Learning on the Go: Mobile learning grows up

Mobile learning is experiencing a perfect storm that creates the ideal environment for growth. When we combine sophisticated mobile devices like the iphone and ipad, the Kindle, and all their competitors, with workers who spend hours each day engaged with their mobile devices at work and at home, and with new applications being developed by the minute, we create the perfect opportunity for unprecedented growth. According to the Maisie Organization, Mobile learning is growing, but certainly not reaching its potential:

  1. 24% of respondents currently deploy some mobile learning in their organizations.
    The most common transactions on a mobile device currently include placing and
    receiving organizational phone calls (98%), emails (91%), and text messages (83%).
  2.  Many use mobile devices for writing/word processing (68%) and to deploy audio
    podcasts (63%).
  3. 73% of mobile learning today is not integrated with an LMS.
  4.  52% of respondents use in-house resources to develop mobile learning.
  5. 53% of mobile learning initiative funding comes from a Training department.

How might organizations and education institutions use mobile learning in the future?  Provide links or examples of current applications and also ideas for new ways that we can benefit from mobile learning.

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66 comments

  • Excellent byte of information. Without revealing corporate strategy, we are utilizing mobile devices in training on an epic scale. I personally have used a mobile device to pilot a personal project (pro bono), to develop training for a non-profit. I’ve utilized intuition for a cost http://www.intuition.com/knowledge-technology/mobile/, and Aurasma (augmented reality) which is free https://www.aurasma.com/.

  • Linda
    Reading your blogs about the use of modle apps in the health care field made me curious so I asked a friend who works at a Nursing Home. According to her they have recently received blackberries to keep up with things like emails, she can do all the discharge information, patient education and medication info. Incident reports, wound round information can be tracked, treatment plans and more. They can also use the mobile device to take pictures on certain days. This was exciting for me to hear this and I remembered your background was in this field.
    She said that she prefer to use her desktop to do all of these things but just the thought that mobile apps are available is why I am posting here.

  • I think it’s really interesting that mobile learning or mLearning is toted as being the ‘next big thing’ and yet people still can’t figure out what it is exactly and it seems to be recognized as stand along learning as opposed to part of a greater source of learning. My friend attended ASTD’s conference this year and kept posting on FB insights she was hearing from the conference. As much as I like technology, the dialogue that was occurring was frightening to me. I feel that if mobile learning is expanded and misunderstood individuals will be less capable of advancing in their careers and more likely to learn only what they need to know. I think it’s important to look at mLearning and mSupport as parts of a whole training process. Mobile learning can be used to reinforce learning in the classroom or on the job. It is also great to use as a refresher for previously executed training.
    I also think it’s interesting that this article discusses the use of the PSP and the Nintendo DS as mLearning devices. Most of the conversations regarding mLearning are around mobile phones including this one: http://blog.wslash.net/not-elearning-customer-education/bid/49203/On-Demand-Learning-and-Performance-LCBQ I agree with many of the challenges and constraints of using mobile devices and even the iPad. There are issues with the use of flash, with visibility and lack of interaction. I never thought about the use of these gaming systems as mobile learning devices. I understand that the push to use mobile devices is from a logical standpoint (other business uses as well) but I think having devices specifically for business learning is a great concept. These devices can enhance training through simulations, audio as well as content. They are also slightly bigger than a phone and allow for better visibility.
    I think this article does a great job of summing up the ways we can use mLearning in workplace learning. http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/2010/12/09/three-ways-to-use-mobile-devices-in-workplace-learning/
    Here is one website I found with some examples of mLearning – quite old actually (when you consider technology – 2008) but I think it’s interesting to look at where the applications were at in 2008 and where they are now. http://inhandlearning.com

    • After finishing this post, I googled ‘how can i make my own Nintendo DS game’ and I came across this website: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Nintendo-DS-Games Which makes creating my own DS game a potential reality. After scanning the instructions I had to force myself to go to bed (after bookmarking the page, of course.)
      If anyone has time on their hands and the interest to do it – let me know how it goes. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to find the time to do this but I really want to.

