New Book: The Mobile Learning Edge

October 7, 2010

I’ve been reading Gary Woodill’s newest book The Mobile Learning Edge. This is an important book for a number of reasons.

First, it provides a solid foundation for truly understanding mobile learning – it’s unique characteristics. In true Gary Woodill form, it first provides a well-researched background on mobile learning which will inform you’re thinking as you proceed through the book. This would even make it useful as a textbook (especially with the many resources listed in the book). But that doesn’t mean it’s a book for eggheads.

There are numerous case studies from the likes of Merrill Lynch, Nike, and Accenture that, along with strategies for using mobile learning for employee training, will provide corporate L&D professionals with the information they need to put the mobile learning pieces together – to mobilize learners.

My favorite chapter is probably Chapter 3: Methods for Effective Mobile Learning- Seven Principles for Employee Training. Although you might think some of these are common sense, it’s not always the case in how we actually approach employee training.

  • Principle 1: Employees are adults who learn differently from children.
  • Principle 2: Employees learn from solving problems that matter to them.
  • Principle 3: Employees learn by collaborating as members of cohesive social groups.
  • Principle 4: Employees learn through conversing with, and listening to, each other.
  • Principle 5: Employees learn by integrating new information with what they already know.
  • Principle 6: Employees learn through active experiences that involve their senses and their bodies.
  • Principle 7: Employees learn best in concrete situations where the context matters to them.

I guess my greatest takeaway is remembering that it’s the learner that’s mobile not the learning.

There’s just a wealth of information in the book. I know I’ll reach for it often in my work. It’s a must have resource for anyone interested in developing employees through mobile technologies. See the table of contents for more on what’s inside the book.

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  • Judyb

    Janet, I do not agree with the statement “it’s the learner that’s mobile, not the learning.” There are so many great examples of how these devices are being used effectively in the classroom including as response devices or “clickers”. Learning can be very mobile when you consider context in location-based delivery. The value in the use of these devices is that they are with us all the time.

    The chapters that were the most useful to me were chapters 8-10.

  • Gary Woodill

    Thanks for reading the book and your comment, Judy. I believe that Janet’s comment that “it’s the learner that’s mobile not the learning” is a paraphrase of my point that the definition of mobile learning has shifted from a focus on the use of mobile devices to a focus on learning by a person who is mobile, but connected to the network. This means that information and interactivity with others can be through many means that (theoretically) mesh with each other to give access to the cloud of information and storage that is available almost anywhere.

    Of course, one of those places can be in a classroom, and I cover classroom uses of mobile devices, including “audience response systems” (“clickers”) in the book (pp. 34, 39-40, 97).

    But, only using mobile devices in the classroom is sort of like only listening to your car radio while the car is parked in the garage. You can do it, but the main purpose of this arrangement of car and radio is to listen while you drive or park somewhere else.


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  • Best Woodworking Plans

    There are numerous case studies from the likes of Merrill Lynch, Nike.

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