4 Reasons why Mobile Learning is Growing

Posted on January 19, 2016

The use of mobile as a learning tool is becoming more common all over the world. The mobile learning industry is predicted to be worth over $12 billion by 2017, about half of companies and organizations already use mobile devices for training, and user surveys consistently report high satisfaction with the mobile learning experience.

2016 mobile use

The way we use smart phones has changed

Here are some of the reasons why the trend for mobile learning is continuing on an upward trajectory.

1. Smartphone Sales

Smartphone sales have grown in recent years all over the world, and that growth is continuing. Over half a billion new mobile devices were connected to cellular networks in 2015, with the vast majority being smartphones. As a result, 36 percent of the mobile devices now connected across the world are smartphones.

This information is from Cisco and is part of their widely respected Visual Networking Index. The most interesting part of the report, though, is what they predict for smartphone growth in the future. They believe that by 2020 there will be 1.5 mobile devices for every person in the world – just under 70 percent will be smartphones.

2. Smartphone Use

The way we use smartphones has also changed in recent years. Smartphones are now a part of everyday life. If you want to take a photograph, you reach for your smartphone. The same applies if you want to check the weather, find out football scores, or play games. We use them on the go, in the office, on the sofa, and even in bed.

This type of use fits perfectly with the mobile learning model, as users can complete bite-sized sections of lessons whenever and wherever they want.

3. Internet Access

The increasing trend for always-on internet access has also helped the growth of mobile learning. Five or 10 years ago people had internet access in a handful of locations – their own Wi-Fi at home, at the office, and maybe at the local Starbucks. Today phones are always connected to the internet, and Wi-Fi is everywhere.

In addition, mobile internet access is getting faster through 4G. Only 14 percent of people are connected to a 4G network around the world, but that number is growing every year. Also, when people have 4G they use the connection more – although only 14 percent of connections are 4G, they represent 47 percent of mobile internet traffic.

4. Authoring Tools

The fourth piece of the mobile learning growth puzzle is authoring tools. These tools make it easy for course creators to quickly and professionally design mobile learning courses that use a variety of different media and micro-learning techniques. These authoring tools have removed the financial or technical barriers that would be faced by many organizations trying to come up with a mobile learning solution from scratch.

With mobile learning management systems, course creators can design feature-rich courses, deploy them to multiple users anywhere in the world, and make updates or changes to the courses whenever they need to. This means the course can grow, scale, and develop with the organization’s needs, which will help to further propel the growth of mobile learning in the future.

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