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Mobile technologies having little impact on Learning 2.0


I continue to be surprised by some of the data that's building around my research in to the effectiveness of Social Computing for Workplace Learning (a.k.a. Learning 2.0 in the Enterprise). The number of respondents to my questionnaire has now reached a level where it becomes difficult to argue with the wealth of facts that I'm seeing.

One particular surprise is the extent to which mobile computing platforms are used for Learning 2.0 in the Enterprise. With all this talk on the web about 'Bring your own device', and the challenges of securing corporate information on personal mobile devices, one would imagine that mobile computing was a significant method of accessing corporate learning. Not so says the data.

So far my research shows that 29% of respondents use a Smartphone to reach social computing for workplace learning, and 18% use a tablet device. So far, so good, but 92% of the same audience also use a laptop. So we can see that a mix of devices are used, with laptops being by far the most prevelant means of accessing learning 2.0. Interesting to note that the number of respondents using their mobile phone to access learning 2.0 is only two percent more than those who use a desktop computer (27%).

However, the picture becomes clearer when the same respondents are asked to identify which device they use the most frequently to access Learning 2.0. The laptop still comes out top at 80%, but the desktop follows in a distant second place at 12%. Only 3% of respondents use their mobile phone as their preferred means of accessing learning 2.0, and the same percentage use a tablet device as their platform of choice. This is surprising considering that the vast majority of respondents are working for private sector businesses in Europe or North America where high speed mobile networks are pervasive and their employers will probably be paying for their network connectivity.

A quirky 2% claim to use 'other' devices, but reading their feedback it's clear that 2% of the respondents can't differentiate between 'device' and 'software' - and most of their responses indicate that they are also using a laptop or desktop PC to access Learning 2.0.

The only device that never gets used as the social computing platform of choice is an Internet connected TV. I have some sympathy with that; my own experience of Internet connected TVs is that domestic television and peripheral device manufactuters don't do user interface design (did anyone ever learn how to fully program their VCR?). Perhaps if Apple get in to the TV business they will transform that market as well...

My research in to the effectiveness of social computing for workplace learning (a.k.a. Learning 2.0 in the Enterprise) continues until 20th July. I will continue to share highlights of the research here on TrainingZone, and the full report will be available to all who participate (and leave an email address).

If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning a £50 (UKP) Amazon or iTunes voucher, I would appreciate your help in completing this 10 minute questionnaire

Every participant who leaves an email address will receive a 'thank you' in the form of a $10 (USD) store credit to spend with National Geographic's partner - a great way to support artisans in developing nations.

Participation is anonymous (unless you wish to leave your email address), and all my findings, conclusions and recommendations will be published in October, and sent to those who wish to receive a copy. 

I will also be presenting the findings at various online and face-to-face events in Q4 2012.

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