There’s no denying that the term “cell phone” should officially be replaced with the term “mobile device,” if it hasn’t been already. We seldom use the equipment that is permanently attached to our hands or hips as an audio communicator; over the few short years smart phones have been in existence, they have become much more than that. But can we do anything and everything, including professional training and development, on these things? The answer depends on two things: the developer’s imagination and ability to create the content and platform, and the user’s capability to use what has been developed.
The first stipulation practically answers itself: we live in a country full of creative innovators who believe the sky is the limit; there is no doubt that anything and everything can (and will) eventually be created to run on a mobile platform. The latter will not be a problem for younger generations who have never known life without mobile technology and the internet, but more senior groups may have a harder time grasping the material on that platform. It has been studied and documented that younger generations take a vastly different approach to learning than their parents and grandparents have. Gen Ys and Millenials are quick to pick up a new piece of technology or an unfamiliar skillset and play around with it until they figure it out, while their elder counterparts feel more comfortable with tutorials and written directions when it comes to learning something new. So, can it be built? Yes. But will it be used and learned? For many, yes, but a word of advice to training developers: when creating instructional design, don’t alienate your audience by only catering to one demographic of learner.
How much could you learn on your smart phone? Does your organization utilize mobile devices for instruction?