Our next Fredrickson Roundtable for Learning Leaders’ topic is “Leading Mobile Learning.” Mobile learning is not a new topic, but rather the subject of an ongoing conversation within learning and development about when to use it, what to use it for, how to reliably develop it, and how to effectively deploy it across an organization.

I know nobody has “solved” mobile learning yet, but I think there’s a closely-related question that we can ask: When have we in L&D faced a change like this before?

eLearning immediately comes to mind. While it’s now considered a mainstream tool for learning delivery, there was a time when it was new, problematic, and there was a challenge around every corner (for those of us who were trying to develop eLearning courses).

In thinking back on it, I can point to several changes that helped eLearning finally move from novelty to mainstream delivery method—and I believe these ideas can be re-applied to mobile. We haven’t been here-here before, but we may have some experience with similar trends that we can benefit from.

How can we learn from L&D history and prepare for mobile learning:

    • The slow moving train effect. Mobile is coming…eventually. Remember that many of the things that quickly become “normal” in everyday life and society take longer to become “normal” in business. But once they do gain momentum, however, they are unstoppable.The mobile learning train is moving, like eLearning before it. I know it’s difficult to believe now, but as many of us who were working in L&D back when eLearning was the new kid on the technology block can attest, eLearning was slow getting out of the gate as well. Mobile will be a prominent feature of the learning landscape of the future, it’s simply a matter of momentum taking hold.

      So, looking back on eLearning, what challenges did we encounter with people, processes, and technology? How did we overcome them? When demand for mobile learning really accelerates, will we be ready? If not, what will we wish we would have done now?

    • The power of organizational partnerships. The partnerships between IT and L&D helped clear the path for eLearning to really begin to work broadly across organizations.Early in the eLearning era it was hard to get eLearning to work well because companies had bandwidth limits, companies ordered computers with no audio capability, etc. Without a relationship between IT and L&D, eLearning would never have—and could never have—moved forward to become what it is today.

Question: IT will most likely be a key organization partner for mobile learning, but there must be other examples? What other partnerships have helped advance the adoption of mobile learning?

I’m very much looking forward to the May 28 Roundtable for Learning Leaders discussion, “Leading Mobile Learning.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *