June 25, 2021
When my daughter leaves the house, she takes two things with her: her car keys and her cell phone. Okay, inside the phone case pocket is her credit card and a 0 bill—just in case—but that’s it. My daughter buys online, pays online, communicates online, listens to music online, searches for recipes online, books tickets for events online, etc. via her mobile phone. Roughly 50% of her life is lived on her mobile phone. (She lives the other 50% with her husband, four children, dog, and the occasional friends.) My daughter is not an oddball. This mobile learning guide is ready to show you why.
Statistics as of April 2021 show that there are 5.27 billion unique mobile phone users worldwide (67.1% of the global population). Of those mobile phones, three-fourths (75%) are smartphones. So, we can understand global figures on internet usage which report that 4.72 billion people are internet users (60.1%) and 4.33 billion access social media subscribers (55.1%).
In the U.S., the average American is on their phone between 5-6 hours every day. For some, phone usage can be as high as 12 hours daily. My “living in the U.S.” daughter I mentioned earlier would be in the first, average group, which makes her just one among millions.
The forecast calls for the continued growth of unique mobile phone owners at a rate of roughly 1.9 percent each year. In terms of people, that’s about 97 million more unique mobile users every 12 months. Smartphones are predicted to continue growing at their annual rate of 7 percent. This translates to an additional 1 million new smartphones coming online each day.
Thus, it just makes sense to organize your learning and development or online training around the digital device that most of us are on anyway: the mobile phone.
True, there is a lot of talk about taking into consideration the age group of your employees. Mostly, that refers to the “older members” of the group. In this mobile learning guide, I’d like to set the record straight.
At 63, I am by no means the only smartphone user in my age group. Of those aged 65+ in the U.S., 61% own a smartphone. Statistics in Canada are similar for the same age group: 60%.
Our cell phone use isn’t simply to be trendy. We are on them. Perhaps a little less than some. Maybe we are not accessing the same apps. Yet, we are smartphone savvy and can certainly cope with a mobile learning experience.
Great content is only part of the plan but you also need a superb learning system. At the moment, your best option is a mobile learning (m learning) solution. In other words, not just something that “happens” to work on mobiles but an educational, employee training tool that was purpose-built for mobile devices. Big difference!
And since people are familiar with the use of mobile phones anyway (clicking, swiping, and typing in short answers), there isn’t a big technological learning curve.
As we saw from the daily usage rates above, people love to be on their phones. For many employers, phone time sharply cuts into productivity time. Putting your digital learning and corporate training on the phone is a “2 for 1” deal.
First, you are giving your employees a work-approved phone activity. In other words, requiring them to be on the digital device they want to be on. This comes complete with gamification examples (on-phone learning games); social media (student chats to share ideas/knowledge or complete projects); and achievement points redeemable for actual rewards (like coffee vouchers on their phone). Add to that rich graphics, the ability to use a variety of files including audio and video, and lots of clicking, swiping, and typing in short answers.
In short, hours and hours of phone usage all wrapped up in an on-the-job task which brings us to the second gain: less time wasted on the phone in non-job activities.
This mobile learning guide would not be doing its job if it did not emphasize the importance of using a top-quality learning management systems. Must-haves in your LMS are SCORM authoring tools including an extensive lesson template library (create earning courses in minutes, not hours); Rapid Refresh (a user-friendly tool for making quizzes); micro learning (bite-sized lessons); spaced repetition (to help learners and trainees more fully embed knowledge in their brains); and a free comprehensive course library (use courses “as is” or download and tweak them with your organization’s branding and content, plus, it’s perfect for subject matter experts to share their knowledge). If it does not already, your corporate learning/training, like compliance training, skills training, etc., should move towards a blended learning approach. One huge element of such an approach is the mobile phone.
In the next few years, worldwide eLearning is expected to continue to rise significantly and I mean worldwide. To give you a feeling for the spread in developing countries, such as India, China, Malaysia, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Indonesia, Columbia, and Ukraine (just to name a few) are adopting eLearning at high rates.
Like in these countries, the use of mobile cellphone in learning can help increase your employees’ knowledge retention. This can help close skill gaps among team members, giving them the needed skills to keep your organization competitive.
Best of all, 99% of mobile learners say that learning on their phones “enhances their experience”.
Check those mobile learning examples to learn more.