A question I am asked often: how can people learn with phones? Trouble is, people associate corporate learning with big powerpoints, classrooms and dull e-learning tools. The truth is that we learn all the time, from our surroundings in bite-size chunks, though we don’t think of it that way. Phones are the smartest way you can push learning content, provided you think through what works and what does not in the medium.
I started using Blackberry about a decade ago, and could not imagine the profound impact it would have on me. I was handling mails quite effortlessly and painlessly through the day and at times, night. I found my balance a few years later and soon iPhone came into my life. The exciting world of apps, web, mail, games were now at a hands reach of desire.
In a recent research by a company called Toluna, it was revealed that two-thirds of US smartphone users look at their devices within 15 minutes of waking up. About a similar percentage looked at their phones last thing in the night before going to bed. The statistics were similar for other countries like UK, France, Germany and Singapore. Not surprisingly, Singapore is on the higher end of the spectrum. Also, one-third look at their mobile phones if they accidently wake up in the night. There is no other fact that represents better how much the mobiles have taken over our lives.
So irrespective of what you think or believe learning is, here’s a suggestion. If people are spending disproportionate amount of time on one medium – whether it is the phone today, or a digital watch tomorrow, get your learning content through across that medium.
Here are some brilliant tools for the new age: Short podcasts & videocasts, quick quizzes, Spaced repetition lessons, flipped classroom videos, learning nuggets, flash cards – I find each one of them awesome in their own way, fulfilling a certain training gap. Try them. I think you’ll like the new world.