“Mobile learning” is a term that is fraught with definition difficulties. New technologies and teaching methods have been introduced and discarded at a rapid fire pace. People can learn anywhere they are at just about any time of day. They can also learn in just about any way you can imagine. Jennifer Jofmann, President of InSync Training, LLC, discussed modern learning in a TrainingMag.com article and provided some helpful insights.
Modern learning takes place in a “learning environment,” and it is basically the different physical places, contexts, and cultures where students learn, according to Jofmann’s definition from EdGlossary.org. A learning environment does not necessarily have to be just a technology, as a virtual classroom can be accessed from anywhere, even a regular classroom where people work together.
People learn in a traditional, face-to-face environment, and on a computer. The computer is defined as a “location,” and people learn while they are separated. When the computer is in a classroom, the computer is not a place anymore. People also learn on mobile devices. Mobile is a place, it is not a technology. Mobile devices can handle all sorts of learning technologies, like e-learning, online classrooms, or video. A mobile classroom just refers to a “”learning experience where the learner is working from a smart phone or tablet,” notes Joffman. Finally, training can also occur on the job while a person is actually working. This can be formal or informal, and it might be on a computer or mobile device. The “where” factor, however, is at work.
So Joffman defines mobile learning as a learning environment. She notes that when you choose a training platform for your students, make it as relevant as possible for their situation. For example, if you are teaching a jQuery training topic, an online learning experience delivered via a tablet makes sense. It is relevant to the employee’s daily life.
Additionally, as you consider your employees’ training needs, consider when the training should take place. Should it be formal and scheduled, or should it be less structured, and just-in-time? Think about when employees need to learn something. Is it when they are actually doing the work, or do they need training in a process or concept before they try the task while actually on the job? This can help you determine whether to deliver a classroom-type training, one that is mobile in nature, or a less formal, on-the-job training experience.