Learning on the Run: The Ups and Downs of Mobile Applications


If you own a cell phone, you are learning on the run. Mobile applications have allowed us to access information, play games, and, yes, learn more than we ever thought possible. Mobile applications are both liberating and disrupting us at the same time.

Though we can access these applications at any time, from anywhere, they can often be a distraction to our work at hand. How many people are guilty of playing Angry Birds in a staff meeting, pretending that they are answering some critical email? The reason for the distraction factor may stem from the way in which some of these applications are being developed. Too many apps are designed for fun, with little thought into the opportunity for learning by the developer community.

Imagine how many people would be inspired and stimulated by mobile applications that were designed with interactive learning in mind?

In his recent work, “Mobile Learning Edge,” Gary Woodill pointed out that there are seven basic principles that developers need to consider if they are going to develop any sort of mobile learning applications for business professionals:

  • Adults learn differently from children
  • Adults learn from solving problems that matter to them
  • Adults learn by collaborating as members of cohesive social groups
  • Adults learn through conversing with and listening to each other
  • Adults learn by integrating new information with what they already know
  • Adults learn through active experiences that involve their senses and their bodies
  • Adults learn best in concrete situations where the context matters to them.

So, now the challenge is out there; the gauntlet has been laid down. Let’s see mobile learning app development that embraces some of these basic principles.

Any takers?