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Mobile Learning for Child Welfare

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Presentation on theme: "Mobile Learning for Child Welfare"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mobile Learning for Child Welfare
Child Welfare Technology Conference Mobile Learning for Child Welfare Welcome to the presentation on Mobile Learning for Child Welfare. My name is Jennifer Baum and I am the Assistant Director and CFO at the Academy for Professional Excellence, the southern Region Academy. I oversee our Instructional design, technology, LMS, and fiscal departments. Jennifer Baum, Assistant Director and CFO Academy for Professional Excellence – PCWTA

2 What is Mobile Learning?
Elliott Masie’s Learning Consortium defines mobile learning quite broadly: “We define mobile learning… as all ‘knowledge in the hand.’ It includes the use of mobile/handheld devices to perform any of the following: Deliver education/learning Foster communications/collaboration Conduct assessments/evaluations Provide Access to performance support/knowledge” 2008 Mobile Learning, also referred to as mLearning is basically a form of distance learning that is delivered on a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet. It has broadly been defined ad “knowledge in the hand”. It allows learners to learn from various locations.

3 Benefits of mLearning to CW Training System
Convenient Relevant: easily accessible reference guides, tips and practice guidelines anytime, anywhere Transfer of Learning (TOL) through knowledge/skill reinforcement Cost effective Currency Mobile Learning solutions are significantly expanding how organizations train their employees by allowing users to access content from anywhere, anytime more easily. Some of the benefits of mobile learning are: It is convenient. Convenience is key for adoption – if you make something difficult, people are less likely to want to participate. Mobile learning is relevant. mLearning can be used to enhance workers’ knowledge, awareness, skills and abilities through mobile courses or mobile applications. PCWTA is developing mobile applications to provide quick reference guides, tips and field guide information that social workers can access on their smartphones or tablets. mLearning benefits also include Transfer of Learning through knowledge and skill reinforcement. mLearning can consist of checklists, tools and tips, pod and videocasts, mobile apps and mobile courses. Cost effective: mobile learning is cheaper than booking the resources required for face-to-face training. And it can be easily pushed out to learners’ personal devices. It is easy to keep current: Updating mobile learning is relatively simple, and it’s a great way to push updates on policy, legislation and key information to learners.

4 mLearning Trends The strongest case for an mLearning strategy is that most of our organizations employees already have the technology. This chart shows the percentage of people who are using their personal mobile devices for work. Some workers may have concerns about using personal devices and work time (as well as personal data or data plan costs) for mLearning so that is an organizational consideration, but mobile apps typically are downloaded to a device and don’t’ require much data transfer.

5 Tips for Success Balanced Simplified
Specialized – Highly Targeted & Relevant Experts from the mLearning conference and expo talk about these three essential application principles for developing mobile apps:  1. Balanced refers to delivering content in a simple format. Some mobile apps include web links and the use of social media sites to provide rich content. 2. Simplified refers to a flexible design and intuitive interface. Most people are familiar with how to use a mobile app on their smartphone or tablet, and the easier you can make the navigation to get to the content the better. An intuitive interface refers to using small icons to “press” or simple navigational “arrows” or “tabs” to easily move to content areas. 3. Mobile Apps should be Specialized & Highly Targeted: mobile users want content that is customized and relevant to them. Content needs to be in small chunks that is easily accessible. Existing materials that lend themselves to conversion into a mobile format give you a distinct advantage in adopting mLearning. Mobile devices' ability to search and access content that helps in remembering makes it an excellent field tool. Most mobile apps have some linking capability to find specific information on the web. The point is to give brief pieces of information and the option to expand it by linking elsewhere. Best of mLearnCon: Designing Instructionally Sound and Engaging mLearning webinar, 2012

