Mobile learning solutions are implemented by all types of organizations, and not just corporations. Because of this, mobile learning. or m-learning, often has different meanings for different communities. They can be understood either as a special type of e-learning, a distance education strategy or simply as one of the latest manifestations of educational technology. What the different types of mobile learning solutions have in common, however, is that they are all based on mobile devices.
In this sense, it must also be pointed out that mobile learning is a form of informal training, which means that its features must always be understood in relation to the needs of a particular organization, and how they structure their organizational learning assets.
Mobile Learning Solutions for Organizational Learning
One way to understand how different organizations implement M-learning is to examine the kinds of tools that they use. Different tools offer levels of interaction, mobility and content. Furthermore, differences in tools and equipment are important mainly because they define how content and lessons are passed around between the instructors and trainees.
Here some of the most common mobile learning devices for m-learning:
- Handheld devices
- Mobile phones
These tools and those like them are not just used to connect personnel with their instructors, they also act as storage devices and educational materials. Because of the numerous features and uses that such devices offer, most m-learning strategies are also based on what the instructors or program managers want to do with the mobile devices in relation to their training goal. It is this particular feature which allows mobile learning programs to have so much flexibility as an organizational learning procedure.
How Mobile Learning Benefits Organizational Training
In order to understand how mobile learning solutions can help promote organizational learning, it’s important to recall how it has already benefited numerous companies and organizations around the world. Here are several good examples.
Mobile Learning Leads to Increased Use of Mobile Devices Among Employees and Personnel – In mobile learning, employees use personal electronic devices in order to stay connected with their training instructors, as well as access educational resources. Furthermore, they allow organizations to support a more mobile workforce, while at the same time, providing instructors with additional flexibility in how they do their work.
Mobile Learning is a Practical Alternative to Traditional Personnel Education Programs – Mobile learning makes education accessible anytime, anywhere. This makes it a convenient alternative to traditional employee seminars and training programs which often take time and substantially larger amounts of resources to organize.
Mobile Learning Encourages the Use of More Learning Aids and Materials – Mobile learning is conducive for the creation of on-the-spot and field learning materials thanks largely to the support of smart phone software, such as AHG Cloud Note.
Mobile Learning Offers Better Mobility for Instructors – One of the challenges of traditional organizational learning was bringing the instructors as well as the learners to the same place, at the same time. Mobile learning helps remove this problem by allowing instructors and training personnel to interact with each other regardless of where they are.
Mobile Learning is a Collaborative Effort – Like most other forms of e-learning, mobile learning is collaborative. Sharing of work and input plays an important role here, and is often instantaneous among those who use the same content. This leads to better feedback and reception among both learners and instructors, thus allowing for better organizational efficiency.
Mobile Learning Offers Increased Portability – Finally, it’s worth mentioning that mobile learning, thanks to its reliance on portable electronic devices, replaces traditional training materials (e.g. books and manuals), and thus, offers better portability to learners and instructors. Furthermore, most of the learning content made available in most mobile learning programs are tailored to serve the needs of participants, thus allowing for additional customization.
The Growth of Mobile Learning Solutions And How It Contributes to Organizational Efficiency
Mobile learning has achieved the largest amount of growth in the past ten years. It originally started out as a research procedure for various types of school and research projects, but over time mobile learning was implemented in workplaces, museums, cities and corporations. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and other portable electronic devices as well as the evolving nature of organizational learning, mobile learning solutions are projected to grow even larger in the coming years.
Already, mobile learning are, to some extent, slowly being implemented in institutions outside of academia and industry. There are, for example, m-learning programs for contractors as well as overseas employees. So given times, it’s very likely that m-learning will play a larger role in how people are trained.
However, it’s also important to remember that there are numerous perspectives on how m-learning should be implemented. Whether it’s in academia or industry, mobile learning programs are always developed to serve the needs of a particular organization. Furthermore, the growth of m-learning has opened up new avenues of organizational learning, which typically includes:
- Location based learning
- Contextual learning
- Social networked mobile learning
- M-learning that uses SMS messaging
It’s also projected that as mobile learning becomes more common, it will evolve to have additional features. Augmented reality among mobile equipment, mobile performance support as well as point and shoot learning with camera phones are some of the expected additions that mobile learning can offer to organizational training programs. So there’s certainly a lot of great things in store in the future.
Mobile learning is a valuable learning and organizational tool for any company or organization which requires a more flexible learning system for its employees. Furthermore, thanks to the proliferation mobile and handheld devices, it’s very likely that such improvements will lead to better performance among trainers and trainees alike. Mobile learning programs can, for example, be integrated with other organizational departments in order to increase mobility, or m-learning materials can be customized to serve the needs of more mobile personnel. So all things considered, there’s a lot of value to be had from mobile learning solutions, and their implementation can offer a lot of great things to any organization.