Mobile Corporate Learning Solutions: Future of Corporate Training?

 By: Joe Owens
Smart phones are increasingly sprouting feature after feature that were unheard of just a few years ago. The mobile applications that can be downloaded on your phone reaches up to hundred of thousands especially for the perennial favorite, iPhone. In the latest statistics, a mobile user in the world has reached 4 billion and is expected to increase to 5 billion by the end of the year. The surprising increase in users mostly came from China and India markets. In 2009, it was estimated that about half a billion people have access to mobile internet. While a lot of the phones are still without wi-fi or GSM connection, by 2011, it is expected that 85% of all new handsets will have internet access.

Today, consumers use their phones for calls, texts, internet, apps, games, social networking and music. In the future, experts predict the rise in features like financial management, health monitoring, mobile advertising, etc. They say that in two years, more people will buy smart phones than computers including desktops, laptops and net books. Because of the portability and the all-in-one features, consumers are now more likely to use their handheld portable communications device for online activities previously restricted to computers.

With all these staggering statistics, it's no wonder that even elearning technology providers are taking notice. While corporate learning solutions are still mainly delivered on line through the computer, mobile learning offers even more convenience to working population. Mobile learning is a new subset of elearning wherein learners can make use of their mobile gadgets like smart phones, PDAs and iPods to extend their educational activities outside of their rooms. It's learning, anytime, anywhere.

Mlearning or mobile learning can supplement face to face lectures and elearning programs by delivering content that can be viewed and listened to while commuting, waiting in line, doing errands, even when exercising. Apple's iTunes U or iTunes University are now offering previously exclusive lectures from Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and, Princeton. The lectures can be found in the iTunes store and is free for download to anyone with an iTunes account. Even before the iTunes U, podcasting had gained a foothold in popular culture. At its height in 2004, educational podcasts have included a variety of topics that are informational and beneficial to the public. Podcasts such as Grammar Girl, a short informative talk on grammar rules, and The Writing Show, an hour long broadcast centered on effective writing, has delivered learning content for free.

For corporate learning solutions, mobile learning is proving to be an effective tool in collaborating, networking, communicating, and contributing in a healthy learning environment between co-workers and the trainees.

The Blackberry, the more serious corporate-type of smart phone, recently developed corporate learning solutions that include: corporate tests and assessment in multiple choice questions, score results including analysis of performance, corporate presentations, training in sales and product testing, testing prototypes, videocast or audio podcast of training manuals and materials, feedback, surveys, etc. The simple training application aims to leverage mobile habits of corporate people, utilize unproductive times to learn new knowledge, cut back costs of training, and enable unfettered access to corporate presentations, videos and audio.
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