Learning from mobile: A learner’s point of view

There is more to the mobile than screen size and gestures. Mobile education needs to consider the affordability of the device. And also the conditions of its users. So, Mobile learning is a great new tool in your organization toolkit. But how a user perceives it that is the real question. And what kind of materials do they use, and how do they learn? So I am going to start this article with some truth.

Check out these points-

  1. The world is witnessing the rise of smartphones.
  2. The percentage of people in the workforce who do not have a smartphone or do not use a smartphone is short.
  3. People expect to use their phones for many purposes and not for making calls.

These are cliches and completely worn out, but they make a significant point. And Only for those of us who design learning for an intelligent, active, and mobile workforce. Not only does this workforce demand sophisticated conversations and answers at their fingertips. But it also takes them. So, this group is always curious, keeping an eye out for fresh content and visuals. And it rejects anything that does not seem helpful or amusing.

Trust me, it has nothing to do with a false sense of entitlement or a decreased attention span. as some people point out. Put this same group of people in front of an exciting challenge, and as a result, they will put their focus on that. Draw their attention to a well-made game. and they will spend hours trying to figure out the best strategies to win. Show them a good movie, and you will find them engrossed for its entire length.

People do not apply to mobile training programs. And the problem is not users’ lack of focus or concentration. It is often the content itself. Because content is already fixed And that is not significant to the user. So, to better know how people spend time on their mobile devices.

Here are the most downloaded free *Learning* iPhone apps from year 16 to 21 according to Apple:

1. Snapchat

2. Messenger

3. Pokémon GO

4. Instagram

5. Facebook

6. YouTube

7. Google Maps

8. Pandora

9. Netflix

10. Spotify Music

Learning through applications

In July 2021, TikTok was the most downloaded app for iPhone in the Apple App Store worldwide. The social media app garnered over 11 million downloads from iPhone users. WhatsApp Messenger was the second most popular app. And not only popular but popular with 10 million downloads from global users. Yes, that is huge.

At first glimpse, none of these apps may have anything to do with education. But take a more intimate glimpse. And we notice that many of them can relate to knowledge. For example- Snapchat. It is simple to remove it as a tool for updating stupid teens. But a growing number of people have accepted it for using it to learn. And not only learn but also make meaningful connections.

Another example is YouTube, the top site for procrastinating through funny cat videos. But product videos and how-to videos are two of the most viewed categories on YouTube. And then there is Google Maps. It is hard again to associate this with every type of learning. But think a little, and we will see that it is nothing but performance support at work.

Summing it up

I am trying to say is that three out of the ten most downloaded apps from 2016 to 2021 can be relate to learning. But not in the way we used to think of education. About mobile learning, we do it in very traditional terms. We imagine a curriculum that has an introduction. And that followed by activities and explanations, and then a conclusion.

The world believes in *learning* like *to answer a query* or *getting a response* or *concluding it out* or looking at it. And *learning* with a capital *L*as some rather abstract higher-minded chase. And that is what these apps are all about it. They help people solve queries or get answers when they are most needed. And if you want to know more about *learning* applications. Then you can see this.

Here are two of our preferred apps for *Learning* – Duolingo and Elevate.

Duolingo focuses on learning a new language. And Elevate is all about building and improving skills in a wide variety of areas. Those areas can relate to math, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Both the apps leverage the people. Leverage with the principles of gamification, mobile learning, microlearning, and spaced repetition. And provide learning experiences that are enjoyable in their own right.

What can we learn from these apps? And the apps above to ensure that the *learning* we send to people remains relevant and meaningful to them? Here are some ideas:

1. Short and to-the-point:

Each session addresses a target topic. No lengthy introductions, no learning objectives, no fluff. And how small? I do not want to give a number for this. But I can say that do not add anything that does not address the main topic.

2. Helpful, Relevant, and Timely:

People consume learning that they find immediately helpful and relevant to themselves. To understand this, watch a how-to video on YouTube. Many of them can relate. And people make below-average video and with audio quality, poor lighting, etcetera.

But you will notice that they have garnered thousands of views. And that indicates that when someone watches a video, they are going to help. And that has all the answers to all your questions at the moment. So they do not care about production values.

They do not expect to be WOW-ed and amazed by every learning experience. I am not suggesting that we should make poor-quality videos. But that we put our focus on making the content helpful and relevant to the users. Then everything else will happen.

Learning from mobile is easy

3. Easy access:

What is the use of content that you can not access when you need it the most? Have you ever imagined going through a *screen* of content to get to your specific location on Google Maps? All content, especially those created for mobile, must have advanced search capabilities built-in.

4. Easy control:

It is an extension of the previous point. So, in that case, if a user wants to pause your content for a few seconds. Or if it goes back to the point at which the expert calls a *freeze* then they should be able to do it. And it is needed.

5. Learning from anywhere:

In the end, this is the true nature of any *mobile*. So you are halfway to accessing an app on one device when you leave it. And only to have to pick it up on another device hours later. The app should keep up with this behavior and usage pattern. And it should provide a seamless experience across the various devices you are using it on.

What do you think? Did I miss something? Please share your thoughts with us. Get in touch with us.

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