I have a desktop in front of me, but I still reach for mobile to learn

Posted on March 15, 2016

We all do it every day - reach for a mobile phone to do or check something, even though you are sitting in front of a computer. In fact you probably take your hands off the mouse and keyboard in order to pick up your phone! People do this when it comes to mobile learning too.

Understanding the reasons of why we do this will help you refine your mobile learning strategy and deliver more effective mobile learning courses.


10 reasons why people use a mobile phone to learn, even though they have a desktop computer right in front of them.

  1. Mobiles are Familiar Most people are more confident using a mobile phone than they are using a computer. The interface is more familiar because they use it all day, every day. Computers, on the other hand, are often only used for particular applications related to work. It is not unusual for a person to leave a computer on a Friday afternoon and not look at one again until they get back into work on a Monday morning. During that time they will use their phone continuously.

  2. Physical experience Desktops feel more detached than mobile phones. We work at a computer, but with a phone you get immersed in the app. Touching, swiping and pinching to zoom, are all actions that make a phone feel more personal.

  3. Continuity You can use your mobile phone for learning anywhere. This leads to people using phones everywhere, even when they have other options.

  4. Ease of use A phone is easier to use than a computer. You just have to open the app and you’re started.

  5. Navigation Navigation is simpler and more intuitive on mobile phones. This is generally one of the reasons why people choose mobiles over desktops, as well as for mobile learning.

  6. More engaging People like interacting, engaging and sharing, and they do it more often when they use a mobile phone than on a desktop.

  7. Faster Mobile phones work faster than computers. You don’t have to wait on internet connections or software loading in the same way that you do on a desktop. Also, mobiles are always on, unlike desktops.

  8. Bite size, and feels less like a chore This goes back to a previous point about desktops being used for work while phones are part of everyday life. Going through a mobile learning course is more fun and feels less like work than doing it on a desktop. Also, mobile learning feels more naturally bite-sized, which encourages users to engage more often.

  9. Less distractions On a computer there are a lot more distractions that can get in the way of learning, such as your mail account open in a browser.

  10. More up-to-date Updates made on mobile learning courses are pushed to users’ phones immediately. This gives your users confidence that they are always accessing the most up-to-date information.


The use of mobile devices continues to increase. This will deepen the integration into everyday life, making mobile learning an even more important tool in your organisation.

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