‘iPadisms’ from Elliott Masie

July 1, 2011 Sarah Danzl

250px-1stGen-iPad-HomeScreen_smllLast month Xyleme had the pleasure of presenting a webinar with none other than elearning luminary Elliott Masie on “iPad, a Game Changer for Blended Learning”. During this webinar event Elliott Masie shared valuable insights on how the iPad is transforming learning within organizations, and why organizations need to offer training on the iPad.

Elliott Masie and Xyleme’s CEO, Mark Hellinger, covered a lot of ground so rather than giving a synopsis I have selected the most insightful “iPad-isms” to give readers a taste of what was discussed.


On how the iPad is a game-changer, a disruptor:

[The chancellor of the California State University system] said, “…we are giving out 450,000 iPads and every one of our students will be getting all of their textbooks for just a couple hundred dollars a semester on the iPad.” It’s a game changer in that sense.

On how tablets have changed learner expectations:

Tablets have become part of an ability for us to define learning more broadly […]. They [the USDOD] want to be more agile.  They want to be able to take a mission, a situation and agilely create new learning not in 18 weeks but in a much shorter timeframe.  They want to acknowledge that the learners are becoming more empowered and that they in fact want to make their own choices.

There is the beginning of a learning economy that’s building within the app world and in fact we’re seeing a lot of learning that’s being created and harvested not by experts but by folks within organizations.  So it’s not just the app or just the tablet that’s doing it, but it’s a convergence of this moment that allows it us to use it as a change mechanism for learning in our organizations.

[And] whether or not the iPad is officially in your organization – it’s unofficially there.  So many organizations have banned tablets and yet if you look in the briefcase of the many people coming to work, they’ve got their own personal tablets that they’re using as a second screen at work.

On how important it is for organizations to make their content available on tablets: 

At the end of the day, you can’t afford not to.  Outside of work members of your organization are gaining the experience of touching, expanding, stretching, holding in their hand and dealing in a tactile and collaborative fashion with content.  Why would you not want to give them that same capability at work?

You can’t afford not to be putting the tablet and multiple devices on your radar screen for content – and do it sooner rather than later.  It’ll be an experiment at first but it’s a necessary, critical, important experiment to align with the significant change in learner expectation that’s occurring outside of the workplace.

On how the iPad changes content development:

[Ken Blanchard…] said, “You know I’ve written some great books but sometimes I just want people to get to one paragraph of my book or three paragraphs from three different books.” We need to be able to allow our content that agility.  We need to be able to have a way that when things change they’re updated almost instantly and the other thing we need to do is to be able to add deeper and deeper context to content.

On what tablet applications should provide learners, & what that means for ‘learning designers’:

We need to be able to allow our content agility.  We need to be able to have a way that when things change they’re updated almost instantly and the other thing we need to do is to be able to add deeper and deeper context to content.

We’re going to see some really amazingly different blends.  That’s why it’s a game changer for blended learning because some of this content is going to be used blended into a classroom – some of this content’s going to be used with a coach or as part of performance review or as part of new higher orientation but perhaps delivered in a distributed fashion.

 We are going to be able to make a shift from being an instructional developer to being a learning designer and I always say to my colleagues, “Be a learning designer.  You’re not just designing content but you’re designing an environment in where learners can then sculpture their own learning experience or organizations can do that.”

On how organizations need to move to a mobile first development strategy instead of elearning:

As we make a shift [from elearning to mobile] we are going to see a broader spectrum around learning. […] You ought to be thinking about content that’s built once, used many.  It might be used in a traditional elearning format.  It might be used as part of a blended classroom course.  It might be used as a follow on to a performance review.  [And] it might be used as a just in time element. 

On moving away from being elearning centric:

We have to move away from being overly elearning centric to rather thinking about building content, building assessment, building interaction, collaboration, and other apps that’s for performance. 

I’m enormously excited about the shifts that we can make and I will tell you, I sit on corporate boards, I work with CEOs for major corporations.  This is something they’re not going to oppose.  There’s an innate sense that our learners are capable of bearing more responsibility around their learning and they see the tablets and mobile devices may be part of the mix as we try to meet that greater potential from learners.


We were thrilled to have Elliott Masie join us for the “iPad, a Game Changer for Blended Learning” webinar event – to shed some light on how the iPad is transforming learning in the workplace – whilst Xyleme’s CEO Mark Hellinger explored how to effectively offer training on the iPad with Xyleme’s new product Pastiche™, a tool for developing interactive learning iPad apps.  What also made this webinar particularly memorable were our attendees, who, with their insightful questions drove the event. (So, a shout out to all our webinar attendees!)

If you couldn’t make the webinar you can now view it here and if anyone has an “iPad-ism” to add to the above list we’d love to hear from you!

About the Author

Sarah Danzl

Sarah manages the public face of Xyleme, overseeing all PR and Customer Communication. She is a specialist in written communications, media relations and reputation management. One of her favorite aspects of her job at Xyleme is working with the customers on on joint initiatives, including award applications.

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