Just a sec…

August 18, 2010

Think in terms of m-learning in 2010. Potential vs. what is actually happening. What is happening RIGHT NOW as in, “I’m doing it” and not just “planning on doing it” or “hoping I’ll be able to do it.”

If you selected 100 employees randomly and asked them to find the answers to two or three job-related questions on their mobile device, how many could find relevant information in a reasonable (before someone says ‘never mind’) amount of time?


This comic reminded me of a talk E-Learning is what? (jump to slide 5) by Allison Rossett I heard early in the year in Australia. She talked about what IS actually happening in e-learning vs. what MIGHT happen with e-learning in the future. (Her study has limitations – which she outlines – but still..)

Do we have ten employees who have already looked up the answers and are using The Idiot Test app on their iPhone while the other 90 are looking for their glasses/browser/mobile device/favorite geek/exit? Take “just a sec” and let me know how big the skill gap is from your vantage point.

  • http://www.garywoodill.com Gary Woodill

    As you know, Janet!, I have a new book coming out on mobile learning in September. It took some effort to find 8 case studies of corporations actually having set up and evaluated a mobile learning program. As well, there are about 100 examples of companies making use of mobile learning in the book, in addition to the case studies. But this is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of companies in the world.

    One the other hand, companies with lots of young people are using mobile learning without even knowing it. They use there phones as information sources without thinking about it.

    I have been at several events in the past year where someone asked me a question, and I said I would e-mail them the answer later when I looked it up on the Internet. Then, minutes later, I would realize that I could find the answer right there and then using my Blackberry.

    Similarly, I was at a dinner and regreted not having a camera. Again, I forgot I had a camera with me on my BB.

    As the new generation comes into the workplace, mobile learning will infiltrate training departments. Today, it is mostly potential – but much more interesting potential than canned e-learning courses.


  • http://janetclarey.com/ jclarey

    Hi Gary. Can’t wait to read the book. Let me help you do a book tour!

    On the use of mobile devices, I couldn’t agree with you more. Even in “Web 2.0” workshops and webinars, I remember saying, in “that the technology had already arrived in the workplace. L&D just had to run with that and forget about controlling how information was accessed.

    I was ready an article in Adirondack Life last night about people who get lost (and often die) in the woods. There was mention of campers not having flashlights for night time -except for one hiker who used his phone as a light. Which makes sense. because phone service is non-existent in the back woods of the Adirondacks. The article goes on about over reliance on technology and made me think I should probably revisit compass reading next time I hike.

  • http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/arossett/arossett.html Allison Rossett

    The gap between great ideas and execution is ever present which is why we weren’t all that surprised by these findings: http://www.astd.org/TD/Archives/2010/Jan/Free/1001_eLearning_Whats_Old.htm

    Might it be different with mobile performance support? Might be. Could happen. Perhaps it will because phones are omnipresent, many of them smart. People love quick answers, delivered as needed. Many of us are lazy and would rather invest 1.99 in an application than study up on wine, RFID, roses or ethical decision making. Lots of examples here: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/500/

  • http://www.fivefingershealth.com Vibram

    There was mention of campers not having flashlights for night time -except for one hiker who used his phone as a light. Which makes sense. because phone service is non-existent in the back woods of the Adirondacks.thanks

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