We are a society that relies on our electronic devices to stay connected to the world around us. Contemporary gadgetry has reinvented the way we communicate and receive our information. What was once a fashionable luxury item has become a necessity as more and more people turn to these devices as their primary means of staying connected. If learning professionals seize the opportunity to integrate mobile devices into their corporate learning vision, they will be connecting with their audience on a very fundamental level – ingraining their message into participants’ every day. Making the most of this opportunity is the focus of Clark Quinn’s insightful book, Designing mLearning: Tapping into the Mobile Revolution for Organizational Performance (Pfeiffer, 2011).
In this relatively short book (223 pages), Quinn sets forth ideas and theories on how learning organizations can go about “systematically leveraging these devices to meet organizational needs” and “delivering value through the strategic use of mobile technology.” Quinn places emphasis on the need for organizations to adopt a vision for utilizing mobile devices as a means of developing ongoing learning. He starts by dispelling a few myths about mobile devices and then begins to build a more detailed plan for using them as powerful learning tools.
Quinn advocates the use of mobile devices as a means of serving up full courses, as a learning adjunct, or as performance support. He provides examples of mlearning in action, case studies of organizations that currently use mobile devices in their workplace learning programs, and strategy models for the design and development of mlearning programs. His presentation includes interviews with practitioners of mlearning – giving valuable insight into developing a vision for this platform. Also of great importance is the examination of what certain operating systems can and can’t do and how they can or can’t work together; and of the issues of working across wireless carrier boundaries and the pitfalls that can come from that.
It is clear that mobile devices have changed the way we communicate. In order to get training messages successfully across, they must be deliverable through our most common means of communication, which now include mobile devices. Designing mLearning is a resource all training professionals will want to have on their shelf if they want to realize that vision.