    • Linda S. Griffin

      Jessica, thanks for your input. I understood fully your point on mobile learning and its limitations. I’m not a technology advocate at all but I think mobile learning really does not limit a person if the application chosen is geared towards learning. I think mobile learning apps will give the same posibility for advancement as any other technology. I didnt quite understand when you was discussing your friends encounter on FB. Was her information limiting ?

    • The article on “On Demand Learning was interesting”. As the article stated mlearning brings the learning directly to us as opposed to us going to the learning ways of old. With all of the devices we are in possession of we can be using them for learning opportunities that so many are not aware of. As we talk mostly about workplace learning most of the information can be applied to the smaller type businesses and new businesses for learning opportunities also. Thanks for the links.

  • One other comment…. I found it interesting in Dr. Iverson’s points that 73% of mobile learning is not tied to LMS. Honestly, I don’t know enough about either to know why that statistic is what it is and was curious if anyone knew…is it just as simple as there is no correlation or way to monitor mLearning through LMS?

  • I opted to read the “Japan article” and had a couple of points. After I read it, I needed to go back to the beginning to see when this was written. Interestingly it was before the iPad and those other tablet devices were “born.” In my position, all of our marketing consultants are equipped with iPads; they way they can and will use it is in its infancy. I always come back to…how can my instruction be designed in such a way that they can utilize it on the iPad. The iPad, if you don’t know, is very light, portable, and has an extremely long batter life. While my organization is not there just yet; even the instrucitonal videos we producee can not be used on the iPad yet (something to do with Flash not compatible with iPad), I kind of get excited at what could be developed at some point, given the investment is made. Currently, we are experimenting and will rollout soon, the ability to use some iPad apps for the marketing consultant to capture signatures on the iPad. We are using a sort of cloud technology to be able to pull documents “down” in order for them to be accessible. I’m really excited about this project and to get more information as I design the curriculum. I think of the games that can be played on the iPad and think…why not for us?

    Lastly, and as a humorous side note/observation. I didn’t pay attention to the gender of the author(s) of this article until I got to one certain point: the analogy was made about reading a newspaper…I knew automatically it was a man!

  • I think it is clear that m-Learning is no longer the future and is here to stay. Over this past 4th of July weekend, I was able to boot-up my netbook, connect to mobile broadband and participate in my Learning Technologies class while my husband drove us to vacation property in Southern Illinois. We traveled to a location that barely receives cell phone signal. Yet, my mobile broadband is strong enough there for me to participant in class from a very remote location with very few amenities.

    Just think of the possibilities!

    Education and learning opportunities are no longer going to be limited by geography. It will be as easy to provide a high level educational program to a city dweller as it will be to rural America. Yet, one thing to consider is not only the technology, but also the infrastructure to support the programs and applications to interface with m-Learning.
    An interesting Illinois initiative that I am currently involved with is STEM Learning Exchanges in the State of Illinois. The following link is a PowerPoint that describes the project, Building Illinois STEM Pathways to College and Career Readiness http://www.illinoisworknet.com/NR/rdonlyres/409D2E81-9387-4437-BD4C-C395070546EA/4853/BuildingILStemPathwaysPresentation_April28_2012.pdf This is a somewhat large PowerPoint, providing background information on building STEM Pathways.
    Specific information on the Learning Exchange starts on slide 107. The Learning Exchange is “to be hosted on a proposed cloud computing-based Learning and Performance Management System as a web-based portal linked to shared data systems.”

    We will begin seeing more and more about the cloud, as competition heats up between Microsoft and Google. http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/28/cloud-showdown-microsoft-vs-google/?section=money_technology With the expansion of technology, the possibilities of mobile learning is endless.

    • Thanks for the info this was very interesting. I was not familiar with STEM at all

      • I know isn’t itaazing Susan.

        Question: Did you file this post on your mobile device? A couple things about the mobile device just fundamentally though: I get frustrated looking at the small screen for too long. What’s your tolerance for working in such a small medium for long periods of time. Also, did all the pages come through in BlackBoard enough for you to work effectively. Also, I find animation still in issue on my BlackBerry, so I still default to my computer and would not work in the mobile learning environmentif i didn’t have to.

