Category: Mobile Learning

5 Disruptive Technologies to Tackle L&D Challenges in 2016

5_disruptive_technologies_to_be_used_2016

It’s the 2nd week of January, 2016. The year is crisp and shiny new. It’s a great time to start off a new endeavour that didn’t go quite as planned in the past from a personal or business standpoint. Change is happening at lightning speed. It seems like only yesterday when learning on the go was a figment of one’s imagination – like something straight out of a sci-fi movie; but today a lot of that imagination, is reality. The 21st century is an exciting place to be in the workplace. Employers are open to change; employees are younger, more enthusiastic, demanding and know what they want; and exciting developments are giving learning a new dimension.

With more organizations taking the leap away from the traditional, to more modern and sophisticated training methodologies, 2016 promises to be an action-packed year for the industry. From wearable devices to condensed snippets of learning, more employers will assume a new stance in their learning policy.

With more baby boomers exiting the workforce this year, and with over half of the workforce comprising of millennials, 2016 will also find employers facing challenges that the L&D industry has been trying to tackle at a steadily increasing pace. Two of the big challenges that employers will have to overcome in 2016 are (a) retaining the Millennial employee and (b) tackling the problem of skill shortage.

Organizations must now use modern methodologies to fight these modern problems. Smart organizations already use new disruptive learning technologies extensively to combat these problems. Small and Mid-sized organizations must be quick to catch up on these trends to keep pace with their larger counterparts. Disruptive learning technologies take the new-age learner’s learning methodologies into consideration, making learning more meaningful and therefore more ‘successful’ in every sense of the word – making learners willing participants in the learning process and productive at the workplace – both of which influence to a substantial level, an employee’s desire to stay on with an organization.

5 disruptive learning technologies that will be used extensively this year are:

#1 Mobile learning – A new disconnected workforce begs for a type of learning that allows a learner to remain physically disconnected from a classroom but makes sure he is well connected to his learning environment and to other learners – no matter where he is. Mobile learning makes this possible. Mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, notepads, etc. are now available at an affordable price to the common man and will make mobile learning easy, affordable and successful.

#2 Wearable Devices – Wearable devices include clothing and accessories that incorporate computer and advanced electronic technologies within their workings. Wearable devices fall into various categories including surveillance, security and payment gateways, eTextiles, personal assistance and gaming.

In learning, the two types of wearable devices that will create waves are:

(1) Personal Assistance Devices (2) Virtual & Gaming Devices

Personal assistance devices are devices that help and engage humans with computer interaction. Virtual and gaming devices are devices that encourage immersive learning through play in a very rich and sophisticated virtual world. Both these types of wearable devices will provide learners with a deeper learning experience through deeper semantic sense, better performance support that requires very little or no human intervention.

#3 Gamifications in Learning – We now know that gamification enhances motivation to learn, can be used to personalize a learning experience, and helps give learners a feedback on learning. Because we – as a race – love games, games successfully grab our attention, improve knowledge retention, make the learning experience real for us, and improve the overall learning experience and success of a learning program.

 #4 Cloud-based LMSs –  Cloud-based learning management systems are learning platforms that allow an organization to store as much training-related information on cloud – with greater security, and gives learners easy accessibility to their learning programs from anywhere and at any time.

#5 Micro Learning – Knowledge changes at lightning speed, making it unnecessary to mug up realms of information – that is anyway going to become redundant in the near future. Learners have no time to absorb unnecessary information but require the latest information at their fingertips at the time of need. Training will involve condensing lengthy monologues of information into short, brief, informative snippets that are easy to grasp and retain – for longer periods of time.

Yes, 2016 promises to be an action-packed year for the L&D industry and we are excited to witness the big move that organizations will make from traditional learning to learning that makes use of disruptive technologies. If you have made the change or are thinking of making a change in your learning methodologies, we would be interested to know more.

It’s the 2nd week of January, 2016. The year is crisp and shiny new. It’s a great time to start off a new endeavour that...

Read More »

Learning on Smartphones

Learning on Smartphones

When mobile devices are talked about, the devices that come to mind are basically anything other than the once omnipresent personal computer (PC). Laptop, netbook, tablet, and mobile phone are all grouped together under the term ‘mobile’.

