Raise the Bar Co-Founder and Director, Steve Smith, looks at how smartphones and technology are revolutionising the learning of the future.
Try taking your teenager’s phone away from them and you will realise how fundamental it is to their lives – the same will be true for learners. The fact is, whether you like it or not, our phones are here to stay, for us as learners and also for the learners of the future.
Since Steve Jobs first launched the iPhone in 2006 we have seen exponential advances in what we can achieve with our phones and, although it has taken a while for many tasks, the smartphone is the device of choice – being quicker, simpler and better looking as an option than a desktop. Many sectors have seen the shift towards a smartphone and now the same is true in learning.
“In no way am I suggesting that the phone replaces traditional learning, but the blend is crucial to ensure ongoing learning.”
So, what are the key trends that will be important for us in a world of learning?
Again, to quote one of the pioneers of mobile development – Steve Jobs announced the iPod in 2001 with the immortal words “a thousand songs in your pocket” and back then Jobs turned the iPod into a gateway to access music; the same can be said for app development in learning.
Why wouldn’t the learner have access to all of the information needed to aid their development in one place if they needed it? This is where we can enable the smartphone to improve ROI on face to face learning. More and more we work with our clients to deliver the upfront theory and relevant models prior to the learning session so that the ‘classroom portion’ can be focused on real life, practical application rather than wasting time on theories and models in this valuable time precious and expensive workshop environment.
This is a boom area and the implications to learning for us are huge – as long as we embrace it. Again, if you have a tool that connects you with other learners and allows you to interact with experts, senior leaders and with your trainer surely this is a brilliant way of keeping the learning alive, promoting peer to peer action learning and embedding ideas and behaviours to make it stick.
The challenge with this space, as with so many social media apps out there, is to keep the learning element through one login to make it easy for the learner. As with the repository of information, this is so much more powerful if it is one click away from a live network of people using this resource.