Generational Learning: Why Mobile Learning is The Only Way For Millenials

Consider the last time you learned something valuable. Maybe it came to you through your headphones via a podcast or video. Maybe it was something interesting in an email newsletter or article. Or maybe it was something you scrolled your way down to on a social media feed. No matter what you learned, there’s a good chance you didn’t learn it sitting at a computer or reading it on paper — you probably consumed it on your smartphone or tablet.

Recent estimates put the number of mobile devices in our world at 7+ billion — about the same as the world population. In the twenty-first century, education of all kinds happens everywhere around us. Why should it be different for the business world?

Even as all things content and media-related have evolved to become mobile optimized, corporate learning has largely remained a realm of in-person instruction, paper-bound manuals, and desktop-only tutorials and webinars. But smart businesses around the world are embracing the mobile revolution and recognizing that “mLearning” is the way of the future for employee, customer, channel, and enterprise training. Here’s why, and why it’s crucial for your company to adopt a mobile-optimized learning management system (LMS) sooner rather than later.

What is Mobile Learning?

In its eLearning Glossary, Northpass defines mobile learning as — otherwise known as m-learning, mobile learning is learning that takes place on portable devices. Its main benefit is that it offers learners the flexibility of learning when and where they want.

Mobile-responsive learning modules have an advantage over static training materials and other training outdated training processes because they can be consumed quickly, on the go, and don’t require learners to make space for it in their busy schedules. Instead, learners are greeted with the training that they need, when they need it.

Business is Already BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Every day, each member of your team and every one of your customers walks around with a phone in hand (or pocket). They’re already using smartphones, tablets, and other devices to check emails, communicate with peers, and perhaps even track performance and execute job responsibilities using mobile-friendly tools like Salesforce and Hootsuite. Not allowing them to use their devices to learn, too, is a missed opportunity for engagement.

Mobile Means Accessible

The goal of any training program is to deliver useful knowledge to the end user. But if that knowledge stays trapped in your office or on your intranet, consumable only in the ideal set of circumstances, it may never make it to that user. Why limit access by relying on outdated systems? When your target learner can access your training materials any time, anywhere, he or she is more likely to absorb and utilize their concepts down the road.

On Demand Learning is Expected

The correlation with business results is direct. Putting learning in the palm of people’s hands — exactly what they need, when they need it — can have an immediate positive effect on the bottom line.

Years ago, offering on-demand courses to your customers or channel partners was a perk. On demand, self-paced training was an alternative to live training or augmented it.

That’s no longer the case. Now learners _expect _ to be able to access training whenever they need it and in fact may equate online learning with self-paced on-demand courses.

‘Down the road’ is one thing… right now is another. If your newest business-development trainee has the opportunity to close a client over the weekend but can’t access training content to answer the client’s last few questions, whose fault is it if the sale falls through? Don’t miss out on the value of instantly retrievable information.

Conclusion

According to market research, mobile learning is on the upswing. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Education showed mobile learning via smartphones is gaining mainstream acceptance, and a recent report by Ambient Insight shows the growth rate for the U.S. consumer elearning is at -4.4 percent, while the demand for mobile learning in the same sector is at 9.6 percent.

This is called product substitution, and it happens almost all the time in the elearning market as new products are introduced and the old products saturate the market.

Right now, it’s important for elearners to be able to take courses on the go. According to a recent Euromonitor International report, consumers want to buy products and services that save them time. That extends to elearning and helps to explain the rise of mobile learning.

Learners are interested in getting more knowledge in less time; they also expect to be able to access your LMS from multiple devices, and because they’re learning around the clock, they also expect your help desk and support services to be available at the same time.

To find out everything you need to know about mobile learning, see:

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +427,678 people.

Subscribe to receive our top stories here.