The reason why these mobile devices, particularly tablets, have taken the online world by storm is not hard to understand. They are portable and can be used anywhere – in a coffee shop, in a taxi, in the classroom, visiting clients and even in bed! All they need is an internet connection, and the user can work, and be available, anywhere, at any time.

The personal computer was a wonderful tool for eLearning, but it was a device without a touchscreen, used a mouse for navigation, and was a static device. When eLearning content transferred to mobile devices, it required a revamp of content to take advantage not just of the touchscreen, but also of the shorter periods of time users spent learning. While at one time learners were happy to sit at a PC and complete a full training lesson, learners’ attention spans are decreasing rapidly- making the mobile device more feasible as it allows learners to come back to learning as often as required.

Now that smartphones have become available at an affordable price, eLearning is starting a big shift to their use as a learning device. Yet another change to content will have to take place, but this change has to be fundamentally different to the earlier changes that were made during the shift from the PC to the tablet, and demands a complete rethink of how learning is presented.

Because of the small screen size, the content used for tablets will not work, and the following needs to be considered:

  • Just changing existing content to HTML5 will not work; it needs to be rebuilt from scratch
  • Complicated graphics with lots of text will not work on Smartphones
  • Graphics will have to very simple and uncluttered to be effective
  • Text will have to be kept to a minimum
  • Text must have large fonts and be well spaced
  • The use of narrations must be considered
  • Learning must be broken down into small, easily digestible chunks of information
  • Users traditionally use a smartphone in portrait mode – most current graphics are in landscape
  • Avoid content that makes the user zoom or change from portrait to landscape
  • It will be crucial to use SMS, eMail and social media in a learning context

Providing content for a smartphone needs a lot – an awful lot – of development to get it right and to make it attractive to learners. But perhaps the biggest hurdle to be overcome is that smartphone users are constantly interrupted by chat, SMS, eMail, calls, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and coping with such breaks in concentration may well prove to be the real problem to be solved.

In a 2012 survey in the US, PC Magazine found that 31% of Americans had tablets[1], whereas 38% had smartphones[2], but moving forward to 2015, it is estimated that smartphone usage will reach 58%, whereas tablet sales have been dropping in the intervening period, with Apple reporting decreased sales every quarter[3]. There are several reasons for this – static tablet pricing and lower and lower prices for smartphones, increasing screen size, and easier portability are thought to account for the trend away from tablets to smartphones.
A recent report by 24×7 Learning titled “Workplace Learning – 2015, Understanding the Learner”, states that 89% of respondents of a survey the report was based on said they liked the idea of learning on a smartphone[4], whereas employers seemed to be slow to recognize this trend.

What does all this mean for the eLearning industry?

  • Smartphone learning is not a future development; it seems that learners are ready and willing to learn on their Smartphones
  • Industries seem to be behind in providing what their learners really want
  • The future of mobile learning is on smartphones, as almost everyone will have one
  • Companies who fail to develop cogent eLearning content for smartphones will slide down the competitive ladder

If we think of it like this – smartphone use is becoming almost universal, and smartphone users get their news, weather, music, social chat, sports results, books, financial information and movies there, it should be no surprise that they want their learning on their smartphones as well.

References:

[1] http://in.pcmag.com/tablets/84552/news/survey-31-percent-of-us-internet-users-own-tablets
[2] http://www.statista.com/statistics/201182/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-the-us/
[3] http://www.howtogeek.com/199483/tablets-arent-killing-laptops-but-smartphones-are-killing-tablets/
[4] http://www.24x7learning.com/reports/

When mobile devices are talked about, the devices that come to mind are basically anything other than the once omniprese...

Read More »

Responsive eLearning: The Future of Online Learning

Responsive eLearning

One term very closely associated with responsive eLearning is Responsive Web Design (RWD). In a layman’s understanding, it is the creation of websites that are responsive to varying screen sizes of different devices be it a desktop or a tablet or a mobile, and provide an optimal viewing experience. Taking cue from the above understanding, responsive e-learning is the application of RWD to e-learning.

