Mobile devices such as phones, netbooks and tablets have become ubiquitous because they are more affordable than ever before and capable of many more functions. They are used for surfing the Internet, chatting with family and friends, sending and receiving pictures and documents and locating places using GPS navigation appliances.
These devices can also be used for increasing knowledge. Because users carry these devices with them at all times, they can be used to access the required training material anytime, anywhere. It is not necessary to be stationary or in any particular place to get the training material.
Performance reports, in-house training and checklists can also be accessed easily by employees. They can access these during lunch, while waiting for an appointment, or anywhere else. This particular attribute is what makes mobile learning a very powerful tool for promoting training and development.
The training can be provided through Web browsers or through applications such as quizzes, texts and videos. The interface (provided through native applications) is always user friendly, allowing users to navigate easily. Security, however, is an important consideration to prevent the use of mobile applications for data theft.
The learning derived from mobile devices is of an informal nature. On-demand information – such as ebooks, articles, and blogs – can also be obtained. In the social medium, these devices can be used for creating social networks, and for providing mentoring services. For personal improvement, these mobile devices can be used to give feedback, provide reference information and engage with the learner to improve the quality of work. Game–based learning can also be imparted, helping learners develop strategic skills which can be used in different work situations.
The prices of these mobile devices have reduced dramatically in the past few years. At the same time, these gadgets have also become technologically very advanced, sought after by every individual. School teachers have also started allowing students to bring these devices to classrooms because numerous teaching applications for maths, English, handwriting and so on have been developed for these devices. A study by the Department of Education in America has found that these applications improve vocabulary by 31%.
Cloud computing is also another technique that mobile devices can use. Information such as presentations, audio and video files can be stored at a central location and accessed by mobile devices when required. Free storage can be used to the extent provided. Cloud computing is definitely the future of mobile-based applications.