Monday, April 5, 2010

Discussion: Chief Learning Officer questions about the iPad:: Tools for Learning and Performance?

Chief Learning Officer Questions about the iPAD: Tools for Learning & Performance?

Monday morning April 5, 2010. As Chief Learning Officer at your company you’ve changed the usual Monday meeting with your senior staff to focus on the iPad. You and five members of your team picked up iPads over the weekend and you want to brainstorm about how this might change the way you think about and deliver training for the employees at your company.

Questions, questions

In what ways might the iPad help make company-wide learning, better, cheaper, faster?

Can this 1.5 pound graphical, tactile piece of gear allow you to do for learners what you can’t do today, or can’t do easily?

Do essentially full-size, fully portable, automatically updateable documents give you something that would make learning smoother for a dispersed workforce?

In a traditional classroom would giving every student an iPad so that they could manipulate a graph, create a gantt chart, or easily do data conversions be worth an investment in new technology?

Are there downsides to this new technology? Today if the company general counsel wants everyone to take an online module on new compliance rules the employee logs on to their PC and after completing the training the LMS tracks the numbers. Will the iPad be able to that tracking? Is that something we want it to be able to do?

Please join the discussion and share your thoughts and comments to help the CLO think through the learning affordances of the iPad.


  1. Bernadine SikorskiApril 5, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Do you think that this new tool can be used to replace a physical textbook? Students could download the textbook instead of buying it. Is there a charge for the textbook?

  2. I am an on-line adjunct faculty member at Drexel University in Philly teaching in the area of Human Resources. Would really like to use the IPad in my courses. Can the IPad use a webcam and record a consulting or coaching session and then download it to adobe connect? Does it have microphone features?

  3. @Bernie - The current version of the iPad does unfortunately not have a built-in camera. Many users have requested this feature especially for video conferencing (Skype, Web Conferencing/Virtual Classrooms, etc).

  4. The iPad could have a huge impact on sectors with large, dispersed field clients (like Retail). Breakability and asset management is a very real, very big concern, however...

  5. Hello Jonathan..

    These are very provocative questions?

    Cheaper: Less printing of manuals and books. Faster: Instant distribution.
    Better: More interactivity and more personalization

    Downsides: Our learners are more rapid and agile in adopting .. instructors and trainers less so.

  6. Bernadine -- The 2010 Horizons Report from Educause has some relevant sections for you to look at regarding the physical textbook. Take a look at They see electronic books for learning (and the report pre-dates the announcement of the iPad) as something in the two-three years to adoption realm.

    The report cites University of Virginia's Darden School of Business participating in an Amazon sponsored program to text the Kindle DC in a university setting.

    The report also notes that textbooks have not been quickly picked up by the e-book publishing world when compared with more standard works.

  7. One problem has been the belief by organizations representing Americans with disabilities that electronic books can present an obstacle to learning. For example, how would the blind interface with an ebook. Of course, the same questions apply to traditional printed books; but institutions have established ways to dealing with these concerns. I think ebooks have the potential to surpass these problems (for example, a feature that would read text); but these solutions need to be in place first.