The phenomenal developments in the world of information and communication technology have transformed the way online medium is accessed. It is understood that for online training to be effective, needs to adapt to the changes as per the preferences of learners. In a research, morgan Stanley estimated that by the year 2015, internet usage will be more prevalent through mobile devices than computers.

The need to look beyond the use of personal computers to deliver online training courses was triggered by the astronomical increase in the number of people using mobile devices. A study conducted by Google reiterates the same point. It has been surveyed that 98% of Internet users switch between devices with varying screen sizes in a single day.

This results in two options. First, to have multiple versions of the same online course for various devices and second, to create one single responsive eLearning course that can be easily accessed by multiple devices.

However, the first option comes with some pitfalls in the road to learning. Higher cost and increased time is a natural corollary of creating multiple versions of the same online course, which also results in increased course development time resulting in a delayed turnaround time for the completion of the training course. The second hindrance is the difficulty in tracking the use of online courses which is essential for determining the ROI of the training. Using multiple versions of the same course makes tracking of these different versions cumbersome.

The aforementioned issues can be resolved with the help of responsive eLearning. The idea is creating a single course that can be accessed and used on any gadget and device on varying screen sizes and can be tracked easily with an LMS. The biggest advantage of responsive eLearning is the unprecedented learning flexibility it provides to its online learners.

Responsive eLearning comes with the advantage of sequential screening, wherein a learner can pause the online course on one gadget and resume it on another device exactly at the point where he/she has stopped. This makes learning highly flexible and user-friendly.

Still at a nascent stage, responsive eLearning will take some time before it evolves completely. However, there is not an iota of doubt when we say that the future of learning is responsive eLearning.

One term very closely associated with responsive eLearning is Responsive Web Design (RWD). In a layman’s understanding,...

Read More »

1 Super Good Reason To Love Your ‘M’ Device

Reason to love your mobile device

If I were to name one ubiquitous instrument that I just cannot do without, I would have to say it’s my mobile phone. And if I were to state one non-cliche reason as to why I love it so much, I would have to say it’s because it takes care of my life, without taking over my life. Not just myself, but most of the global population would agree with me when I say that today’s cant-do-without accessory is the mobile device – be it a smart phone, a tablet, an iPad, or even a very basic mobile phone.

Over the years, we have grown dependent on these little slavers to take over many of our tasks. From using it as a business manager, to an alarm, to an entertainer as well as a reminder, most of us can’t do without this device. And now, with the progression of technology, the mobile device can take care of all our learning needs.

Learning and Climbing the Corporate Ladder: As a prerequisite to success in any field – learning cannot be ignored. But busy lifestyles and heavy work schedules can lead to learning taking a backseat. Today’s corporate employee needs to learn and learn and learn to move up the corporate ladder. All work and no learning will inevitably lead to stagnation. On their part, organizations provide their employees with training. However, today’s workforce is for most part a mobile workforce.

Learning and the Mobile Worker: Industries like the media industry that consists of organizations that are made up of several departments who work at different times of the day, find it impossible to plan mandatory classroom-type of training. Those who are not present onsite miss out on training.

Learning and the Unconnected Worker: Whether it’s the traveling salesman or the busy medical representative, the banker transferred to a remote location or the engineer working in an offsite location, or even the journalist on the move – low bandwidth and no internet connectivity act as disruptants to learning.

Learning and the Busy Worker: The busy worker is the worker who has everything going for him to learn – except that he cannot afford the time to learn. One of the biggest drawbacks of organizational training is that when training – work suffers, and when working – training suffers.

Mobile and the Tech-Savvy Worker:
More than 50% of today’s workforce consists of young workers – workers who have grown up with technology. This generation of tech-savvy workers lives and breathes technology. They know how to search for information and obtain that information with the help of technology. They know how to use technology to learn. Classroom training is seen as boring, slow and outdated to this generation.

Organizations have been looking for a way to reach out to their employees to provide them with training that they can relate to and training that they can access. Breakthrough technology has given them the answer to these and many more training woes, in the form of mobile learning.

Mobile Learning
Mobile learning or mLearning is learning on any mobile device such as a smart phone, tablet or iPad. With mobile learning, employees have access to training wherever they are. They can also train at their own convenience. Unlike online training or classroom training, the information that is provided via online learning is crisp, brief, concise, and to the point. This leads to higher retention, better performance, and greater efficiency. For organizations this transforms into higher productivity, greater return on investment, satisfied workers, and a lesser employee turnover.

