.

  • What is your next step? How do you envision the future with the mobile learning?

The mobile learning era has just begun! We are currently working in collaboration with Teach on Mars on new revision application projects (“Bac”, “Brevet”), as well as on 2 educational applications on mythology and legends. We also plan to extend our mobile solution to general knowledge themes, for a larger audience…

VP Way. When pure coaching meets native mobile learning

VP Way. When pure coaching meets native mobile learning

Arthur Choukroun, Skillsday‘s Founder and CEO, has pioneered the design of short and efficient targeted  blended learning. He specializes in management, sales, purchase and interpersonal relations training modules.

His conviction? “Give the basics to achieving the fundamental”.

Based on a profitable collaboration with Teach on Mars, Skillsday developed a complete mobile learning solution on behalf of one of the European Leaders in internet retailing and the pioneer of event-driven online sales, for coaching their hierarchy on proficient management.

Teach on Mars contents authors! Lesson #1 – How do People see

Teach on Mars contents authors! Lesson #1 – How do People see

“Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest.” Jean-Louis Gassée,  former Executive at Apple Computer.

What makes a surfer click? What grabs a reader attention? How to catch long-term memory?

At Teach on Mars we believe that the key ingredient of a successful mobile learning application comes from the combination of innovative and mobile first digital tools coupled with eye-catching, clear and efficient content/design.

Add a pinch of psychology while designing a content might well help it to hit the mark!

So, Best-writing Authors, just let your creativity rip, watch out for our many helpful hints and tips lessons and start writing activities content that will make learners want more!

Let’s start the lessons! As a lesson teaser, let us drive you into the mysteries of how people actually see, and how to take advantage of it!

First, what you believe to show in your content is not necessarily what the learner will see. Our brain sometimes deciphers anything but the image!

  • Image interpretation depends on the learner background, knowledge and expectations
  • Optical illusions mislead our senses, as in famous Franz Müller-Lyer optical illusion of 2 lines  of the same length yet looking different:

muller-lyer

  • Colors and shapes influence interpretation:

 Slide1

Tip: Use colors, shapes and optical illusions to persuade learners to see things in a certain way!

 

Furthermore, studies conducted by Adam Larson and Lester Loschky show that peripheral vision gets the essence of a scene, while central vision is used to look at things directly, to see details. It is therefore important that the information in the periphery clearly communicates the purpose of an activity card.

Tip: Carefully select your backgrounds as users get the overall objective of a screen out of it!

Teach on Mars illustration on peripheral vision:

photo 1

Firemen application

Finally, people identify objects by distinguishing patterns. As per Irving Biederman “geons” theory, we shape all objects from 24 basic forms that we distinguish in all objects. Hence, we suggest that you use patterns (grouping, white space…) as much as possible, since people automatically look for them!

Tip: Use patterns (grouping, white space…)! People automatically look for them!

Teach on Mars illustration on patterns usage:

photo 2

Use patterns!

 

You now see that what our brain comes up with isn’t exactly what our eyes are seeing!

In the next lesson, we will keep on analyzing the journey of an image within our brain!

Lessons tips index page

Teach on Mars contents authors. Lessons tips index page

Teach on Mars contents authors. Lessons tips index page

Access your favorite lesson tips in a split second from the table below.

