In an increasingly “on-demand” society, you want to give learners every opportunity to complete training whenever and wherever they please, and elearning is the ultimate way to accomplish this. Elearning courses are available 24/7 and thanks to advances in mobile technology, now you don’t even need a desktop or laptop computer to train. This opens up a world of training opportunities – especially for learners who don’t sit at a desk in a traditional office environment 40 hours a week.
For skilled tradesmen like contractors, plumbers and electricians, mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in job training and safety. These workers have incredibly busy schedules. Whether they’re on the construction site, traveling or in meetings, their time is limited and in an industry that relies heavily on training to ensure safety on-the-job, it is so important that they are able to train in meaningful ways. A recent post on Tradesman Insights found that because contractors and tradesmen spend so much time on the job site they rely heavily on smartphones or tablets. Mobile phones are increasingly more valuable to people. You might be surprised to learn what people will give up for a week in order to keep their mobile phone, according to a Bersin & Associates presentation on Mobile and Informal Learning Trends for 2012:
- Brushing teeth 22%
- Exercise 54%
- Caffeine 55%
- Something I won’t say here 33% (check page 13 of the presentation to see)
BlueVolt goes mobile
At BlueVolt, we’ve always been interested in how we can better serve tradesmen. So we’ve been hard at work to make training more accessible on-the-go. We rolled out our HTML5 mobile interface last fall. This means that BlueVolt’s elearning users can access interactive courses, quizzes and videos from any mobile device (such as a smartphone or tablet) that has a data or Wi-Fi connection. And, because the interface uses HTML5, mobile content remains dynamic without relying on Adobe Flash software, which isn’t supported by many mobile devices. But just because a learning management system is ‘mobile’ doesn’t mean the courses and content will work best on mobile devices. The content needs to be converted or created especially to take advantage of mobile technology. We have optimized several of our customers’ courses to be mobile-friendly.
Tablets gain momentum
But it’s not just tradesmen who are relying more heavily on their mobile devices. Consider this: more than 3/4 of the world’s population are mobile subscribers. While many of these subscribers might not have smartphones, the impact that mobile has on our world is only going to continue increase. And a recent Gartner report shared on ITPRO showed that people are using tablets for more and more activities they used to perform on desktop and laptop computers and even mobile phones:
- 81% check email
- 69% read the news
- 63% find the weather forecast
- 62% social networking
- 60% gaming
On average, one in three respondents used their media tablets to read a book, compared with 13% for mobile PCs, and seven percent for mobile phones. It’s not difficult to see the trend to mobile will apply to online learning.
Staying on top of the trend and providing learners access to training and marketing materials through their mobile devices and tablets will certainly have a positive effect on your training program.
What do you think? Would you be more inclined to participate in online training if you could access courses on-the-go from your smartphone?
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon on Flickr