      • Linda,

        I actually opted not to get a SmartPhone and went with a netbook for all the reasons you mentioned. I have a simple phone with a QWERTY key board for texting and then use my netbook for all of my other Internet applications.

    • Alright ahlrigt alright that’s exactly what I needed!

  • Cindy Barrymore

    I have to tell you that I’m still a little iffy on the aspect of m-Learning—at least in certain devices like the BlackBerry, which is so small and cumbersome to type on that I can’t why it’s being deemed effective because I know when I have to search the Internet sometimes I get a little frustrated that the device itself isn’t always friendly toward video and certain other interactive graphics. Nevertheless, a couple of companies I’ve worked for are using because there’s no better alternative. And I guess that’s why certain ideas get implemented: because something is better than nothing. When I was working as an editor on team that prepared sales materials for sales reps who work in the field, we were working on preparing product information that could be given to sales folks to help them answer certain technical questions that they weren’t required to learn but nevertheless the information was helpful in helping them sell a product or sealing the sale in some way.

    Brochures also accompanied them, but sometimes product information was updated, which made the brochure a bit outdated. Or the brochure would try to present general information while the just-in-time aspect was similar to how the article talked about the flexibility of Kotodama in that sales reps were able to tailor presentations by presenting items they’d learned via the mobile devices. Products constantly being updated and added to the company’s inventory, so those were also delivered to mobile devices so that salespeople could learn on the fly and not have to worry about coming to the office to gather valuable information about products while with a client. This Black & Decker case study talks about some of the aspects of just-in-time learning that I’ve encountered in my consultant work: http://www.slideshare.net/certpoint/certpoint-e-learning-age-mobile-learning

    • I liked the quote in your posted article that reads “We had our first mobile learning 70 years ago. Okay, it was a classroom in a bus…” When I was working in telecom, the company built a central office simulation lab in a semi-trailer to transport training to remote areas of the region. And I would agree with the article, we can study many subjects andd components through m-Learning, but until we actually hold it in our hands we won’t truly understand or appreciate what we learned online.

    • M Learning has it advantages and its pitfalls. I do have a problem trying to toggle on my mobile phone. Sometimes the graphics is a little less desirable. I know these issue will be addressed and technology will advance these issue. I just like having the option of using my phone or my workstation to get work done. It does become a problem when I need to look at other documents to answer questions.

    • I agree when it comes to using a Blackberry, on mine I am still unable to view videos and it does get frustrating. I am looking forward to updating my BB very soon!

      • Jennifer
        I am still learning all of the technical terms for learning technologies. I just realized that I actually use my Blackberry sometimes to retrieve my email messages and I can actually respond. My previous phone had videos, email, and a lot more that I could not figure out. What do you mean when you say you are going to update your BB? Is it just a matter of getting apps downloaded to your phone? Or do you have to get a new one?

    • The certpoint article mentioned about mlearning going back 70 years. Can you imagine that? Learning on a bus was considered mobile learning. How far we have come and the opportunities are so real and limitless. Good article. Thanks for sharing.

  • Here is another great article I found,
    http://wowmobilemadness.com/japan-leads-the-mobile-technology-market/

    This was the part of the article that stuck out to me Sandy said, “So while people in Europe, Australasia and the Americas are getting excited about the fact that the new 3G iPhone allows for multiple tabs, the Japanese are using their phones as “e-wallets” to make over-the-counter payments, as commuter passes, in health control, and as digital TV and music players. Some can even transfer videos from Blu-ray recorders and are equipped with voice-to-text translation features.”

    I never knew that they were using their phones to make payments! I know here on the iPhone you can deposit but hopefully this mobile technology will come to us soon!

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I don’t know if this is the same thing or not as in Japan but I say I women using an iPhone App to pay in Starbucks in Atlanta, GA.

      • YES! I have that application on my iPhone to pay for Starbucks and to have my boarding pass when I go through security and when I board the plane…Perfect…when they work. Depending on the network and such, there are times when the screen is loading forever or I can’t get it to load at just the right time. So, although those are pretty cool in concept, for me I go the “old fashioned” route just to make sure I’m not inconveniencing someone behind me because the screen is slow to load.

