3 Features Of Mobile Learning Apps: What Bleeding Edge Tech Tells Us About mLearning
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Features Of Mobile Learning Apps For The Modern Learner

We live in a world where information is funneled directly into our pockets (aka mobile screens) 24/7. There’s rarely a lull in the delivery of the latest headlines or fresh content from our favorite bloggers and journalists. As of 2016, Pew Research indicated that 66% of Americans receive their news on both laptops and mobile devices. Of that percentage, 56% prefer consuming the information on their phones.

Thanks in part to content apps like Flipboard and Medium, the delivery of relevant news information is streamlined more than ever. It’s no wonder adults across America prefer to consume news on their phones compared to laptops. The experience is much more personalized. But what about apps that let mobile users conduct their own research based on the news they consume? For example, let’s say I open Flipboard, head over to the business content section, and see an article about implementing virtual reality as a marketing strategy. Naturally –as would be the case for most professionals– curiosity takes over, and I crave more information. Where can I turn for a smart search, other than to Google, where results are overwhelming and frequently irrelevant?

News apps deliver ideas in an individualized manner, and learning apps can follow suit by providing a more tailored learning experience. What curious professionals need is a mobile learning app that allows each user to explore native, curated content that gives insight into relevant concepts, skills or knowledge they’d like to learn. This type of app maximizes the ability to skill up – or to simply dive deeper into a headline, with a virtual library at their fingertips.

3 Features Of Mobile Learning Apps

Along with providing opportunities for continuous learning and development through curated content, mobile learning apps meet modern learners where they are – on the go. It’s rare that busy professionals find time to explore a new concept in depth, or even breeze through a few chapters or informational videos. Unless, of course, their organization truly embodies a continuous learning culture.

Gartner says that the mobile workforce is projected to double or triple in size by 2018. There are many factors that come into play, including the rise of remote employees and bring your own device (BYOD) programs. In order to stay on the leading edge of learning technology, and engage all employees in your organization's learning process, it’s time to explore modern mobile learning apps.

Below are a few features of mobile learning apps to keep an eye out for:

1. A Combination Of Native Content And Collaborative Tools For Seamless Networking

Informal learning is being talked about at length in the Learning and Development industry. We know that professionals gather 70% of their knowledge from informal and social learning. As such, mobile apps that provide structure to this type of learning by offering native content and collaborative tools will come out ahead in terms of employee or user engagement. When professionals can consume resources, combine the content with their own interpretations and share it with colleagues, clients, or other experts, collaboration moves to a whole new level. And the best part is that knowledge can be tracked and stored because the collaborations are taking place within an app. Plus, individuals can pick up learning where they left off, because activities are saved in the app.

2. Personalized, Tailored Experiences

It is crucial that mobile learning apps provide a tailored experience to each individual, every time he or she logs in. Every learner has unique areas of interest. It’s time that apps catch up to modern learners by delivering tailored content and in-app networking recommendations, based on tracked preferences. And if the app truly provides the ability to network, it should also deliver recommendations of like-minded professionals with whom users can connect. Our favorite news apps are already tailoring reading experiences based on content consumption. Mobile learning, take note.

3. Access To Company Resources

Having the ability to learn in a self-directed manner empowers employees to skill up at their own pace. However, having access to private company materials and resources, as well as the ability to communicate with colleagues within an app, provides for an all-encompassing learning experience. Learners get the self-direction they crave, but can also access internal documents when needed, using a single login. Further, with access to both native and internal content, materials can be combined for promotional or marketing purposes. Given the ease of social sharing on mobile devices, the content can be shared with a simple tap of the finger to a broad audience.

Final Word

Above are a few features that bleeding-edge learning apps are beginning to explore and roll out to the marketplace – and they’re what learning professionals should consider for their employees. Additionally, it’s wise to research further to see if the apps you are looking into offer learning statistics, so you can monitor engagement and app effectiveness.

As the consumerization of IT continues to seep into the learning world, think about meeting your learners where they are. Offer learning platforms with apps that are convenient, and simplify the professional development process. Act as a facilitator, and empower your employees to connect, learn, and grow. This practice of facilitating and empowering should help increase employee motivation and maximize workplace performance.

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