After posing some questions about what constitutes a mobile learning ecosystem, I’ve continued working towards a model that can describe a mobile learning ecosystem, a task far harder than initially imagined. As has been discussed endlessly on our blog before, the future of learning is mobile. One interesting aspect I’ve noticed from my research is that organizations move on an evolutionary path as they mature in their adoption of mobile technologies that impact learning significantly. Not all organizations have come along the path equally, some are beginning, some are advanced on the way, some haven’t even started. Broadly, I think there are four stages that an organization that starts to leverage mobile technology will go through. Take this with a pinch of salt, lots of things differ and there are probably a hundred other factors that probably influence the adoption of technology and its leverage within an organization. Keeping it simple –
Stage 1 – Infancy
First mobile devices make an entry into the organizations. Enables the first connections within individuals beyond corporate communication protocols. No substantial learning is happening using the devices; the organization does nothing to support or encourage the technology and its usage. Lot of organizations are still at this stage – bunch of users of with devices, not much else.
Stage 2 – Adolescence
Mobile device penetration amongst employees rises past 70%. The app universe starts to open within the organization as more individuals start to look for computing metaphors that are aligned to mobile – essentially downloadable apps to begin with. Social networking booms as individuals use their devices to connect with each other. The organization/employer becomes interested in leveraging the device penetration – starts to experiment – a BYOD/corporate device policy is formulated.
Stage 3 – Youth
Everyone in the organization has a mobile device. The first organizational systems are made available on mobile devices (not necessarily driven by apps). Integration begins with existing corporate systems improves and several important MIS systems become mobile accessible and online. Frontline sales and market facing employees are first to see direct benefits. Learning across employees and through the organization benefits through the growth and development of social network driven by mobile devices. Clear BYOD/corporate device and security policies in place.
Stage 4 – Mature
Organization has moved to mobile completely (smartphone, tablet, cloud based systems). Organization supports full platform interoperability for systems used through mobile devices (doesn’t matter what device you have, system will work). The need for a physical co-working space diminishes. Deep collaboration amongst individuals using their mobile devices contributes significantly to learning. With devices being used for documentation and content generation, content for learning is widespread across the network with a large impact on user behavior. In mature organizations, the focus will probably have moved from providing content, to providing tools that enable job performances.
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