I’m not quite sure how the eLearning Guild is publishing the forthcoming articles from their research reports, but I believe it is as part of the Learning Solutions magazine, and that’s certainly the case with this first piece. Ellen Wagner, a member of the mobile research team, has a major article, with a small piece by me that’s an expansion of my earlier thoughts on mobile web. You have to be a least an associate member to download it, but associate membership is free. I’ll add that I believe the Guild is probably the best way to keep up to date on practical applications of technology for learning.
Ellen’s article is a thoughtful look at mobile learning, covering the industry trends. She points out that people are equipped with mobile devices: “the mobile workers aren’t waiting”. She says that the classic top-down doesn’t make sense, and figuring out how to make a mobile learning module does; that is, just do it. On the other hand, she also says that “to have a shot at broad adoption, mobile learning applications must be an integrated part of a larger organizational vision for building capacity”. These aren’t as incommensurate as they may seem, as those in the trenches should begin experimenting with mLearning just as they did with eLearning, and at the same time managers and executives should be looking to the broader eLearning strategy incorporating mobile (as I regularly suggest).
She points out the barriers that still exist, so that even when we’re seeing essentially ubiquitous computational and network capability, we’re seeing incompatibility across providers and platforms. There are still technology barriers to cross, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start thinking ‘mobile’. The reasons are many, including the increasingly mobile workforce. And she acknowledges the emerging consensus that mobile learning is really about performance support. That may not be the limit, but it’s certainly the low-hanging fruit.
I highly recommend her article, as Ellen’s been deeply involved in the world of content delivery through her recent stint as the eLearning guru at Adobe, and has experience and knowledge that puts her at the forefront of thinking in this space. It’s an honor to have my little piece in the same document as hers. (NB: mine is also available separately as well, PDF). Check it out!