Statement Tips to improve your mobile learning app!
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS! LESSON #1 – HOW DO PEOPLE SEE
Colors and shapes influence interpretation. Mix colors and shapes to influence others’ brain vision analysis!
Peripheral vision gets the preview of a situation. Pay attention to your outlying design, as this is what will give the overall picture to watchers!
Patterns attract. Use patterns: grouping, white space, tables… to catch viewers’ eyes.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS! LESSON #2 – THE BRAIN ANGLE
Human faces, particularly the eyes, appeal. Use faces on your background images, to catch users’ attention and interest!
We best recognize and remember an object in its canonical perspective. Picture your items in a canonical perspective for users to best remember them.
Readers look for critical information in the central area of a screen. Position your main contents at the screen centre, users believe that key info is central.
The more perfect the perceived affordance, the more efficient the design. Make clear to users how your objects (buttons, links…) should be used!
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS! LESSON #3 – COLORFUL!
According to chromostereopsis studies, blue and red, or red and green, are heavy together Never put red and blue, or red and green near each other on your screen.
Think about the color-blind population, 10% of your readers might miss the boat. Use colors that work for everyone.
colors carry a symbolic…. Different in different cultures! Choose your colors carefully depending on their various cultural meanings!
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #4 – WORKING MEMORY
STM (Short Term Memory) capacity “magical number seven”. Propose just a few information pieces in an activity, to optimize STM.
Mnemonic usage. Use mnemonics to increase STM storage capacity.
Duration of memory for the STM system. Use memorizing activities that stimulate rehearsal training.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #5  – LONG-TERM MEMORY
Encourage « maintenance rehearsal » activities i.e. repeat information. Use maintenance rehearsal learning activities to consolidate acquired knowledge.
Promote elaborative rehearsal, plug newly acquired data to existing ones. Use schemas that help integrate new information with existing memories.
It’s much easier for learners to recognize information rather than to recall it from memory. Design activities to stimulate data recognition.
Concrete words and drawings  are easier to store in the long-term than abstracts items. Design concrete terms and icons to ease long-term memory storage.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #6  – IN 2016, SPICE UP YOUR APP!
Spice up your contents with emotions and make your training one to remember. Use one of the 7 basic emotions in your pictures (joy, sadness, contempt, fear, disgust, surprise and anger) to clearly communicate your sensitive message.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #7  – HOW PEOPLE THINK/1
 Learners best process information in bite-sized chunks Chunk and disclose contents bit by bit to ease learner’s process of information.
When designing an interface, the fewer mental resources i.e. loads are needed, the easier the application is to use. Favor motor and visual loads when designing your application.
During everyday activities, our mind would wander up to 30 percent of the time! Keep learners aware of where they are in the application. Their minds wander!
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #8  – HOW PEOPLE THINK/2
Our brain is fond of mental models, i.e. people assumed process for how something works. Match your conceptual model with people mental model and announce it to them!
It is commonly granted that we learn best from examples and that a picture speaks a thousand words! Use examples to ease learners’ training rules understanding.
Just as there are visual illusions, there are time illusions. And a heavy mental processing makes the amount of time seem longer. Provide progress indicators to make your training activity seem quicker … Time is money!
The flow state is when you have a very focused and enjoyable attention on a task. Put your learners in a flow state by providing them with an achievable goal, continuous feedback, a sense of control over their actions and the pleasure!
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #9  – TO ERR IS HUMAN
When something seems erroneous or risky, it is important that users know what to do about it. Anticipate potential problems and inform users on remedial actions
Users’ performance to complete an activity depends on their level of stress. The more complex the task, the less should be the stress level. Weight the stressors of an activity according to its difficulty
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #10  – LET’S FOCUS!
Attention is selective. Among the things for which people unconscious endlessly scans the environment is the identity. Always reference your learners’ name to secure their attention.
Attention is time limited. People can focus on a task about 7 to 10 minutes at most. Keep tutorials under 7 minutes in length because attention is time limited.
Many psychology researches have proved that people can’t multitask. Multitask is a myth. Focus on one subject and one step of the learning cycle at a time.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #11  – THE DECISION PROCESS!
People associate control to the ability to make choices. Give learners a sense of choice to keep them motivated.
Learners’ decision to browse through a training depend on the time and experience required to complete it. Reference time and experience in you training introduction to keep learners motivated.
People in a happy mood estimate the value of a product higher when making an intuitive decision. Spice a training with some humour to keep learners happy and therefore motivated.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #12  – HOW EMOTIONS CAN BEST SERVE LEARNING
Moving muscles and related emotions are strongly linked. People mimic others’ expressions.  Include smily videos to make smily therefore happier learners.
Information is processed more deeply and retained longer if it has an emotional kick. Use anecdotes, quotes, stories rather than factual data to improve learners memorization.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #13  – LET EMOTIONS SERVE YOUR CONTENT!
People are pre-set to enjoy surprises. New things capture attention. Regularly include new nice contents to surprise and therefore motivate learners.
People quickly decide on what is trustworthy, or not. Punch up a training usability and appearance to get learners’ trust and motivation.
Most of human beings enjoy watching landscapes scenes which include hills, waters, trees, birds … Add pastoral scenes images to relax and concentrate learners.
TEACH ON MARS CONTENTS AUTHORS: LESSON #14 – EMOTIONS, part III 
Short mobile learning formats allow them turning wasted and boring time into useful and rewarding training moments. Offer short educational activities to keep learners valuably busy everywhere.
It is useful to add music during a training session in order to engage learners in a positive and addictive experience! Help learners to capitalize on their emotions with pleasant training music!

 

A forthcoming alliance: mobile learning and augmented reality?

A forthcoming alliance: mobile learning and augmented reality?

Mobile learning is a promise of ever more advanced high-tech educational solutions.

Is augmented reality one of the main challenges of the near future of mobile learning?

What is “augmented reality”? AR comprises a live view of a real-world environment (“reality”) with computer-generated input (including sound, graphics, text, video, and GPS information) supplementing (“augmenting”) the visual elements in the view. In other words, AR provides us with an enhanced view of the real world. An illustration?

The famous Google Glass exemplifies this new form of mobile learning. The learner can evolve in a particular universe, such as video games, acting on objects and commands, with a conceivable remote action option.

The combination of augmented reality with the mobile learning offers fascinating perspectives, accelerated by latest technological advances. An important concept about mobile augmented reality is that it is about augmenting experiences in real-world environments, wherever the learner happens to be. Augmented reality technologies can take any situation, location, environment, or experience to a whole new level of meaning and understanding.

Besides these technical and pedagogical considerations, the portable augmented reality market is very appealing. Its highly impressive and fun abilities naturally represent a strong marketing potential. With “only” 6 million users in 2013, the global augmented reality market is looking forward to a steady growth, with a drastic increase in the next three years, to reach 200 million users by 2018.

With a solid foundation of powerful technical progress and strong technological diffusion, mobile learning is particularly well suited to vocational training engaging the most advanced educational innovations, such as augmented reality.

With an appealing background of economic development prospects,  this should arouse many ideas for the more daring, or rather for the more discerning ones…