Learning on the Edge: 5 Growing Trends that are Driving Learning and Development Now

Trend #3 Moving to Mobile: Learning Wherever

As a result of the proliferation of mobile devices – Google is projecting smartphone growth at 30% per year – mobile learning is getting deserved attention by an increasing number of organizations. A recent survey found that 50% of all responding organizations are planning some mobile learning applications in the near term. Clearly, mobile learning provides a number of benefits: the mobile device is typically carried at most, if not all, times; it provides the opportunity for learning during naturally occurring short episodes of downtime, and, via camera, video, audio, and text, it provides an opportunity to share one’s environment with others in order to collaborate and problem solve.

How are the majority of organizations deploying mobile learning now? Today many organizations are connecting users through social media, using either proprietary or publically available tools such as Twitter or Facebook. Those organizations taking the next step are exploring opportunities to transfer specific knowledge or enhance performance.

Mobile learning is not courseware for the “small screen.” It is likely to enable learning in short segments, reinforced by review or practice and testing over an extended period of time. Performance support, especially for sales and service employees, is another area where organizations are exploring mobile learning as an important element of their learning strategy.

Launching mobile learning? A few considerations:

Security is an important consideration. Many employees prefer to use their personal smartphones. What risks need to be mitigated to move forward?

Consider the user. What applications are they already using? What user needs would be quickly addressed with a specific app to improve performance? Are the user input requirements simple and straightforward? Is the information easily accessible? Be certain to engage users in developing mobile learning content and interface.

Perishable content? When the need to transfer learning is immediate, but the time horizon for the applicability is short term, mobile provides an ideal platform.

Is mobile a key element of your learning strategy? How could mobile learning transform learning where you work?