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If Mobile Learning and Support are Wonderful, Why aren't They Everywhere?

By Allison Rossett / November 2011

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  • Fri, 22 Feb 2013
    Post by Allison Rossett

    Forgotten about this piece. Yes, I know. I wrote it. It wasn't ghost written.

    Still believe in it.

    There is much work for US to do if we hope to leverage this tasty resource for learning AND support.

  • Thu, 08 Dec 2011
    Post by Karla Kmetz

    Hi Allison, The checklist you provided is a wonderful way to take stock of where we are in the process. We can no longer say we are not involved in mobile learning, because students are accessing their distance learning courses through mobile devices whether we want them to or not. Every student now has a smart phone or tablet and whether they are just using it to check course announcements or watching their lecture videos, I have no doubt that at some point each day a student is accessing their online course through a mobile device. So, I really appreciate the list of questions you provide. This is a movement we are need to be prepared for, or at least understand where we are and what we can and cannot do with mobile learning with the resources we have now.

  • Wed, 07 Dec 2011
    Post by Jason Novosel

    Hi Allison. Great article. As an educator, advocate for and pioneer of educational mobile apps, I found your discussion relevant and long overdue. I especially support your suggestions. In my capacity as a management/leadership consultant for a number of large organisations (mainly in the public sector) I have found that change happens slowly with a considered approach to asset acquisition, project roll out and staff training. Having said this, I certainly agree that the process becomes all the more accelerated when a confident, progressive, communicative leader spearheads the initiative. I work with an app development company to create apps and over the last 12 months I have noticed increasing interest in mobile technology from schools and businesses. The benefits for an organisation, in terms of achieving objectives and staff performance, need to be made overt. A customised plan for the introduction of mobile support can help alleviate feelings of "not knowing where to start" and "why does our organisation need to embrace this?"

  • Wed, 30 Nov 2011
    Post by Allison Rossett

    Love how thoughtful these comments are.

    I am not willing to throw up my hands and complacently wait for mobile learning and support to come to the enterprise some time in the future, whenever. They make so much sense for right now.

    For example, one of my doc students wrote recently about how he is using mobile tools to advance his study and even more of interest, how he is using it to improve the business math classes he teaches.

    This mobile thing is really good for all the right reasons.

    Mental models are an issue. Good design in the transfer from legacy to mobile is a huge challenge, but the kind of challenge instructional designers are supposed to feast on.

    Tech readiness is a concern too, but usually less than anticipated.

    Where are the learning leaders? They can tip the balance on this, I think, if they can get beyond the shiny penny to appreciate both the challenges and benefits here.

  • Wed, 30 Nov 2011
    Post by Tom R. Eucker

    Hi Allison, I echo Ryan's comments relative to "a lack of standardisation and IT issues connecting devices to corporate networks." A saying that I picked up years ago applies here - "You can't get there from not here." My experience in industry and consulting over the last 30 years is that we make assumptions about the progress and readiness for technology adoption only to find the mental models and more importantly the infrastructure for these innovations to be lacking and progress to be incredibly slow. We are still seeing resource black holes like SAP and Oracle infesting corporate IT backbones. Moving to decentralization of computing within most corporations remains a distant albeit strategic dream. The uptake of the internet and social media technologies for the individual far out paces the essential infrastructure rebuilding required for corporate adoption.

  • Sat, 26 Nov 2011
    Post by Ryan Tracey

    Hi Allison. I think the answer to your question "If Mobile Learning and Support are Wonderful, Why aren't They Everywhere?" is: talk is cheap. It's easy for everyone to say that mobile learning is a great idea, but at the end of the day someone has to *do* it. In terms of mobile training, that means producing or repurposing courseware for various devices, or paying someone a lot of money to do it for you. In terms of mobile support, a major factor is the culture of the organisation: are the SMEs willing and able to share their expertise, and keep it up to date? All of the above is complicated by a lack of standardisation and IT issues connecting devices to corporate networks. Unfortunately, I'm not surprised mlearning isn't more widespread, despite the amount of discourse about it.