Mobile phones and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) now out number computers 3 to 1.  With such a ubiquitous tool the temptation to create mobile learning content is difficult to deny.   The media, interactive and internet capabilities of newer devices have moved mobile learning from the back burner to a highly feasible “just in time” learning option for many organizations, especially those with distributed customer support and sales functions.

Many learning professionals new to the approach have trouble visualizing exactly how learning looks and functions on mobile devices such as the Backberry or iPod.  Here’s a useful visual demo of how Sun delivers technical and sales training in small, searchable units that can be viewed at the moment of need.   For example a technical troubleshooting process can be reviewed while the actual work is being done or a short sales training module can be visited just before an important sales call.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bakgX_wLt4w]

Designing mobile learning requires adjustments in the learning design process.  Greater emphasis needs to be placed on requirement and constraint analysis and working from realistic scenarios of how and when the learning will be used.  Navigation design, information architecture and visual design will all need special attention to ensure a useful experience for users.

The example comes from the Sun Learning Exchange, a YouTube like site for Sun employees to record, post, and share videos, slide sets and documents. It’s an interesting experiment in informal learning at Sun.

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2 Responses
  1. […] Another “future” technology that is finally seeing its day.  Blackberry,  iPhone and other PDA’s are now more or less portable internet devices with  impressive media capabilities.  Both highly useful for mobile e-learning.  Larger organizations with mobile workforces are leveraging the capabilities for some interesting just-in-time training.   Here’s an interesting example from Sun from an earlier post. […]

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This blog contains perspectives on the issues that matter most in workplace learning and performance improvement.  It’s written by Tom Gram.

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