What is mobile learning, the latest e-learning revolution

Mobile learning is once again recognised as one of the most relevant learning trends for the next years. Why it is so important and what impact does it have on the training market?
In this article we will show some figures about the use of mobile devices and try to explain how trainers can take advantage of this revolution. 

 

WHAT IS MOBILE LEARNING?

We call “mobile learning” that kind of distance learning that makes use of mobile devices like tablets or smartphones. While being part of the general category of e-learning, it has some peculiar characteristics. Mobile learning removes any limitation related to space and time for training: students can learn anywhere anytime, just using their personal devices

 

SOME FIGURES ABOUT MOBILE DEVICES 

An interesting research on the workforce run by Towards Maturity showed that 90% of people own a smartphone and/or tablet and 74% use those to access resources for work purposes. Of course, this major use of mobile devices led to the spread of mobile learning, since it seems that more than half the people (57%) like to be able to access learning on the go and only 18% are now learning at their work desk. 

As a consequence, Learning & Development departments are trying to catch up by offering some form of mobile learning (in 67% of organizations), for example providing smartphones or tablets to employees (37%) or specifically enabling learning resources for mobile devices (38%). 

 

LIMITS OF MOBILE LEARNING

The main desired goal of pushing the use of mobile learning is to facilitate continuous learning, but this does not seem to be happening very often. Why? 

By working with companies and trainers around the World, we have learnt that the issue is often related to a lack of trust in the medium itself. From trainers point of view, mobile learning seems to be leading to lose contact with students, hence lose control over their progress. On the other side, in spite of liking the idea of learning anywhere anytime, people are not used to this yet: most of them seem to still need a specific training time to carry out learning activities. 

 

CHANGE MANAGEMENT IS THE KEY

How could these issues be overcome? First of all, by educating

As we explained in a previous article, thanks to distance tracking, digital training does not imply a lack of control over students’ actions nor means that the trainer cannot step in the process when needed. Getting to know how mobile learning really works could solve most of the doubts about its effectiveness, hence bringing trainers on board

Talking about students, however, the journey could be longer: it’s a matter of fact that mobile devices are becoming very much present in our lives, but it’s still true that we mostly use them for leisure activities. A specifically designed changing management policy should help people get used to seeing mobile devices as proper training tools, once again by educating them about all the benefits they can achieve.  

 

The figures we showed explain why we can no more avoid talking about mobile learning and find new answers to all concerns arising from its spread, starting from the most common: what about social interactions? Find all about how e-learning can be “social” in the new article! 

 

REFERENCES

Towards Maturity, In-Focus: Learning and Performance on the Move

 

 

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