The ILX Digital Learning for Business Report predicts the imminent demise of PC and projector learning and the rise of mobile and personal consumer device learning. Time, we thought, to catalogue the advantages and disadvantages of mobile learning and to answer some of the concerns that exist around it in order to enable you and your organisation to make an informed choice of learning approach and device.
In the very early days of mobile learning or m-learning you might have had a point. At that time, individuals and organisations were so dazzled by the technology that they forgot to assess how it could be useful to learners.
When mobile devices had little power and virtually no storage this would have been true. Today, it is different. Mobiles can now do almost everything that the PC and laptop do, and some things that they cannot. Their portability and functionality make them ideal for access to remote reference sources, just-in-time learning and for asynchronous and synchronous collaboration between students, instructors and experts. Mobile devices, whether smartphone or tablet, are not only here to stay, they are the future; see the ILX Digital Learning for Business and MASIE Center reports.
Classroom learning can be lonely. If you and the instructor do not get on, if you are on a public course with strangers, if you are on a company course with people from other departments, you can easily find yourself alone in a crowd. Mobile learning that is done well is social and engaging. Choose a good learning provider and you can count on telephone help, online support and access to a variety of students and experts who, via social media, forums and virtual learning environments, can become your learning soul mate or your inspiration.
Good mobile learning is more than a question of merely adapting e-learning – or in our case, digital learning – to suit a smaller, portable delivery device. Some mobile learning will come as complete stand-alone programmes. Some will form part of a blend of solutions that may include synchronous, asynchronous and virtual learning with mobile programmes. We at ILX were one of the first in the learning and education field to understand the importance of creating mobile learning that worked with the technology and with the way we live, work and learn. Take a look at our PRINCE2 learning programmes to see the many ways we enable the modern professional to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding.
The best learning providers and course designers take screen size into account and tailor learning products and programmes to suit the device. Games and quizzes, like our ever-popular PRINCE2 Snakes and Ladders, can be enjoyed on almost any screen size. Serious reading, say of a heavyweight manual, works best on larger smartphones and tablets.
This is a legitimate concern for just as a mobile is easy to carry, it is also easy to mislay and to have stolen, thus compromising your and, possibly, your organisation’s security. The same, however, could be said of laptops. The solution is to adopt the same mindset for your mobile as you have for your laptop and to implement the same degree of security for both.