      • Very cool I did not know they already had something like that!

    • There are so many mobile apps on the market today and a lot of them are free. We have only seen the beginning of what cell phones can do. Your cell phone can be a hot spot to connect multiple devices to the Internet or you can make deposits to your bank account by taking a picture of your check and sending it to your bank. We are going to see a big increase in mobile payment applications in the very near future.

    • Jennifer, we have “e-wallet” programs, too. I think Chase Bank is one of the leaders in this field. Right now, you can take a picture of an endorsed check (made out to you, of course) showing the routing and account numbers and send it to your bank, and they will deposit it into your account. Kinda cool, huh?

      You an also depocit cash into their ATMs without the deposit envelop.

  • Here is some information that I found about mobile learning in the US. We are behind Japan, but hopefully we will catch up soon.

    iTunes has iTunes-u which contains educational materials that can be downloaded and viewed on iPad, iPhone, or your computer.
    http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/
    There is a large collection of items that can be subscribed to or downloaded, they vary from teaching preschoolers some basic skills, to algebra, and business skills. There are also games and photos that can be purchased.

    This is an interesting article from Scholastic that beings together mobile learning and some of the other topics that we have been talking about in recent weeks.
    http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3754742

    • I am sorry, I did not read Sonia’s post, before I posted this.

      • No worries, Jan. I am glad you found the same informant as I did 🙂

        Some much can be found online, it is really amazing.

        Sonia

    • Jan:

      I like your Scholastic article. That’s all my nephew knows is video games and computer. The problem I see with us being so inundated with so much technology — and i see this in my nephew — is that some traditional types of learning are deemed boring and therefore rendered ineffective.

      My nephew has to constantly be ON! He doesn’t like to read his books. Even though the advanced technology touched in your article example is not used as widespread in his school, I can see he is somewhat addicted to thinking and learning interactively. I think if the lessons were more interactive and technology driven, he may be might embrace school more.

  • Here is a blog article I found about the Educational Technology Trade Show in London.
    http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/mlearning2011-whatsnew

    Mobile technology has become such a large part of our lives now, it has come to the point where we can be on a plane or riding in a car or train and be able to have all the same access as having a computer. With the iPad we can read books, check email, write documents, check our social networks I would consider getting one if I would have more use for it for work purposes otherwise it would be a huge distraction!

    • Interesting article. I’m glad folks are remembering the developing countries. But it sounds like these researchers are having the same issue that Negroponte was having with the $100 laptop. Plus, where in the world would they get a signal. The villages are so remote, they probably only communicate with each other, so n actual need for a mobile phone.

  • Here is an interesting article I found on Mobile Learning in the UK at the BETT trade show
    http://www.ictdev.org/pulse/20110216/bett/mobile-learning-developing-countries-2011-whats-new-whats-next

    Where I work there is no use for mobile learning, however if I had a job where I was required to travel than mobile learning would come into great use and I would consider investing in an iPad. Just the thought of being able to plan meetings, write documents, check email, do classwork on blackboard, etc. The use of mobile phones has come so far from just a couple of years ago it is crazy and I can just imagine what will come out next. I just read that Apple is already in the works for a new iPhone this fall.

  • I think organizations can use mobile learning to help give their employees a choice in how the want to learn. I think mobile learning is an importent component of the learning process, however I do not see it as a replacement for it. I think the more options you have for an employee and the more you can tailor to individuals will not only lead to a more productive & happy employee but it will also increase employee engagement.

    I know there has been some discusion on the iPad. I just discovered iTunes U which is a really cool way for universities, libraries, museums, etc. to share information publicly or with it’s members. The Apple site does a much better job of discussing it, so I encourage you to take a look at
    http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/whats-on.html
    I am exploring it now, and there is some great free stuff on there. I found some great videos on Basic Animal Care Science. I looked at Boston College and you can access lectures, concerts, interviews, reading, etc. all for free. There are also tons over 80 free videocasts from Harvard Business Review. I also did a search for mobile learning and came up with 54 different items just under iTunes U anf there were more under the apps for the iPhone & iPad. I also found some courses to learn a new language. It is not just video, I found books & printable .pdfs. Now where will I find the time for all of this great stuff?

