What is mobile learning and how it can help your business
What is mobile learning and how it can help your business
6 minutes of reading
Mobile learning means using mobile devices to learn, such as tablets and smartphones.
This strategy is very common in distance education, and it has become popular in Brazil in recent years, drawing the attention of companies interested in corporate education.
The reason for the expansion is simple: Brazil has more than 230 million active cell phones, and Brazilians spend, on average, three hours a day browsing social networks on cell phones.
So why not use the full potential and interest in mobile devices for learning?
It is very likely that, over the past few years, you have already had some mobile learning experience.
Have you ever watched videos on your phone instructing you, step by step, how to perform a certain task?
Have you ever read articles and ebooks on your smartphone?
Have you ever played a game on your phone for educational purposes?
Have you ever participated in a course that provided content accessible on a cell phone?
Have you ever participated in any forum or social network dedicated to the exchange of knowledge on any subject using your phone?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you have already engaged in mobile learning.
Now, it is time to deepen the concepts, understand why this teaching modality has been growing in recent years and discover the differences between m-learning, e-learning and b-learning.
Are you prepared? In this article, you will also be presented with step by step instructions on how to employ mobile learning in your company. Check it out!
What is mobile learning
Mobile learning, or m-learning, for short, occurs when mobile devices are used for learning.
These mobile technologies are mainly cell phones and tablets. Computers and notebooks do not fall into this category, but in the category of e-learning (e-learning) instead, which we will talk about next.
Mobile learning emerged with two simple purposes: to facilitate and to democratize the access to education.
By learning with a device in the palm of your hand, you are able to enhance distance learning.
In addition, students and teachers can quickly connect, eliminating barriers that hinder interaction.
But the existence of a direct relationship between teacher and student is not a mobile learning rule: it is precisely because it is useful away from classrooms that mobile learning has been thriving in recent years.
The purpose of mobile learning is not to replace other teaching modalities, but to strengthen the learning relationships that already exist, and to create others that are auxiliary.
How? That’s what we’ll see next.
Mobile learning examples
There are several strategies that can be employed when it comes to mobile learning. Check out some of the most widely used:
Mobile learning courses
With a virtual learning environment optimized for mobile, it is possible to offer courses for mobile phones and tablets, without compromising the user experience.
In general, they are short classes, recorded in a classroom or studio, with formatting suitable for smaller screens, mobile phones and tablets. Short videos allow you to reinforce content, or even transmit new information, when explored in sequence.
Increasingly popular, e-books are also designed for mobile devices, with a responsive format or suitable for smaller screens. In some cases, there are e-books that incorporate videos and audios, but there are also simple static PDFs.
Gamification enhances learning by stimulating students’ interest in the content. When typical game strategies, such as scores, prizes and challenges, are applied to teaching, student engagement increases, and the result is positive for everyone involved.
Social media and forums
Social networks and discussion forums allow the exchange of information and knowledge on a subject, in addition to bringing students and teachers together to explore the content. This interaction, fundamental for learning, is facilitated by mobile devices.
Applications are developed especially for mobile devices, and can combine several content formats, such as videos, forums and gamification, to stimulate learning. The range of possibilities is countless.
What is e-learning, b-learning and m-learning
After getting to know the most common examples of mobile learning, it is time to quickly analyze a question that is frequently asked in reference to this subject: What are the differences between e-learning, b-learning and m-learning?
What is e-learning
E-learning is a type of distance education characterized by the communication between the person (student) and the machine (content). In this case, the teacher/professor does not interact directly with the student.
What is b-learning
B-learning means blended learning, and can be understood as a variation of e-learning. The difference is in the interaction with teachers in face-to-face meetings: b-learning mixes face-to-face meetings with distance sessions.
What is m-learning
As you already know, m-learning, or mobile learning, is nothing more than the use of mobile devices for learning.
Mobile learning advantages
Before moving on to the strategies you can adopt to use mobile learning in your company, it is worth analyzing the main advantages that m-learning has to offer:
- Democratization: m-learning is capable of taking learning anywhere, allowing all individuals access to education
- Flexibility: when you offer a mobile learning tool to students or employees, they can access it at anytime, from anywhere
- Engagement: learning environments optimized for mobile provide more involvement and engagement with content, compared to other teaching modalities
- Trend: m-learning is linked to the consumption trends of the new generation of employees, who were born in the 90s and 2000s. That is why technologies like this tend to grow, creating a new type of work environment.
How to employ mobile learning in your company
Finally, it is time to understand how to apply mobile learning in your company, to boost employee engagement and education. We set up step by step instructions to make your life easier:
Understand your company’s weaknesses
To implement mobile learning in your company, it is necessary to understand its weaknesses. What do you want to improve in your company? What are the difficulties your employees face? What is the feedback you receive from customers?
Evaluate mobile learning implementation
Not all employees adapt well to m-learning. In young teams that deal with technology, this can be a great strategy. However, older professionals who are less familiar with the devices, may experience difficulties.
It is your responsibility to find out if it is worthwhile to bet on mobile learning to fill the identified gaps. Could the problem be solved with this strategy? Could employees quickly adapt to the tool?
Include mobile learning in corporate education
For companies, mobile learning is recommended as a corporate education tool. You can use it to convey an idea, train your employees in a new language, disclose a new company policy or simply consolidate what should be known to everyone. When employing mobile learning, you need to integrate it with the tools that already exist, so it assists other learning platforms, instead of becoming the main tool.
Here at Bravi, we have extended mobile learning experience. We recently helped an American multinational company to reduce new employees onboarding time.
This case is documented here, where you can also understand more about micro-learning and short learning cycles.
Want to know more about it? Call us and let’s chat!