Tech headlines for August 2013 include: Research Reveals Healthcare, Marketing, and Consulting Organizations Spend the Most on Online Training , Mobile Learning Revenues in Latin America Will Quadruple by 2017, Mashable Identifies Best Free Audio Editing Apps, Gartner Report Finds SaaS Contract Language Ambiguous. 

Mindflash Research Reveals Healthcare, Marketing, and Consulting Organizations Spend the Most on Online Training 

Mindflash recently released its inaugural Mindflash eLearning Report analyzing trends in online training by U.S. and international businesses.  The new report highlights key trends by industry, geography, trainer gender, and course delivery schedule in online training for businesses between April 1 and June 30, 2013:  

  • Healthcare was the most popular industry for corporate e-learning in the second quarter, followed by software and marketing companies.
  • Healthcare organizations spent the most on e-learning software in Q2, surpassing training and marketing companies.
  • Businesses based in California and New York were most likely to implement an e-learning program in the second quarter, followed by companies in Texas and Washington state.  
  • More than 65 percent of online training courses analyzed by Mindflash in Q2 were taught by men, though men and women trainers were statistically nearly identical in their effectiveness (students with male trainers passed 95.4 percent of the time, while students with female trainers passed at a 95.1 percent clip).  
  • Tuesday was the most common day of the week for beginning an e-learning course, and Saturday was the most common day for earning a passing grade.   

“Online training is a $2 billion industry in the U.S. alone and growing 12 percent annually,” said Donna Wells, CEO at Mindflash. “From our unique vantage point as the leading cloud-based platform for corporate eLearning, we felt it was important to share the clear trends we’re seeing in the adoption of remote learning across the industries, geographies and demographic markets we serve. Our goal is to offer useful insights and benchmarks to companies implementing eLearning programs.”  

This quarterly report will be distributed via the Mindflash website and research results will be based on training data from hundreds of thousands of their e-learning software users worldwide.  Over time, reports will expand to include the corporate departments that are embracing e-learning most rapidly and trends in training course materials and technology tools. 

Mobile Learning Revenues in Latin America Will Quadruple by 2017 

The mobile learning market in Latin America is in a boom phase according to the new report by Ambient Insight. "The 2012-2017 Latin America Mobile Learning Market" reports that the growth rate for mobile learning in Latin America is 32.5 percent. Revenues will more than quadruple from the $362.3 million reached in 2012 to a staggering $1.4 billion by 2017. 

“The major catalyst in Latin America is the launch of dozens of mobile learning VAS (value added services) products across the region," says Sam S. Adkins, chief research officer for Ambient Insight. "In 2010, there were only three mobile learning VAS products in Latin America. As of May 2013, there were 27, reaching millions of subscribers. The boom in demand for these products has resulted in the wide adoption of Mobile Learning across the consumer segments." 

The telecoms and device makers that offer mobile learning VAS products in Latin America get their content from third-party suppliers. This represents a lucrative new distribution channel for digital education publishers. 

"The highest growth rate in the region is Guatemala at 42.8 percent," comments Ambient Insight CEO Tyson Greer. "This is one of the highest growth rates in the world. In fact, the growth rates are very impressive for every country analyzed in this report. Twelve countries in Latin America have growth rates above 25 percent." 

"Packaged mobile learning content will generate the highest revenues in Latin America throughout the forecast period. What is interesting is the unique app buying behaviors in each country," adds Adkins. "No two countries analyzed in this report exhibit the same buying patterns. This report identifies the specific types of education apps that generate the highest revenues in each country." 

"By the end of 2012, six countries in Latin America were spending more on mobile learning than on self-paced e-learning," adds Greer. "We call this the 'leapfrog effect.' Buyers in Latin America are not substituting Mobile Learning for e-learning, they are leapfrogging e-learning altogether." 

More than125 mobile learning suppliers in Latin America and over 20 telecoms and device makers offering Mobile Learning VAS products are identified in this report. The free abstract is available at http://www.ambientinsight.com/Reports/MobileLearning.aspx

Advertisement

Mashable Identifies Best Free Audio Editing Apps 

Audio editing software can be expensive and difficult to use. That's why Mashable scoured the web to compile the 13 best free audio editing apps, for your creative — and frugal — pleasure. Programs range from Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) to audio cutters, normalizers, and file-converters. 

  1. Acoustica Basic Edition
  2. Audacity
  3. AudioTool
  4. Tunekitten Audio Editor
  5. MP3 Cutter
  6. MP3Gain
  7. Audio Joiner
  8. Reaper
  9. WavePad
  10. WaveShop
  11. Wavosaur
  12. Fission
  13. Nero WaveEditor

For details on each audio app, visit http://mashable.com/2013/07/27/editor-audio-free.

Gartner Report Finds SaaS Contract Language Ambiguous 

New research from IT research firm Gartner finds that software-as-a-service (SaaS) contracts often have ambiguous terms regarding the maintenance of data confidentiality, data integrity, and recovery after a data loss incident.

 

An eWeek article reports that “buyers of commercial cloud services, especially SaaS, are finding security provisions inadequate, and these ambiguous terms are also making it harder for service providers to manage risk and defend their risk position to auditors and regulators.”

 

Alexa Bona, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement, "We continue to see frustration among cloud services users over the form and degree of transparency they are able to obtain from prospective and current service providers." 

Gartner reviewed more than 100 SaaS vendors' "master service agreements or service contracts and [service level agreements]" for the report, and found that providers "are extremely vague about the forms of service, and especially the levels of it." Gartner predicted that, through 2015, 80 percent of IT procurement professionals will remain dissatisfied with SaaS contract language and protections that relate to security.