Making the Move to Mobile: Easing the Transition

Learning while you wait for your flight, in line at the coffee shop or grab lunch? Sounds like the perfect way to fill in the gaps of a busy day. While mobile learning makes solid strategic sense, it's not always a smooth transition from more traditional methods. Before you make the leap to including mobile tactics in your learning strategy, make sure you consider the logistics from a few different angles.

Reaping the Benefits of Mobile Learning

If you're not optimizing your elearning content for mobile methods, you could be missing a big piece of the training pie. Mobile learning blends seamlessly with microlearning to ensure your learners are constantly checking in and taking in new information—even when they're not in the office. Quick snippets of information allow you to break down subject matter in digestible pieces, delivered any time day or night.

A few industries are particularly primed for learning on-the-go. A traveling sales force has plenty of downtime outside of the office, making for ideal opportunities to learn from a phone or tablet. Retail associates might love the freedom tablets offer when educating customers about a new feature or product. Even nonprofits can, well, profit from less-conventional ways of putting mobile learning delivery systems in place for training and events.

Smooth Transitions: Begin Incorporating Mobile Learning

If you're not completely sold on the idea of incorporating mobile learning into your new or existing elearning strategy, don't be scared just because of the initial cost of effort. Starting small can pave the way for a larger-scale program later. Here are some ways to make the transition smoother for everyone: 

  • Consider down time where your learners could be checking in. Waiting at airport gates, having lunch—anytime when mobile learning wouldn't be a distraction from other work.
  • Start incorporating mobile learning by sending emails, videos, white papers and posts directly to learners' phones. You don't need a custom app just to get started.
  • Optimize learning websites for smaller screens and less bandwidth. Learners won't be interested in mobile sites and apps if they take forever to load and eat up data.
  • Utilize tablets and phones your learners already have. This is the beauty of mobile learning, you don’t need to invest in a ton of extra equipment. Instead, it's strictly BYOD—bring your own device.

Stop thinking of mobile learning as a method for the future. Getting started now allows you to capitalize on current trends and technology to harness devices your learners probably have in their pockets. Downtime suddenly becomes class time for a more convenient and accessible way to get your learners completely engaged.

Andrew Fayad is the CEO and Managing Partner of eLearning Mind—overseeing sales, marketing, and strategic growth opportunities. Prior to eLearning Mind, Andrew lead the Corporate Member Development effort at Axial, an online network for the private markets founded in New York City. He is also a Founder of Olark and is a YCombinator Alum. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

Image Credit: Maria Elena via Flickr