This pandemic has led to everyone scrambling to work digitally. And it’s not really a transformation (which shouldn’t be ‘digital first’), but rather just ‘move what we do online’. And that’s understandable. Over time, however, I think we want to shift our mindset. And, I think a previous exercise in thinking transformation is valuable here. I’m talking mobile.
When I originally was talking about mobile, I was doing so from a perspective of augmenting our brains. The 4C’s framework was a way to think about core mobile affordance from a point of view of what mobile offers. Then I moved on to the role the devices play in our (working) life. It’s about not just courses on a phone, but:
- Augmenting formal learning: extending it
- Performance support: cognitive augmentation
- Social: tapping into the power of social and informal learning
- Contextual: mobile’s unique opportunity
And, I suggest, these are valuable ways to think about using technology in general to support us. On principle, I like to think about how technology supports our thinking (not the other way around ;). To future-proof what I propose is one driver, so tech changes don’t undermine relevance. Further, since mobile is a platform – a strategy not just a tactic – focusing on fundamentals makes sense.
For instance, elearning shouldn’t look like just a classroom online. That can and arguably should be part of it, but there’s more. It’s about extending formal learning, not just delivering it. And aligning with how we really learn, because it really does have to be effective.
Similarly, with folks working from wherever, thinking about the support they need is important. What tools, aids, guides, etc., will help them work more effectively without their prior context? Let’s change workflows to align better with what’s known about how we work.
And making people available in useful ways for communication and collaboration is important. The demands of online meetings are becoming more prevalent and onerous. Zoom fatigue is a thing! How can we optimize the experience?
Contextual is more uniquely mobile, taking advantage of where and when you are (and other contextual factors), but we probably do need to account for them more astutely. If your kids are in the other room, what does that do to your ability to work? Here, of course, is the greatest difference from mobile, but the mindset is still relevant.
So, for instance, when I ran a mobile course for the Allen Academy, we had a week dedicated to each of these elements (as well as kicking off a mobile mindset and closing on strategy). Given that it was still early in this new world, I didn’t really push the thought of how this is a more general tactic. Of course, I now would.
And, given that I’ll be running the course again, I definitely will! Look, mobile hasn’t gone away, and we’re possibly using mobile tools more now even though we’re not on the road! So mobile’s still relevant, and the mindset behind ‘thinking mobile’ is even more relevant. I’ll be talking with Christopher Allen of Allen Interactions about it tomorrow (12 Aug) at 11AM PT, 2 Eastern (see below). And, if you’re interested in the course, check it out!