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Donavan Whyte

Rosetta Stone

Vice President, International Enterprise & Education

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Learning goes digital and mobile


The education landscape is rapidly changing as a result of technology, particularly in the way people are learning. E-learning is already popular amongst millennials (also called Generation Y), and we’re increasingly seeing and experiencing a generation gap. In five years, technology-based learning will really take off when the digital natives - those who were seven-years-old when the iPhone came out in 2007 - come of age and enter the workforce. It’s clear that digital and mobile learning are the future of the workplace.

Digital natives will be less likely to want to learn using traditional text books or even face-to-face (unless they’re doing that face-to-face learning online). It’s unlikely that text books and other traditional learning tools will cut it for these future learners; they will expect learning to be mobile.

The tech-savvy, ‘mobile generation‘ will demand learning tools that they can relate to. According to a report by Towards Maturity, Mobile Learning at Work conducted in 2013, the use of mobile learning – or ‘m-learning’ – is already growing. Towards Maturity have been tracking the use of mobile devices in the workplace since 2006 and looks at the growth of mobile learning in business.

According to the report, 25 per cent of top learning companies are using mobile devices as a means to deliver learning and development content. Among them, the proportion developing apps rose to 41 per cent. The report also highlights that many organisations not already using mobile devices are planning to start m-learning in the next two years. In addition, 47 per cent of managers report additional business benefits to mobile learning, such as improvements in organisational productivity and an increase in organisational revenue.

Some businesses may find the transition from in-person training to digital learning and m-learning challenging.  They will need to undergo a natural adjustment process as they make the move. This requires advocacy from senior leadership, as well as proactive communication. Some companies experience a generation gap as the younger employees are more likely to quickly adopt digital learning tools while older ones may resist. What’s critical, is to measure effectiveness and learning outcomes. Senior leadership and end users alike can be convinced through results that the transition is both cost-effective and can produce improved results for learners across the organisation.

To maximise the benefits to be gained, companies can prepare by:

  • Understanding the employee/learner demographic now and in five years’ time, considering elements such as frequent travel, remote working and flexible hours
  • Partnering with a supplier to offer end-to-end consultancy and support, from skills audits, to change management to implementation
  • Gaining senior leadership buy-in - having stakeholders at the table early on is critical to them being convinced of the benefits.

By embracing the potential that technology brings to learning, businesses can help make sure they aren’t left behind and enjoy a smooth transition from traditional to digital and mobile based learning.

One Response

  1. Great post, thanks for

    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    The digital age is now well and truly upon us, impacting every aspect of our lives – including learning. As you point out, Millenials come from a time of hyper-convenience, wanting to digest content that they have sourced and at what time they wish.

    With web traffic now coming from mobile devices than desktops, those learning providers that choose to follow this trend and offer mobile compatible content will certainly be leading the way.

    To put a different spin on it, learning providers are now also using the latest training management software tools to leverage savings, more effective marketing and provide better customer experiences.

    These new software tools integrate with mobile technology to enable providers to manage training, reporting and sales on the move, and also allow customers to book training online 24/7, manage their own training schedule and ask questions etc.

    Thanks again for sharing.

Author Profile Picture
Donavan Whyte

Vice President, International Enterprise & Education

Read more from Donavan Whyte

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