Apps Training online

M-learning — mobile learning — is a hot new topic among training professionals, but what, exactly, is it? And who uses it? We know the idea is to tap into the immense power and popularity of smartphones and tablets and to deliver training on-the-go. But, as new as the concept is, most training pros still have more questions than answers about how to use, utilize, and implement m-learning programs. So we turned to Connie Malamed, e-learning consultant, speaker, and author of the popular instructional design website The eLearning Coach, to talk about the benefits and drawbacks of m-learning.

The Daily Mindflash: Why make your online training program mobile?

Connie Malamed: If we’re talking about mobile learning on smartphones, you can’t really take your e-learning or training program and shrink it down to a phone-size screen and call it a strategy. It’s more complicated and nuanced than that.

The advantages of mobile learning to consider are that smartphones are portable, always available and convenient. Therefore, mobile learning can provide just-in-time training and support when it’s needed. They can also provide content related to the user’s location. If it’s possible to leverage these features so that they align with organizational goals, then a strategy can emerge out of this.

What kinds of training programs translate best to mobile?

Many people whose jobs are out in the field or whose lives are on the go can benefit from mobile learning and support. For example, a home nurse visiting a new patient might want a quick mini-lesson on a patient’s illness. The lesson could show how to assess the patient and how to tell if the symptoms are worsening. A sales representative might use mobile learning to review how to pronounce scientific and medical terms.

Construction workers might need a quick lesson on safety prior to operating a new tool. An augmented reality application could allow the construction worker to point his or her phone at the device and see a display of safety features overlaid on the device.

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