Upwardly Mobile: Are Smartphones the Next eLearning Tool?

Millennials using devices for mobile learning

Deloitte’s latest report on the results of their annual mobile consumer survey sets an interesting scene. They’ve reported 84% of Australians have a smartphone – 3% higher than the international average. This number will rise close to 100% in the coming years with the shutdown of Australia’s 2G networks, which will force the 17% of the population who rely on 2G to upgrade to a smart device.

Changing times

The smartphone has transformed how people live. In 2005, 69% of people used their mobile phones for voice and SMS only. Now, 76% of Australians access the internet through their smartphones.

People use their phones to plan their days, play games, go shopping, navigate using a map, visit the bank and even arrange dates – all of which was unimaginable 10 years ago.

This shift means there’s never been a better time to explore how your business can take advantage of mobile technology.

One way is through mobile-friendly training.

Why mobile learning?

Mobile learning – mLearning – is eLearning’s elusive first cousin. Mobile learning is gaining momentum in the online training world for a number of reasons, mainly its ease of use and accessibility. According to Google, 80% of people use their smartphone daily and for over a quarter of people, that’s the only device they use!  

Meeting your learners where they are is the most logical way to increase engagement – if they are on their phones, that’s where you should be. Training that is available on both a smartphone and other devices is even better, as 57% of people use more than one device every day.

Devices connecting for mobile learning and elearning

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of mobile learning:

Pros

  • Increased Reach. As well as being accessible to learners on-the-go, mLearning can even follow your learners overseas, giving you a greater reach than ever before.
  • Train Millennials. In five years, they will make up 50% of the workforce and actually want training more than traditional company perks.
  • Adaptive content. eLearning has paved the way for visually appealing training, mLearning takes it to the next level. Mobile learning gives you an exciting canvas to explore and adapt your course content. 
  • Track engagement. You can use mobile login tracking through an online learning platform to check how engaged your learner is and see when and where they learn.
  • Combined approach. You can also bundle it with your eLearning offering for a high-tech approach to learning.

Cons

  • Convincing management. The C-suite don’t always get new technology. If at first they are wary, put a case together and show how the time savings and increased flexibility will mean mLearning may even pay for itself!
  • Research time. Some mLearning (and eLearning) providers promise mobile-compatibility, but don’t actually fully deliver. Make sure you do your research.
  • Shifting mindsets. mLearning requires a shift in the way you think about training which can be challenging at first. But when you get your head around this new way of learning, you and your business will reap the rewards.

What next?

To find out whether mobile learning is for you, try it out for yourself. Lots of platforms offer free trials and even design support if you get stuck. This will also help you weed out the companies whose claims don’t actually meet their products’ capability. 

Sign up for the CourseGenius free trial today to explore mLearning and see how it will work for you. 

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