According to the International Telecommunications Union, global mobile cellular subscription is estimated to be around 5.9 billion in 2011 i.e. almost 87% of the world population! Mobile devices were never created for eLearning or mLearning. They were created as media devices. However, because of their ubiquitous presence and acceptance, they are increasingly being used for learning purposes.
In its policy guidelines for mobile learning, UNESCO acknowledges that mobile devices “…are being used by students and teachers around the world to access information, streamline administration and facilitate learning in new and innovative ways.”
Mobile Learning in corporate world
The usage of mobile devices has found in roads into the corporate environment, just like e-learning was adopted from universities and educational institutions. However, it must be noted that mLearning is not a replacement to the existing learning methodologies such as e-learning. It has its limitations and cannot function as the only learning medium. Nevertheless, it can be effectually used to complement and support e-learning in an organization, particularly for mobile workforce such as sales and service personnel.
Here are some instances where mobile learning and be used as a supporting medium to e-learning or classroom training.
- Sales people have completed a class room training session on the sales process. A bite-sized video on the process serves as a refresher capsule via mobile devices.
- Service engineers have completed a detailed workshop on product assembling, servicing and troubleshooting. Reference materials carrying troubleshooter tips through mobile devices help service staff to carry the right tools and accessories, based on the problem stated by customers.
- Key product benefits and features can be made available as short modules that can be accessed by sales staff before meeting prospective customers.
- Organizations often launch product updates or accessories that may not merit a full-fledged training program. Mobile learning can be very handy to update the concerned personnel on new product features.
- Organizations run many special schemes and programs as a part of sales incentives for their sales staff, channel partners or distributors. This could change every quarter. Mobile devices are an efficient medium to communicate these changes real-time
These are just a few instances where mobile learning can complement e-learning or classroom training. Do you have any other ideas? Do share your thoughts.