6 Content for Mobile Apps
Use existing content where possible Small chunks of content are best Topic organization and page organization Guidelines, tips, keys, checklists Resources PCWTA’s experience in developing mobile apps has been, for the most part, converting existing content from CALSWEC curriculum to reference style apps that provide brief chunks of information on specific topics like child development milestones. We are limited in how we display the content because the subscription software only allows us to create individual custom pages of information (with text, weblinks, graphics, audio and video) but does not allow us to create sub pages that would be accessible by topic. Many of the iPhone and subscription templates allow you to do this. So, there are some trade offs in how you can present the information in the apps. The direction we have been giving the content developers is to provide essentially 4 pages of information in the form of bullet lists of guidelines, checklists, practice tips, definitions and weblinks that would be like “fact sheets” of information. Then, we take that content and create the mobile app. We are learning as we go.

7 How to Create a Mobile App
Android iPhone Native application Web application There is no one single solution for mobile application development. There are a variety of platforms, development tools, frameworks and delivery mechanisms out there. It is easier and less costly to create mobile applications for android devices than for iPhone devices. This is mainly due to the proprietary nature of the Apple IOS operating system. A native mobile application is one that can be downloaded to your smartphone and the content is available on your smart phone with out Internet access. If the application includes web links, then you would need Internet access to view the content available through these links. A web application is Platform independent, but still browser dependent. It can reach a wide range of devices with browsers and data connectivity. There is no application installation or configuration required. Access through a browser means it is almost instantaneously available on all devices based on connection speed.

8 How to Create a Mobile App
Subscription – template- based software – android mobile app development – android, iphone and windows mobile app development - iphone mobile app development - android and iphone mobile app development There are a number of subscription based mobile application template based software services available to create mobile apps. Each of them has benefits and limitations, and come in a variety of cost per application or cost per user type of subscription service. Many of these subscription services allow you create limited free applications, but they come with ads or embossed logos of the company. You have to purchase a full subscription to remove the ads from your application. Many of these subscription services provide you with one development platform to design your mobile app, and then publishes the files you need to have an android based application and an iPhone based application. These tools are generally more expensive to subscribe to, but the benefit is a design once – publish to all devices which is definitely desirable. The main issue is cost. Bizapps, for example, costs $59 per month for a basic subscription, per app. So in our case at PCWTA, we are developing lots of apps so this is not a cost effective solution for us. With, we can pay a 1 year subscription price of $99 and create and publish as many android apps as we want without ads. We are using the to create native iOS mobile apps for iPhone. The Premium service is $30 per month for unlimited apps. We are also using the SDSU Apple Developer Account to upload our iPhone apps to the APP Store. This saves us $99 a year/per year. Each of these subscription services comes with a variety or “templates” or “widgets” that allow you to create custom pages or things like Maps, Videos, Contacts, and similar types of features that you see on a lot of apps out there. Many of these subscription services come with application development support, that varies in cost depending on what type of mobile application you are designing.

9 How to Create a Mobile App
Software Development Kits Android SDK iPhone IOS6 Xcode 4.6 HTML5 There are also software development kits, known as SDKs that can be downloaded for free to develop custom mobile applications for Android or iPhones. The iPhone Xcode 4.6 requires a MAC to develop on. These software development kits are typically used by computer programming experts to create mobile applications. This is how the major applications you see on the Google Play store or Apple App store are created. This is a much more costly way to go than using a subscription based template tool that generally doesn’t require a lot of computer programming skill to design and develop and app. You may hear about HTML 5 and how that is being used in the development of web applications that are viewable on smartphones and tablets. This requires an HTML 5 programmer to develop this type of web application.