    • One more thing, I apologize for my spelling. I thought my spell check was on and it was not.

      • Hi Sonia,
        No need to apologize. You shared some interesting information. I saw a segment one of the news shows about how the iPad was being used to teach small children.

      • Hi Sonia,
        I wanted to add to my comment about the news segment- which relates to the point that you opened your comments how choice in how learn. The discussion of the segment was the iPAD a useful tool or an expensive toy-were children really learning better with the iPAd than other methods. Thanks.

      • Roxanne,

        That is an excellent observation. I let my nieces and nephews play with my iPhone and iPad when I am visiting them. They love it. I think children in general are more adaptable than adults when it comes to new technology. What is nice about the iPad is that it is so portable. You can use it to read books and magazines, play learning games, etc. There are so many cool apps for children and if you are out to dinner with children, it is an easy distraction for them to use and play & learn quietly while waiting for the food to come. I think it can be a very powerful tool.

    • I agree with you on it not be a replacement and a good way for employers to tailor an employees needs because so far I’ve only really seen PDAs used by sales forces only because they’re in the field and need really fast access and portable device to access information quickly. I really understand why it’s booming in Japan because the devices are so small that they’re really hard on the eyes and keyboarding is cumbersome.

      The one thing I think about more so is the use of social media for learning, but really I see more viability in that more so than phone devices. Yet American companies have been slow to embrace both as a learning tool.

  • With Japan’s dominance over technology, including the cell phone industry, it was not surprising to read how advanced their mobile apps were five years ago when this article was written. New phones are developed and software written for them years before the phones are sold in the United States. I can only imagine where they are today.

    I can see how resourceful mobile apps can be for learning. Devices using mobile apps are portable and are accessible at any time. Learning can take place on the train ride in and home from work, while waiting at the salon or barber shop, at the doctor’s office and any other time waiting takes place. With m-Learning, you are not confined to a computer. You can literally learn as you go any time, any where.

    According to a report by the U.S. Department of Education: “Japanese society is education-minded to an extraordinary degree. Their literacy rate is near 100 percent. (http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=833&catid=23&subcatid=150). It is only fitting that their emphasis on education combined with their advancement in technology, being able to learn 24/7 is a priority.

    Mobile learning in the United States has not advanced to the degree it has in Japan. However, it is not in the Stone Age either. The information on this website provides insight as to where we are with mobile learning. http://floatlearning.com/blog/. Regardless of where we learn, in the classroom, e-Learning or m-Learning, we must emphasize the importance of education in this country. We have fallen behind other countries in education. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/us-falls-in-world-education-rankings_n_793185.html. If we are to compete, we must reform education in the United States. For those who are now aware of the urgency in this matter, I strongly encourage you to watch the movie “Waiting for Superman”. It was truly an eye opener for me.

    • Hi Irene,

      Thank you so much for sharing those articles and statistics. I agree that we need to get back to the fundamentals of what is important- that is eduction- otherwise we can not compete with other countries.

      What appeals to me the most about mobilie learning is the performance support. In the Embracing Mobile Learning blog that you shared, the author wrote- “performance support mobile learning is information that results in your learners doing their job more effectively. It is learning at the time of need that can have positive results.”

      You wrote about being able to access the information anywhere any time and not being tied to a computer- what are your thoughts on the peformance support aspect?

      Does the company where you are employed use any type of mobile learning? Have you personally experienced mobile learning?

      • The company I worked for does not have mobile learning as an option at the present. However, I can see how useful it can be in the future. Performance support, learning at the time of need, can be way to ensure retention of information. If you attend a training session and everything is presented at that time, chances are you will forget much of what you learned. However, if information is learned when needed then immediately applied, knowledge transfer and retention are at very high levels.

