There have been some great discussions swirling around the eLearning Guild’s mobile learning 360 research report team (along with the relative merits and flaws of the iPhone ;). The question came up as to whether the fact that mobile devices focus on communication means that they can’t really deliver learning. My response to this was:
Don’t think about formal learning when you think about mLearning. As David (Metcalf) points out in his mLearning book, think of a mobile device as a learning *adjunct*. It’s a broader view of learning, where we take our learning process and augment it with mobile components. And take a performance focus: what will make people perform better!
It’s NOT about delivering an entire motivating learning experience through a 2″ screen (it *can* be, but that’s not the point). Which typically only is needed when you have a full skill-set change needed. Practitioners and experts can get away with just the facts, ma’am.
SO, we might ‘communicate’ concepts, examples, even practice (though interactivity is still the big barrier in mobile, re: the standards issue Judy (Brown) rightly raised) as *part* of a learning experience.
Or ‘communicate’ job aids/information as performance support.
It’s useful, it can lead to learning, but we need a broader definition of learning when we talk about mobile learning.
And, as the discussion re: Treo/iPhone illustrates, as we asymptotically approach the full capability of a desktop, the cognitive capability asymptotically approaches a full learning experience.
What do you think?