The sale of mobile and smart phones has increased steadily over the last few years. This increase in numbers means that more people will now have access to information via these devices. Organizations are aware of the immense benefits of mobile learning and are doing their part by making the BYOD (bring your own device) policy a part of their training policies. Employees are making use of mLearning to enhance their knowledge. mLearning is even popular in educational institutions.

Yes, if it’s one super good reason anyone needs to buy a mobile device – it’s to learn. The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you; and now with learning that can be accessed on your mobile device – you don’t need another good reason to hold your own.

If I were to name one ubiquitous instrument that I just cannot do without, I would have to say it’s my mobile phone. And...

Read More »

4 Reasons to Train Your Sales Team with Mobile Learning

Train Your Sales Team with Mobile Learning

‘Not seen, not heard’ – an adage that aptly describes the Sales Force of any organization. Not surprising really, considering the fact that the Sales Team is almost always away from the desk. How do you train this group of people who are almost never present at the workplace? How do you provide vital information to this team who are in dire need of the latest information on the product they are selling? How do you keep your Sales Force up-to-date on the latest news, offers and other important information that they are not privy to because they are away at a remote location? How do you make them feel like a part of the organization when they are never there because they are busy selling your ware?

There is a solution. NASA is using it to walk its astronauts, engineers, and scientists through basic maintenance procedures and so are an increasing number of multinationals. And now we recommend that you use it too if you have a sales force in your organization. We are talking about the ‘in’ thing in learning. We are talking mobile learning.

Why do we think that mobile learning is the way to go to keep your sales force up to date and a part of the team? Because that is exactly what mobile learning does. Of all the types of learning that there are out there, only mobile learning has managed to fill in the gaping lacuna that separates the Sales Force from the rest of the organization.

And so we bring to you: 4 Reasons to Train your Sales Team with Mobile Learning.

Consistency in Training/Learning: With your sales team scattered across a country, it is difficult – if not impossible to make sure they have the same type of training. When you want all your sales people to have access to the same information at the same time and in the same manner, mobile learning platform does a good job of getting this done. Small snippets of vital information are pushed to the entire team on their mobile devices, at the same time, thereby making it visible to everyone and leading to uniform training.

Just in time learning: If it’s one person who needs to know your product thoroughly, it’s your salesman. Different clients will have different questions regarding the product in question, and wrong information or lack of information on the part of your salesman can cause him to lose a deal. If he has all the information that he requires at his fingertips, he can seal a deal very quickly. With mobile learning, your salesman has all the information he requires at the flick of his mobile device. This not only boosts sales but also boosts your customer’s confidence in the agility and expertise of your organization and its functioning.

Save training costs and save time: Unlike the general opinion, mobile learning is inexpensive. In fact, mobile learning is cheaper than any other method of training and can save organizations large amounts of money. Organizations can also save training time because information can be pushed to everyone at the same time. Unlike classroom training or online training that is slow and is dependent on several factors such as the availability of trainers and the availability of the entire sales force at one location at the same time – which is almost impossible on an ongoing basis, and several other factors.

Efficient: At the end of the day, what every Training Manager and Head of Sales wants is for the training that has been conducted to be efficient and lead to productivity. Mobile learning is not about pushing large amounts of texts or images through a mobile device. It’s about pushing snippets of very vital information that are easy to read, easy to understand and easy to retain (memorize) – thereby leading to successful learning. And therein lays its efficiency. Apart from this, mobile learning does not assume that everyone is on the same wavelength and requires the same time and amount of information. Instead, it allows learners to decide what they want to learn and scroll to a particular section, and spend as much time as they need, on that section.

For learning to be successful, it is not important for learners to be armed with every training tool available. It is important that they are provided with access to tools and methods that will lead to successful learning – because at the end of the day, it is successful learning that will lead to heightened production and that is just what mobile learning has proved to do.

To get more details on mobile learning visit: http://www.24x7learning.com

‘Not seen, not heard’ – an adage that aptly describes the Sales Force of any organization. Not surprising really, consid...

Read More »