Change is the only constant. – Heraclitus
The world of audio players has come a long way in the last 70 years, from the days of the Gramophone to today’s iPods. As an e-learning professional, I believe the evolution of audio players has a lot in common with the evolution of online learning. The history of audio players as well as e-learning development can be divided into 4 phases. Let us see what they are.
1. The Stationary Era
|This era saw a large number of technologies being employed to make gramophones, ranging from rubber discs to vinyl long playing records. These audio players had little flexibility in terms of mobility, and as a result, listeners of audio were “tied up” to the gramophone.|
|Online courses were developed for desktop computers, which are hard to move. Initially, technology-enabled learning materials were delivered in the form of CD-ROMs. But, as the Internet became popular and widespread, companies started delivering e-learning courses through the web.|
2. The Portability Era
|Tape recorders were the drivers of this phase in the history of audio players. People wanted audio players to be mobile, and thanks to the invention of the paper tape, tape recorders became a reality. However, they were heavy and it was not very convenient to carry them.|
|The second stage in the history of e-learning development too is characterized by limited mobility. Laptops were used extensively to access online courses, and these computers were cumbersome. The goal of total mobility of learning was thus not fully realized.|
3. The Mobility Era
|The advent of the walkman revolutionized the world of audio players. New technologies of audio player miniaturization eliminated the need for listeners to be confined to one place or take the trouble of carrying “heavy” tape-recorders.|
|Learners could now access e-learning materials anytime, anywhere, easily, using Smartphones and tablets. The diversity of mobile devices and platforms has resulted in the birth of new technologies such as responsive e-learning, used to develop device-agnostic online courses.|
4. The Wearability Era
|>Devices such as the iPod have changed the way people listen to audio. These devices are more compact than their counterparts in the third stage and based on state-of-the-art technologies, which deliver excellent experiences to their users.|
|Gadgets such as smart watches that use sensors to deliver contextual learning are becoming commonplace. The use of innovative online course development technologies based on augmented reality is on the rise.|
Thud, the evolution of audio players as well as e-learning can be divided into 4 phases. The first phase was characterized by little mobility. In the second phase, audio players were cumbersome, but could be carried. Similarly, online course were delivered on laptops which offered limited mobility. The third phase was marked by the use of mobile devices. The last and current phase in the evolution of audio players has resulted in technological innovations such as the iPod. Likewise, the world of online learning is witnessing the growing use of 21st century technologies such as wearable learning and cloud-based e-learning development. Hope you enjoyed this post. Do share your views.