    • Hi Irene,
      Thanks for sharing the links! We do not use mobile learning at my workplace but I do use my phone for learning purposes all the time. It is a shame how far behind we are with these other countries it’s kind of scary to think of where those other countries will stand 5 years from now and where we will be with mobile learning.

  • Hi Sue,
    In the healthcared industry- it is so important to have access to information- patients expect it, healthcare workers need it. Information changes so rapidly!

    I found some more interesting information about the use of mobile technology in pharma.

    Pharmaceutical companies are dramatically increasing investments in new and innovative offerings to meet the demands of a patient-empowered, data-driven, outcomes-focused future in health care. In the last year alone, the investment in smart phone apps, educational websites, social media platforms, wireless devices and other programs increased 78%, as companies shifted from simply producing new medicines to demonstrating improvements in health outcomes and creating innovative new business models. This evolution is being driven both by rapid advancements in health care technology and health care’s lack of sustainability globally.

    Source: Ernst & Young (n.d.). Progressions: Building Pharma 3.0 Implementing Change. Retrieved on June 29 from http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Industries/Life-Sciences/Progressions–building-Pharma-3-0—Implementing-change

  • The use of mobile learning devices in Japan, Korea,Taiwan, and China, are experiencing great success with almost 100% of college students and working adults having mobile phones for communications and learning (Learning Solutions, e-magazine, 9-11-2006, p. 1). Mobile devices are being used more in places as those mentioned above but should be used more in the U.S. Case studies show that the use of the mlearning devices are responsible for many things including learning. Games on hand held devices (phones) have been documented for increasing brain power (p. 3). M-learning devices are being used for motivated learners. See Blackboard Mobile Learn devices at http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Mobile/Products/Mobile-Learn.aspx.
    Students Create Mobile Learning Applications for Google Android. Read about it by using this link
    http://cs.illinois.edu/news/2010/Jan12-2

    • Hi Darlene,
      Do you have any experience with mobile learning with blackberry or android? If so, I was wondering how you thought it compared with other delivery modalities in terms of effectiveness, ease of use- did you learn anything- would you say all the objectives were meet- were you bother by a smaller screen size?

      Thanks so much.

      • Hi Roxanne
        No experience with m-learning, blackberry nor android. I am strictly in a learning environment in TRDV450. I am reading a lot and of couirse I am living through you and the others in class with the live examples, etc. After this class I will be all the better and will be able to become hands on with several apps, programs, you name it. Thanks for asking.

      • Hi Darlene,
        Thank you so much. Perhaps one of our colleagues has some experience and can share. The training department where I am employed is currently conducting a pilot wiht the iPad as a delivey modality. I am not a member of that project team.

      • I have used Blackboard Mobile on my iPhone and iPad. I really like the one on my iPhone. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Nashville at offsite meetings, it was very easy to check in on everyone’s posts to the class forum and respond, throughout the day during breaks. On the iPad, I haven’t used it that much. This is because I can use the web and it is my preference to do that instead of using an app. However, web or app, it certainly made caching up on everyone’s comments much easier during that week.

      • Hi Sonia,
        Thanks for sharing your experience. Based on your positive recommendations, I will to try that App.

    • Hi Darlene,

      Thanks for the information. I am curious to see what Blackboard Mobile Learn does. The information sharing in this class is fantastic. I have learned so much. It is impossible to keep up with technology today that is why sharing our knowledge with each other is a very important part of this learning experience.

      • I agree with you Irene. I am really learning a lot from you all. I am making a list of all the apps mentioned in class. I know I won’t use them all but I am going to make an attempt to see them all in action. Probably not until after this class because of time constraints. Thanks for keeping me in the loop. Thanks to all of you, my classmates.

  • Thanks to both Linda and Roxanne for sharing information about mobile devices and healthcare. It’s interesting to see how different industries are adopting mobile technology in unique ways, showing that there is no “one size fits all” for mobile applications.

  • Relative to the industry where I work, mobile learning can be used in the future to provide remote access to training materials and vital information as needed, can promote collaboration, and is uniquely suited to the geographically diverse workforce involved in research and clinical trials.

