Thursday, October 9, 2008

3 Ways I Use My iPhone for Learning


I would like to suggest to you today that using an iPhone or some compatible mobile device can you give you great flexibility and allow you to adopt a mode that I use frequently to prepare for my toastmasters speeches. Mobile Learning also known as on-demand Learning is becoming increasingly more popular as busy business executives and young millennials start to take advantage of the capabilities of devices such as Apple's iPhone. I was reading an article just the other day in Success magazine. The article entailed 27 resources that successful people use to get ahead. Guess what? Of the 27 resources that were listed, 14 of them were technology based. And even further, 8 of those were really tied to the abilities of a portable or mobile device. I am an avid iPhone user. Today I would like to share with you three of the ways I use my iPhone for learning: Audiobooks & Podcasts, Videos and the Internet.

First lets talk about Audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great device for those who have to keep up with changing information and who do not always have opportunities to read. Many popular books are now also on Audiobooks. You can download these Audiobooks from iTunes or audible.com and listen to them on your iPhone. Just last month I listened to the very popular The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. How does this work? It is very simple. I downloaded the Audiobooks using iTunes and it is automatically incorporated into my Audiobooks library. I plug my iPhone into my macbook and press the sync button and voila I now have the audiobook on my iPhone for my listening pleasure. This gives me the ability to listen to my audiobook anywhere I have my phone. Which of course is everywhere. I listen at work. I listen while jogging. I listen while driving. It is a wonderful way to receive the information I need and I do so repeatedly. It has been a great way to learn on the move.

The same can be said for Podcasts. The idea behind Podcasts is the same as for audiobooks. It is recorded content. The difference is usually a podcast is shorter in length and usually they are free and available via the web for download. I use podcasts to listen to lectures from my professors at Pepperdine. There are also some great niche podcasts that I used to gain knowledge on a variety of subjects. For example, there is a podcast called The Apple Phone Show. I use this podcast to keep up with information and techniques for keeping up with and getting the most of my iPhone. The Apple Phone Show has a new podcast each week. You only need to subscribe to the podcast using iTunes or the website and anytime there is a new content it is automatically downloaded to your computer when you start iTunes and synced to your phone the next time you connect it. Recently, Oprah Winfrey used podcasting technology to distribute a recording of her worldwide class on spirituality that she hosted on Eckhart Tolle's new book, A New Earth.

If that is not enough the iPhone also plays video. You can use it to view custom videos or videos that are on YouTube. How does playing a video help me learn? Well let me tell you. In my craft as a public speaker one of the first things I was advised to do to improve myself was to record my talks. I have been following that advice for everyone one of my speeches. My phone does not record video, not yet anyway. So, I use my flip video to record my talks and then I load them onto my phone and review my performance. Sometimes to save space on my phone I upload the video to YouTube and view it from my phone. This has worked tremendously well for me. And of course I can view other videos to learn such as movies, documentaries, discovery channel content, and video demonstrations or how-to videos. Using my iPhone for video viewing is another one of the great ways I use my phone for learning.

And finally I use my iPhone to browse the Internet. The phone is equipped with the Safari browser. Many phones claim to allow web surfing. I have had many of these phones that make this claim. Most of them are useless. The iPhone actually allows you to surf the web and be able to actually read the content. Most phones don't. Also, there are many sites that are customized for the iPhone. So there is an iPhone version of Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Which brings me to my next point on distributed learning. With my trusty iPhone in my pocket I am only a click away from a Google search that answers any question on any topic I may need. Sometimes, I am listening to an audio book and in the book there is mention of another good book or perhaps a website that I need to research. I immediately pause the audio book and do a Google search and bookmark the information. Sometimes I may even head over to amazon.com and purchase the book. I can also access my gmail account. If someone sends me information in an attachment I can view the information right there on my iPhone. All right there in real time. Google has an entire suite of applications known as Google Mobile that is designed for mobile devices such as the iPhone.

As I have stated before I love to learn. I consider myself a life-long learner. And I consider life-long learning a prerequisite for success. Today I have given you 3 of my favorite ways I use my iPhone for learning. We have talked about using the iPhone for Audiobooks and podcasts. We have also discussed how I use video for learning. And finally I gave a brief example of using my iPhone as a means of distributed learning by searching the Internet and using Google Mobile. Mobile Learning is fast becoming the wave of the future so don't get left behind. Become familiar with these mobile devices and kick your learning up a notch.

Questions?

7 comments:

Villager said...

Kai - First and foremost, thank you for agreeing to be a contributor to the BDPA Foundation blog. Feel free to add a byline or link to your blog if you want.

re: your post. I often feel that I'm the last BDPAer in America to get with it on the iPhone tip. I have an old school mobile phone from Nokia and I don't subscribe to Internet or other such tools on it. Your post reminds me that I probably need to 'make that move' to iPhone before long...

Ricardo Wilkins said...

Great post! Although I'm not much of an iPhone lover (see my blog here), I certainly live & die by my mobile phone (PDA). It has become one of my central technologies for work & life productivity. I know other people are catching on - for instance, I'm studying for a particular technical certification, and the study book I'm using included a CD with a PocketPC version of flash cards - so I can quiz myself anytime right from my phone! I think that's pretty kool. :)

-Ricardo,

Villager said...

Ricardo - You remind me again to get updated PDA for my business. Anyhow, I'm glad you took time to share your comments. Are you a BDPA member?

Satya Rao said...

good work

Villager said...

Satyo - All credit goes to Kai' Dupe. He is a guest blogger who I hope will be making regular post contributions over the coming weeks and months...

Ricardo Wilkins said...

villager - yes, I'm with BDPA Columbus Ohio.

Villager said...

Ricardo - Excellent! I hope that you will renew your membership (https://map.bdpa.org) with the chapter when you have time.

Out of curiousity, what are you looking for from your BDPA membership?