From e-learning to m-learning

Companies and educational organizations succumb to their advantages

E-learning has arrived to stay and to continue growing. Today it is going through its 2.0 web phase, evolving from traditional applications into apps oriented towards the final consumer. In this version, there are spaces of exchange enriched with images, audio, and video.

Initially limited to the use of internet, CD ROMs, disquettes (1.0 e-learning), it quickly embraced the new technologies and today it is not uncommon to talk about mobile learning (m-learning).

Whereas e-learning will remain the generic name given to virtual distance education, we can today refer to new spaces for learning as m-learning, given its introduction to new spaces, as it enables people to ‘unplug’ themselves from their desks and computers and connects them with information resources from any device they may choose to use, no matter where they may be.

Smartphones, tablets, PCs, laptops, ipods, or pocket PCs are today a part of formal education as well as corporate training and instruction; favouring collaborative work while utilizing chat applications, data transfer among users, and teaming up with social media platforms in order to facilitate exchange and research among peers, and also providing forums where to find information and stay updated.

Learning relates not only to activities done within a classroom or an auditorium at a company, but also to being able to access information, relevant content, and collaborative tools.

It concerns having an integrated system  which deliver an unified message, automatically updated, to all target users and at the same time, be they local, regional, or global; and who, will also be able to revise, assimilate, and interact.

Apart from that, interactive technology makes it possible to recreate real worlds within the virtual orbit and to generate, for example, amazing kinetic simulators because of their level of realism and results.

From the corporative point of view, it provides training and instruction tools in real time, aligning everybody involved on the value chain of the product / service along one direction and at the same time, if desired. Or rather, generating virtual spaces for each participant to find resources for specific training pertinent to the stage in their career.

Further more, the savings both in commuting and  time consumption made possible by the recourse of ubiquitous training, these new technologies make it so that the employees may optimize their?  understanding and ability to remember; and so that the company may improve the quality and distribution of contents.

Ranging from WW product launching to induction programmes, corporate training, and formal courses of study, 2.0 e-learning brings not just mobility, ubiquity, immediacy, and continuous updating; but it facilitates the creation of libraries  with written and audiovisual documents,  ludic and simulated contents through cloud storage: all resources which will become a base for permanent reference, and turn learning into a more complete and enriching experience.

Therefore, the company will gain in agility, unification, and accessibility to information; as well as achieve a better following of its employees’ formation progress, and learn how to better motivate them and measure results. It will reduce operative costs by avoiding unnecessary commutes, and by promoting discussion boards and the use of social media, it will encourage better and greater integration between peers beyond any time-space-cultural frontier.

The same will happen with formal education: schools and universities will see an increase in the registration of students and will gain in reach and efficiency in the administration of the courses, degrees, and students. They shall also advance towards social inclusion, giving opportunities to those who didn’t use to have them -be that because of distance, handicap, geographic limitations (weather, topography, etc.), etc.

Today 96% of traditional universities include e-learning in their teaching methods; 76% of teachers think that social networks are part of the pedagogic system.

75% of the budget allocated to training is the potential saving for companies which train and instruct their workforce through e-learning, and statistics show that 60% of employees who are trained feel more motivated in their positions.

Whichever its denomination may be: b-learning (blend learning), u-learning (ubiquitous learning), m-learning (mobile learning), or e-learning; it is here to stay and to continue to evolve into the next 3.0 step…

Let’s let technology surprise us… but let us not get left behind by it.

Adriana Ferro

Director/ Digital Live Learning (DLL)

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