Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Video Based Learning Now Available on the iPad

Mobile devices and mobile connectivity are such hot topics right now, so it is natural that enabling learning on these devices is a big subject as well.  As I started research on what it would take to bring e-learning to mobile devices 2 years ago, the predictions were staggering - even back then. In the short time span from that point until now, the numbers continue to grow rapidly upwards on the number of devices, users, and the amount of bandwidth consumed on mobile platforms.  It was certainly evident then that we had to address this demand and deliver DigitalChalk on tablet devices.

As simple as that might sound on the surface, it took a lot of careful thought and planning because we did not want to offer our customers any less of an experience on their iPad or tablet than we did on their laptops.  One of the strengths of DigitalChalk is our ability to track the student's activity to a very detailed level.  To meet the strictest requirement in the continuing education space, we had to maintain the ability to do that tracking, as well as prevent the student from fast forwarding through the course if the instructor had configured the course in that manner.  (Some accrediting bodies require students to meet or exceed a specific amount of time in a course.)  Simply enabling an HTML5 based delivery of our video and audio lessons was  simply not enough.  We started over a year ago converting our encoding and streaming infrastructures and the content our customers were pushing into the system to facilitate this move.  Terabytes of video and audio were reprocessed and packaged and hundreds of CPU hours were consumed in preparation for extending full functionality to iPads and tablets.

I am certainly interested in hearing ideas from our customers on what enhancements that would like to see in the future.  We are working on a couple of things to be released very soon that I think you will all enjoy and were direct requests from some of our customers.