E-learning caught on so rapidly that the obvious next step is mobile learning. Mobile is spreading like wildfire, in fact, we will soon live in a world where there will be more mobile devices than there are humans on Earth. The ease of use, flexibility and convenience of mobile make it an obvious tool to take advantage of to facilitate training and learning. Many companies are now adding the mobile options to their company site as well as their training programs. Here are a few stats that magnify the importance of mobile adaptability from Learning Solutions Magazine.
In 2011, the number of smartphones sold exceeded the number of PCs sold.
By 2016, there will be 375 million tablets purchased globally—a 46% compound annual growth rate.
The tablet adoption curve will ramp faster than any other mobile device in history, including smartphones.
Global Internet users will double over the next few years, and most will be mobile.
Yup, Bring Your Own Device actually has its own acronym. As an employer this will automatically bring up red flags about security breaches and abuses, but the advantages to the employees are huge. It's safe to say that mobile lovers will fight for their device freedom for the foreseeable future. Creating policies about personal devices seems to be the way to go since 77% of companies are now allowing employees to bring their own device into the workplace. Companies like Cisco, who embrace mobile to its fullest, have their own mobile security systems in place so that employees can experience safe device freedom anywhere, anytime.
Once the proper security measures are in place, the workforce can experience flexible work options, a work day with hours more convenient to them, the ability to work from several devices, and the convenience of using the same apps and services on those different devices. All of these benefits translate to orientation, trainging and recertifications.
Employees have a strong grip on their devices, and they're not letting go anytime soon, why not use this to the organization's advantage by offering more mobile options?
Ease of Use
From 2007 to 2011, the percentage of companies using mobile learning rose 12%. Organizations are taking to mobile quickly. Some organiztions are worried about the ease of use of elearning and mlearning. What good does a training system do if you have to train employees how to use it? If the mobile boom has shown us anything, it's that mobile is the people's prefered method of communication, learning and sharing. They want to consume information at work the same way that they're doing it at home.
Mobile learners also have the advantage of reaching their materials anywhere, at anytime. Training really shouldn't end, that's how you end up with stagnant, disengaged workers. A costly weekend conference can often end in a whirl-wind hangover. Traditional methods of training and continued learning are in a “wham-bam” style. Either you got it or you didn't. When employees have constant access to learning materials, they are given a convenient tool for self-help.
The benefits of mlearning are undeniable. Convenience, ease of use and the flexibility that comes with mobile learning make it a valuable tool that far too many organizations aren't utilizing. Today's workforce uses mobile, they live mobile, they want mobile. Implementing mobile in your training can lead to retention, engagement and continued learning. Offering tools that employees will actually use is just smart business.