The Seven Myths of Mobile Learning

Mobile Learning Conversations Webinar Recap

Webinars Comments (2)

If there was one takeaway from yesterday’s Mobile Learning Conversations webinar on the Seven Myths of Mobile Learning, it’s that there are more than seven myths of mobile learning.

Gary was up-front in stating that the myths discussed in Wednesday’s session were borrowed from Robert Gadd and his wife. Robert posted variations of these mobile learning myths at Learning Solutions Magazine. Almost two years have passed since that article was posted, but our panel of mobile learning experts – Jeff Tillett, Dr. Gary Woodill, and Chad Udell – realized that the learning community as a whole is still addressing these issues today. The following list is the myths that were the cornerstones of the conversation:

  1. Mobile content can’t be as secure as online learning content.
  2. Mobile learning content should be SCORM-compliant.
  3. Mobile learning is not as effective as either instructor-led training (ILT) or online learning.
  4. Rich media files are compelling but hard to prepare and distribute.
  5. Flash content works easily on any smartphone.
  6. You should limit the variety of mobile devices your organization supports for mobile learning.
  7. Integrating mobile learning results with other learning data can be very difficult.

Because of the conversational flow of our webinars, we invite participants to add their own thoughts. A chat ran alongside the slideshow the entire time, discussing the points brought up by Chad, Gary, and Jeff. Each paid careful attention to the chat to highlight relevant comments or answer questions. Participants were asked to add their own myths and continued to do so throughout the session.

“Mobile learning HAS to be HTML5,” Steven said. He would later add another myth, saying that, “all mobile learning needs to be optimized for Apple devices.”

“It is difficult,” Ann Gerbin added.

“mLearning is simply a matter of running an existing module through an HTML5 converter,” said Krista Allen.

Gary responded to several participants who suggested the myth that mLearning is simply eLearning on a mobile device, the topic of one of our first newsletters. “If you already do eLearning, mobile should be no sweat because it’s just the same thing on a smaller screen,” he summarized. “That’s definitely a myth.” What changes is the fact that learners can be in context and the skillsets are needed to develop in the mobile realm changes from eLearning. In fact, Gary provided a great answer for his definition of mobile learning:

For me, the critical difference between mobile learning and not mobile learning is this: that the classroom and eLearning are both taking you out of the context that you’re in order to teach you, put you in front of a screen or put you in front of an instructor. You’re not in the context that you’re learning about. Mobile may do that as well. You can certainly use it as a screen. But, the possibility with mobile is you can learn in context. That means you can be on your job, or you can be in a situation where you’re experiencing something, and now you want to know more information about it, you want to clarify some details or whatever, and it’s relevant to you. You can also see what you’re looking at and experience the situation you’re in, and get the extra information that’s available by mobile. To me, this changes things in that it’s more motivating, it’s more engaging, it’s more relevant, and people can actually act out or do things in the context they’re in, from the information they’re getting from mobile.

Make sure to sign up for the monthly Float newsletter to receive information on our next free webinar.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Please leave a comment here, or tweet using #mobilemyths and mention @floatlearning, with what myths you believe are pervasive in the industry.

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Adam Bockler is the communications manager for Float, responsible for all of Float's marketing initiatives. In addition, Adam is a certified DDP Yoga Level 1 instructor, a certified personal trainer, a martial arts instructor, and a graduate of the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy.

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On February 23, 2012
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2 Responses to The Seven Myths of Mobile Learning

  1. Anonymous says:

    I should like to add my “myth” to this article:

    “Myth: ‘Experts’ who write about the integrating new technologies into education are well versed in the challenges of managing those technologies.”

    As an IT veteran, I am somewhat taken aback by the dismissive attitude of non-IT professionals offering direction on how to manage technology.

    I would be very surprised if educators would tolerate anyone without a teaching degree, masters or doctorate to offer direction on pedagogical strategies.

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