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657 - Second Screens - Unofficial Learning Devices?

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - March 25, 2011.
#657 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,239 Readers - - The MASIE Center.

Special Note: The Second Screen and Learning!

I have a Second Screen in my life.  Well, actually I have several of them:

* My iPad is often on my lap as I watch TV at home. I’ll look up a reference in the news, locate an actor in a movie or read something different during the boring bits.
* My SmartPhone comes out during a webinar, serving as a back channel - either by text or IM - to someone across the world.  And, once or twice, I have used it when leading a webinar to get some background on the person asking a question in a session.
* My Tablet computer, with a 3G connection, gets me to places where a firewalled connection would not let me go, connecting on my own personal network rather than within the gated community of the host network.

The Second Screen is any mobile device (tablet, smartphone, iPad, Xoom, Slate and future devices) with wireless connectivity that can be used by the worker/learner WHILE and IN ADDITION to using the corporate computer, laptop or media device.

We are seeing the dramatic rise of the Second Screen in our personal and work lives. Most of the Second Screens are the personal possessions of workers and are being used in unofficial ways. Second Screens may have significant implications for Learning and IT/HR groups within our organizations:

Learning Implications:

* People are using their Second Screens to continually enhance, contextualize and expand the CONTEXT side of CONTENT that is being viewed.
* Workers are able to collaborate - internally or externally - with formal or personal clusters of people as part of or in competition with the learning activity.
* Learning Designers will start to leverage the Second Screen with Scan Codes or other links that allow us to drive the Second Screen in parallel to the Main Screen.  Watch for some Apps that will link the two screens, at least at the suggested content level.
* Learners will have access to more back-channel and secondary content, context and opinion as they engage in learning.
* Tracking Second Screen activity will be a major challenge, if not impossibility.
* Learners will demand greater connectivity and access to at least some corporate assets on their Second Screens.
* When do we allow or restrict the use of Second Screens at work, in a leadership program or in the field?

IT & HR Implications:

* The firewall as we know it will become much more porous, at least in blocking outbound traffic at work.  My Second Screen can go where the First Screen cannot.
* Selective, layered and location specific access to online assets from Second Screens will be requested from workers at the office, on the road and at home.
* Security issues - including Intellectual Property challenges - will arise as Second Screens are used, especially when the content is cached rather than just viewed.
* Second Screens will rapidly become HD-enabled Video Presence Units, competing with the quality of the $250,000 telepresence suite and placing intense loads on bandwidth.
* Equality and Discrimination issues will rise when employees buy their own Second Screens and are competing for performance with others who cannot afford the luxury.

This year at our LeadershipDev 2011 event and our annual Learning 2011 event, we will have major discussions about the role of the Second Screen and learning.  Organizations may start to build Second Screens that are very personally adapted to the learning requirements and performance challenges of workers: a sort of personalized GPS (Performance Support).  We can image Leadership Development Second Screen apps that would be enormously provocative.

The conversation about Mobile Learning will shift away from putting e-Learning modules on a cell phone (never a great idea in my opinion) to the more provocative role of the Second Screen as an extender and accelerator for learning, comprehension and performance.  We will be doing some in-depth research on how learning and cognitive processing changes with a Second Screen.

I’d love to see some of your comments and reactions to the Second Screen conversation.  Send me a note to

Yours in learning,
Elliott Masie

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:
* LeadershipDev 2011 - June 14 & 15 - Las Vegas, NV.
* Learning 2011 - Nov 6 to 9, 2011 - Orlando, Florida.
* Learning Essentials LAB - May in Saratoga Springs.
* Video for Learning LAB - May in Saratoga Springs.
* Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM
Info and Registration: