I was amazed this morning as I watched my 5-year old daughter use my smartphone. She happily sat down, played a math game and when she was done, found a video to watch. I’ve had conversations with colleagues and friends, marveling about how our children would rather watch a video on a smartphone screen than on the big screen. Growing up in a world of ever increasing TV screen sizes, I’ve always wondered what the appeal is. Five minutes later, I had my answer when my 3-year old son attempted to sit with his sister to watch the video, and the screaming started. Watching the video and learning from the mobile device was her experience, and, at that time, not one she wanted to share. The small screen provides a more intimate setting, and is targeted just at her. It was highly personal.
That being said, mobile learning can also be collaborative. The night before, when we were discovering how to cut a pineapple, the 3 of us huddled around the small screen together. While I was cutting, my daughter re-watched the video and my son gave me other pointers and ensured I followed all of the steps. We were truly collaborating in the battle of the pineapple, and eating the yummy pineapple together was our reward.
Learning on a mobile device is personalized, but it can also be collaborative. How often do we really huddle with our colleagues? Sometimes it’s nice to deliver a presentation sharing an Apple® iPad® screen rather than projecting on a wall. In sports, football teams huddle all the time, or in the case of the no huddle offense, are at least constantly communicating and sending signals. Does mobile learning lend itself both to the personalization of learning, and to increased collaboration? I ask you to be the judge, and try it yourself. After all, you can’t teach and explain the experience of leveraging a solution if you aren’t familiar with it yourself.
If you’re not an early adopter and aren’t sure where to start, why not check out Skillsoft® Books24x7® on your mobile, or watch a Skillsoft® Leadership Development Channel™ Video, Skillsoft IT or Desktop Video on your phone? I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
By Margot Cook,
Skillsoft Learning Strategist and Program Manager