10 How to Distribute a Mobile App
Google Play Store Apple App Store Android mobile apps that are downloadable are usually available through the Google Play Store. When you are developing a mobile app for Android devices, you need to create a developer’s account on Google Play and pay a one time fee of $25 to upload your apps and allow others to download them from the Google Play Store. There are good instructions on line on how to do this. The Google Developer console is an online console where you log in and upload your application. You answer a series of questions, like what category is this app (reference, news, etc.), who the audience is, if there is a cost to download it, etc. You also need so upload at least 2 screen shots of your application. Iphone mobile apps that are downloadable are usually available through the iTunes App Store. When you develop a mobile app for the iPhone, you also need to create a developer’s account on the Apple Developer’s console. It costs $100 per year and it’s a more rigorous process to get an iPhone app approved for distribution through the iTunes App Store. The subscription services provide instructions on how to do this and for a fee, will do this for you.

11 PCWTA Mobile Apps Browser- based iPhone apps
Google Play Store – Android app PCWTA is developing Android mobile apps for downloading to android devices using the andromo software subscription package. Anyone can go to the Google Play store and search for the name of one of our PCWTA mobile apps and download it to their Android device. Our solution to provide a web based iPhone app is the creation of the same content, using a different format and software tool, in our case Lectora. Social workers can go to our website and access the content on their iPhone or iPad but it is not downloaded to their iPhone. This is basically a work around that we found we could do to provide the mobile content to both types of smart phone users without the expense of using the per app monthly subscription service or hiring a contract IOS programmer to build the iPhone apps. We now have the ability to create native, downloadable iPhone apps using the subscription service, The App Builder. Again, the cost is $30 per month for unlimited apps. This is the best pricing model we have found. We hope to have our first iPhone apps available in the APP Store by the end of this year.

12 These are the PCWTA mobile applications that we currently offer
These are the PCWTA mobile applications that we currently offer. Child Development Milestones, Keys to Engagement, Elements of Child Sexual Abuse, W&I Codes for CWS, Basic Interviewing, ICWA Guideline, a general mobile app for the Academy for Professional Excellence, and a mobile apps for Safety Organized Practice Tools and Safety Organized Practice Definitions (Spanish). The content for these mobile apps comes from CALSWEC curriculum, in most cases, Common Core curriculum. For example, the Child Development Milestones is a handout that workers receive when they take the Core Curriculum course, Child and Youth Development. Rather than provide a paper handout, we created this same content into our mobile app for workers to access on their mobile devices whenever they need to refer to it.

13 Active Installs = # of devices that currently have your app installed
Total Installs = total # of times your app has been installed One thing to know is that once you put an app on the Google Play store or iTunes App Store, it is available to the public. Anyone can download your app and anyone can comment on it. You can see on this slide the number of downloads for each of our mobile apps. Total installs is just that, the total number of times your app has been installed. Active installs is the number of devices that currently have your app installed.

14 Download/View PCWTA Mobile Apps
If you have an Android device, go to Google Play and search on: Basic Interviewing for SWs Academy for Professional Excellence Child Development Milestones Elements of Child Sexual Abuse ICWA Guide Keys to Engagement W&I Codes for CWS Safety Organized Practice Tool Definiciones Básicas de SOP Now it’s your turn to download our PCWTA apps. If you have an Android device, go to Google Play and search on any of these titles to download the app to your Android Device. Welfare and Institutions codes section 300

15 Download/View PCWTA Mobile Apps
If you have an iPhone, Blackberry or Windows device, go to the browser on your device and go to this link: You will see the links to the various apps If you have an iPhone of iPad, Blackberry or Windows Phone, go to your browser and go to the link on the screen: This is a web application, not a native app

16 A good resource to learn more about mLearning and mobile application development is the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), ADL mLearning Guide app. You can search for “ADL mLearning Guide” in the Google Play Store or iTunes App Store to download this app to your mobile device. This app contains a wealth of information about mLearning and uses a template based design to display the information.

17 Questions

18 References Mobile Learning: Landscape and Trends, eLearning Guild, Quinn, Clark N. Ph.D. Benefits of Mobile Learning & Where to Use It, Hoyt, Jennifer 2012 14 DIY mobile app development resources for small businesses, ZDNet, 2012 Elliot Massey, Consortium, Mobile Learning Update, 2008

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