When I started talking about mobile, I thought it was interesting adjunct to desktop computing. In fact, in my early (2000) article on mobile learning, I said “Soon there will be essentially no distinction between mLearning and elearning.” And I admit that I was wrong. At least partly. Let me explain.
It depends on how you define elearning. If you mean courses on the web, period, then I would be dead wrong. If, however, you believe elearning encompasses performance support, social, and informal learning, then I was right. And I can fortunately say that I saw at least part of the vision: “accessible resources wherever you are, strong search capabilities, rich interaction, powerful support”. Of course, I missed cameras, and GPS.
The reason I bring this up, however, is I now see, as Google has exclaimed, “Mobile first”. I think that mobile is a wedge to open the door to much more. It indeed may well be the first solution you should be looking to!
If you view mobile as a platform, you start bringing in all the platform capability perspective you see with the desktop (it’s used for everything). And this perspective lets you view the role of mobile as more than learning, but instead impacting everything the organization is doing. You should be thinking this way anyway, but I see it too infrequently. Which is why mobile may be a wedge to open up change.
This is important for the L&D group to get their mind around: mobile isn’t about courses, it’s about supporting performance in all ways. With this perspective comes several things: the opportunity to take a bigger role in the organization, the requirement to break down the silos, and a necessity to start thinking differently. Are you ready?
Ryan Tracey says
So “mobile first” and “informal first” are essentially the same thing?
Well, I might put it “mobile first” and “full performance ecosystem”, but I wouldn’t totally object ;).