Enterprise Mobility and Mobile Learning

Enterprise Mobility

Many predictions for 2013 include the rise of enterprise mobility. I know that my company is pursuing an enterprise-level plan and they are not alone. Many companies and organizations from small private companies to large government agencies are beginning the move to enterprise mobility and most have long ago abandoned the notion that it’s a bad thing. This is all good for us as mobile learning technologists, designers and developers. My current focus is on building an enterprise application for my company. I like the idea of working on internal applications for a number of reasons. First, enterprise applications can really allow you to focus on the problems you see on an every day basis within your organization. You can build an application that facilitates better communication or connectivity between employees or departments and you can boost overall collaboration by doing so. You can build an application that provides quick information for employees who need to do specific tasks. For example, your department may rely on up-t0-the-minute metrics in order to make decisions so you could build an application that shows that information at any time. And since employees are most likely to have their mobile device with them at all times, their situational awareness would be improved by using your application on their device.

If you’re an instructional person and you’re reading this, you may be struck by how much these examples and ideas sound more like performance support and productivity applications than learning applications and you would be right. Most of the thinking I do about mobile learning applications seems to come back to information delivered at the point of need or learning content that helps someone do a job. I used to think of learning and performance support as two different things. Now, I think about learning as a huge, broad container that includes performance support and all the other things that we traditionally include when we think about learning. I think there’s space for all of it with mobile learning. I find myself learning with my mobile devices out of boredom and curiosity as well as for an immediate performance-driven need. However, I seem to hear some in the instructional design community who don’t think performance support is learning. Personally, I don’t think that is an important argument to have because we should really be owning all learning and not simply what we have traditionally owned. As an employee of a company that continues to implement a mobile enterprise strategy, I will continue to think about all ways to help out, whether it’s performance support applications, informational applications or other training applications because they all help our employees do a better job and when people do a good job, they are happy. Overall, let’s own the mobile learning space, including performance support because I think we as instructional designers/developers are better equipped to do that than most others!

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