    I found interesting article that discuss uses for mobile learning in the future:
    “Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Learning” by Lisa Ryan (2007) http://e-articles.info/e/a/title/Advantages-and-Disadvantages-of-Mobile-Learning/

    The author discusses using m-learning as a means of performance support in that learners are essentially provided job-aids in the context of their work via the mobile device- “ m-Learning solutions integrate mobile devices with the work to help the user perform a task by providing information, guidance, and learning experiences when and where they are needed.” The author writes the advantages of this are that training and performance support are available where the actual work takes place; training can occur when needed and it allows new skills or knowledge to be applied immediately- learners are not taken away from their job to learn new information- they can look up information when it is needed.

    The author also believes that m-learning can be used as communication in that learners have access to experts and a community of practice can be built.

    • My organization just concluded its annual conference, and it was our first venture into a mobile app for those attending the conference. It contained a schedule builder, information on educational sessions (including copies of PPT presentations), and general venue resources. While the number of attendees downloading the app was limited (approximately 400 out of nearly 5000 attendees), you have to start somewhere. One limitation that I am curious about is the availability of high-speed internet access. In areas such as conference centers, this is still somewhat problematic. I’d be interested to hear about the Japanese infrastructure versus US. Is Japan internet access provided by the government, or by private companies (such as in the US)? I may do some research and report back.

      • Hi Sue,
        Thank you so much for sharing your experience. What was the feedback from the 400 that could use the app? Did they find it useful? Did they find it beneficial tool for learning?
        I agree- connectivity makes all the difference in the world- between a positive and negative experience!

        Thanks so much.

      • Sue, please do report back on that. I would be interested to know. Your job sounds very interesting.

    • Can you imagine how useful mobile learning would be to people who spend all of their working time in the field? Instead of trying to attend a scheduled training class they can use their mobile devices. We are truly in a new era of learning.

      • I am one of those that travels about 75% of the time. This is such a great thing that is happening. My company doesn’t currently offer it, however I do have one cell phone for work and the other for my personal use. So it would be very easy since my company takes security issues very seriously.

  • Linda S. Griffin

    My organizatipn has begin to use Mobile Apps to provide daily updates for physicians that who are normally to busy to sit down toa computer or read a newspaper. We are also using apps to help physicians run their practices for instant HIT (Health Information Technology)

    • Hi Linda,

      Thank you so much for sharing how your organization uses mobile apps.

      The organization where I am employed has several apps for various Merck Manuals (http://www.unboundmedicine.com/products/merck_manual_mobile_web) and three aimed specifically at disease management-cancer, migraine, and diabetes (http://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/viewpoints/business-intelligence/cio-network/your-health-merck-has-an-app-for-that.aspx).

      What has the response been to the mobile apps? Has the company collected any metrics?

      The training department where I am employed is currently conducting a pilot to determine how to employ the iPad as a delivery modality.

      I found an interesting article about the use of mobile technology in pharma- Opportunities: Advancing the Pharmaceutical Industry Through Mobile Technologies (An ArcStream Solutions White Paper)-http://www.clarity-consulting.com/advancing_the_pharma_industry.htm

      The author writes ” Mobile solutions are fast becoming mainstream throughout the healthcare industry. From medical students to physicians and pharmacists, mobile solutions are appearing everywhere. This acceptance is hardly surprising given the overwhelming opportunities to gain breakthrough improvements from mobile applications. For pharmaceutical companies, mobile applications can increase the effectiveness of detail visits, improve the efficiency of the R&D process, speed clinical trials and streamline internal operations.”

      • I also work with a healthcare-related organization, and one of the directives of Healthcare Reform is practicing “evidence based medicine,” in which protocols for various procedures are established. The Learning Solutions discussion of technologies employed in Japan, particularly the CanGo project for nurses. I think this is a very practical and realistic use of technology for m-learning.

      • We have measured through our Market Research department the click rate and the open rate of the moble apps and measured them against before the apps were established and it has taking thingsa to a new high. Members are using our website more because they do not have to be stationed to do so.

      • It allows people in the healthcare business to get information on the go. It helps doctors respond back to nurses who are have questions about patients. The mobile apps are amazing

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