Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Location based learning

Jotyou is a location based messaging service for your phone. It basically allows you to send messages to friends which are received when they enter a specified geographical area. Check out the video for a feel for the service - it's especially well integrated with Google maps and a whole range of mobile phones.

Now the main focus of the service at present is on getting messages to people to come visit you in the coffee shop if they happen to be passing close by, or to remind yourself to pick up some milk when you are close to the grocery store, or better still for organised location based games. But the more I think about it the most exciting application of this sort of technology is to support learners in taking action on newly acquired knowledge/skills.

We know that context plays a key role in learning. Location is one such context. Anchoring new knowledge to relevant locations is an intriguing way to help push people into active application.

Perhaps on a wider performance level we can imagine messaging travelling sales reps or support engineers to automatically notify them of customers in the local vicinity who might value a quick update call/visit - linked to that message could be a prompt that reminds them to practice a particular rapport building skill, or offer a particular cross/upsell opportunity that would be relevant to that customer given their sales history.

Jotyou and other similar services could open up a whole new dimension of learning and performance support.

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