Tech headlines for January 2014 take a look several trends in mobile learning. 

Mobile Learning Trends Highlight Impact Instruction Technology Report 

Trends in learning tech continue to move in a mobile direction, and not as slowly as some may think, according to results from Impact Instruction Group’s 2nd annual Learning & Development Technology survey.

To get a pulse on the changes in L&D technology behaviors and trends, Impact Instruction’s survey tracks learning technology trends in five areas: 

  • categories of learning technologies that companies plan to invest in for 2014
  • leadership interest in implementing new technologies
  • maturity of corporate mobile learning strategies
  • staffing plans for mobile initiatives
  • business units that are being considered for mobile learning implementations. 

Impact Instruction also compared the data from our 2013 technology report to determine the changes in trends over last year. As technology offerings continue to become more robust, so do our capabilities to offer learning in a way that makes it interesting and convenient for our learners. This report offers trends data on learning and development technologies, particularly in the mobile arena. 

Here’s a look at some survey highlights: 

  • Investments in mobile learning, games, and simulations increased by 17 percent over last year’s report. (Webinars and videos decreased by 12 percent and 7 percent respectively, although one-half of respondents still plan to invest in them. Virtual conferences made the list this year with 24 percent of our respondents planning 2014 investments.) 
  • Some 44 percent of respondents said that they have new mobile devices in their organizations, and now need a learning strategy to address their use by employees. Six (6) percent have fully adopted strategies; another 6 percent have strategies and plan to implement them in the coming year. 
  • When asked how their staff is going to address mobile trends, more than 0ne-third (38 percent) stated that they are going to train their current staff, and 21 percent already have the staff in place for mobile learning. 

For more survey insight and analysis, down load the full report from the Impact Instruction website

U.S. News & World Report Announces the 2014 Best Online Programs 

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2014 Best Online Programs rankings. Now in their third year, the rankings are a resource for students who are seeking online education programs for degree completion and career advancement. 

The 2014 U.S. News Best Online Programs include online bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering, business, education, nursing and computer information technology, as well as information on the costs of an online degree and tips for being a successful distance learner.

The 2014 rankings evaluate information and data from nearly 1,000 online degree programs, up from 860 programs the previous year. Only degree-granting programs offering classes entirely online were considered. 

This year, the publication changed its selection method to incorporate additional data, further enhancing its analytically rigorous approach to and better reflect retention and graduation rates and required time to graduate. 

Moreover, for the first time all six rankings include peer review data based on schools' evaluations of each other. These changes are the primary factors behind why many of the schools moved up and down in the rankings. 

Best Online Bachelor's Programs

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  1. Central Michigan University
  2. SUNY College of Technology — Delhi (NY)
  3. Pace University (NY)
  4. Pennsylvania State University — World Campus 

Best Online Graduate Business Programs

  1. Indiana University — Bloomington
  2. Arizona State University
  3. University of Florida 

Best Online Graduate Education Programs

  1. Northern Illinois University
  2. Indiana University — Bloomington
  3. Central Michigan University
  4. University of Houston (TX)

Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs 

  1. Columbia University (NY)
  2. University of California — Los Angeles
  3. University of Wisconsin — Madison 

Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs 

  1. University of Southern California
  2. Boston University (MA)
  3. Virginia Tech

Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs 

  1. St. Xavier University (IL)
  2. Medical University of South Carolina
  3. University of Massachusetts — Amherst 

Western Europe Mobile Learning Market Hits $885 Million by 2017 

The revenues for mobile learning products in Western Europe reached $574.8 million in 2012, according to the new Ambient Insight report, "The 2012-2017 Western Europe Mobile Learning Market." The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the region is 9 percent, and revenues will spike to $885.1 million by 2017. 

Forecasts for 24 countries are included in this regional report: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. "In some countries, the growth rates are breathtaking. Seven countries have growth rates over 25 percent. Lithuania has the highest growth rate, followed by Slovakia and Romania," says Ambient analyst Sam S. Adkins. 

There are two sections in this report: a demand-side analysis by country and a supply-side analysis by product. The supply-side section provides revenue forecasts for five types of mobile learning products and services, including packaged content, value-added services (VAS), custom content development services, authoring tools and learning platforms, and personal learning devices (PLDs). 

"Consumers are the top buyers in 21 of the countries analyzed in this report," comments Ambient CEO Tyson Greer. "Consumers buy educational apps, subscribe to mobile learning VAS products, and purchase personal learning devices. What is interesting is the unique app buying behaviors in each country." 

Ambient Insight report also identifies five major catalysts in the booming Western Europe mobile learning market. "The proliferation of smartphones and tablets in particular has created a huge delivery channel for mobile learning content suppliers," says Adkins. "Direct carrier billing is now fueling the consumer demand for mobile learning content. Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, and Amazon now have direct carrier billing agreements with dozens of carriers in the region," he adds. 

To download the free report abstract, go to http://www.ambientinsight.com/Reports/MobileLearning.aspx

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