Fueled by the widespread adoption of smartphones, iPods and similar devices, Mobile Learning, aka MLearning, has become a major educational trend. Such training is frequently delivered in the form of “MP3” files, delivered through a mechanism known as “podcasts.” While Apple iPods, wonderful devices since discontinued) nearly any smartphone (iPhone, Droid, etc.) or personal computer can also play podcasts with the help of earphones or speakers. Podcast Insights has a section explaining the basics.
Many organizations are taking advantage of this new training vehicle. For example, the Legal Talk Network distributes podcasts of interest to lawyers, and legal technology guru Dennis Kennedy has an article about the value of listening to podcasts. Many other respected organizations use podcasts or MP3 files:
- American Bar Association
- Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
- Government Accountability Office
- Project for Government Oversight (POGO)
The latest POGO example is a lecture by the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) Adam Miles, who reviews OSC’s interaction with federal whistleblowers. This training was originally part of a series POGO provides to educate congressional staffers. Other podcasts from the same series are available.
The Office of Government Ethics has also at least put its toe into the water, having prepared a podcast of “the Senate-confirmed nominations process and video clips that provide scenarios for discussion during training sessions on ethics restrictions on seeking employment.”
We see the biggest value of podcasts as a low-cost, low-hassle supplement to the rest of your ethics program, including a way of reaching certain “high value targets” like senior managers, many of whom are into multi-tasking. With so many prestigious organizations using them successfully for other training, this appears to be an area with enormous untapped potential.