The iPod Video & e-Learning Looking Glass

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The holidays are coming and I must find a justification for buying (as a gift to myself) the iPod Video. Currently, I am enjoying my 40 Gig iPod for music and have downloaded hundreds of my favorite songs. The cool thing about iPod is the way I can organize, listen, and purchase music anytime I want. I can personalize my iPod. I’ve also added audio books and have now tested Podcasting files.
I am however, amazed with how my fellow trainers respond to technologies in this case the iPod. I once asked a group of participants in a workshop about their reactions to the iPod. Only a few have actually experienced using it. But after showing the group how the iPod works, a couple of people had very strong feelings about how trainers are losing control over the learning process. The question raised was: how do we know if they are really studying? How can we track progress? And for e-Learning, how do implement SCORM (an electronic method of passing completion data of participants from one) so we know if they have completed the training?

Raising the question on losing control is very valid and this should be answered and a solution should be developed. However, it is better to ask the question: what can the iPod video do to improve ability of our learners to learn or perform on the job? And do we take advantage of this if the tool has the potential to solve a training or performance problem?
Answers to these questions may dwarf our concerns for control.

Here are some possible approaches.

Producing videos for iPods follow a different paradigm. Although the video production process is the same, the learning consideration is different. Videos should be very short, no more than one minute.
Use iPod video for highly motivational, high-celebrity, presentations. And you may need to zoom a little more on faces of people. I am sure there are other applications. iPod video is also good for highly changing content or event driven content, i.e.
Use iPod video not just for learner training, but also for client, customer and even sales presentations. (But it may be not a good idea to loan your iPods to clients – smile). Clients could view product demos, features and functions, or a message from your top executive on a new change in the business.
Blend iPod video lessons with e-Learning, classroom, and coaching sessions. In an integrated blended training delivery, viewing an iPod video lesson may distribute iPod videos as assignments. This will provide learners more flexibility for them to study materials.
If you have done applications of iPod video with your training, please share your story. Please email to

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”