In January this year YUDU published a popular white paper about mobile devices and corporate training. Focused on everything from LMS integration to m-learning, the white paper gave a long view as to the where e-learning is heading as well as a rundown of where it is now.
It has to be stated that e-learning isn’t new – various desktop based platforms have existed for some time, if you want to go back to its roots, you can trace it back several decades in fact. Mobile-learning, however, is a new phenomenon and something that deserves closer scrutiny.
Since 2008 employers globally have realised that it’s cheaper and can often be more effective to give employees the training they need via the web, rather than face-to-face. It saves on both the costs of travel (as well as finding an appropriate venue in some cases), and has the added benefit of allowing individuals to follow at their own pace. M-Learning therefore seems much like the next piece in the puzzle.
Fast forward to April 2015 and you’ll find that a simple Google search for e-learning brings up a multitude of results from vendors. Both LMS platforms and content creation platforms are aggressively marketing to an industry of both cautious and informed training professionals, all promising to deliver the next best thing in terms of e-learning.
We promised you the truth, so here it is. The reality is that as it stands in early 2015, m-learning is all over the place, an industry standard is yet to be established and a marketplace saturated with solutions of all kinds. Often confusing for a prospective buyer and understandably so.
For example, certain vendors are offering responsive design options, then reaching the native app stage; others are able to build cross-platform options from the outset. Everyone seems to be at various stages of the journey. The Android Operating System had 86% of the market in 2014, but so many apps were developed for iOS only. The possibilities are endless, yet in reality the tools are slow to be rolled out.
Initially it was believed that all e-learning would automatically and systematically be transferred to mobile platforms. However, before that could even be considered many larger firms are still grappling with fragmented internal systems. One publisher we met with recently, after a long period of acquisitions has been left with a total of 127 Learning Management Systems. As a result, the first step is to migrate all the users into one place, then mobile delivery can rise to the top of the priority list.
Digital learning is undoubtedly here to stay. However, the truth is that many people are talking about actual m-learning without really doing it and engaging in the sort of practical experience necessary to build robust, mobile platforms.
As the payroll becomes mobile, so does the need for training. Web Conferencing software companies were able to create native apps for mobile devices quite early on – but even these companies are yet to really exploit the possibilities of what mobile learning can offer. A smartphone is a mobile tool to enhance learning and here are YUDU we are ready to deliver on this.
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