Why you need to start thinking about mobile learning

John Sherman

As our mobile devices become more intuitive and our reliance on them grows stronger, it makes sense that more and more students are looking towards mobile learning to help with their education. In fact, a recent study found that 59 percent of students had completed some sort of coursework on their mobile device, indicating a huge surge towards this new style of learning.

Not just limited to just your cell phone, mobile learning can also incorporate a wide range of devices on the go which can be used to complete coursework or enquire about your education. Tablets and smartphones are a simple way to stay connected to your training and keep on top of changing requirements or upcoming assignments.


Whether it’s corporate training provided by an employer or coursework for college students, the popularity of mobile learning is clearly increasing. With some trends indicating the current style of this mode of learning, it’s exciting to think about what the future may hold.

The Benefits of Mobile Learning

Although still a relatively new approach to learning, it’s clear there are already numerous benefits to be found with the mobile model. Here are just a few ways in which mobile learning offers a more tailored style to each individual student:


The number one benefit to mobile learning comes from the amount of flexibility you have to study anywhere and anytime. Mobile learning allows you to study on the train, your work break, even in the bathroom—so you can work from where it suits you best.

Higher Retention Rate

Due to the nature of the actual mobile learning content, students may find it easier to retain the information. This is because mobile learning offers “bite size” and manageable pieces of information and data that may be easier to process and recall.


Mobile learning is very much a convenience-based model—a great way to ensure you can access information when it suits you best. If you’re working on your computer and need to check something, mobile learning allows you to do this without interfering with your daily tasks.

A Wide Range of Multimedia

Using mobile learning doesn’t just mean reading notes on your smartphone. Podcasts, PDFs, images, and video can all be accessed from your mobile device now, which ensures you won’t get bored with the coursework delivery.

The Age of Online Learners is Dropping

As more and more people embrace mobile learning, it’s no surprise that learners are starting earlier and earlier. In 2012, for example, the average age of an undergrad online was 34, but today it has dropped all the way to 29!

Traditionally, distance education and eLearning were thought to be favored by the older student, but new evidence seems to be showing the contrary. This trend indicates that mobile learning will brow exponentially as the younger population clearly prefers a mobile-based approach to many aspects of their lives. An entire generation has now grown up with the convenience of information, entertainment and education right at their fingertips.

Millennials Demand Training

One obvious trend regarding mobile learning is how the current profile of the online learner has changed. Millennials are using their phones on the commute to work or in their downtime, and many are using this as an opportunity to get an edge by learning new skills.

A recent study by KPCB found that millennials valued training over any other office perk, including cash bonuses and flexible hours. By tapping into this demand, mobile learning can offer employers a way to improve the skills of their staff in a time that might otherwise be used frivolously.

Wearable Tech

The recent innovation of wearable tech doesn’t just reach the entertainment industries. Current trends of this model of learning see students using real life simulations to give them a hands-on approach to their studies, all thanks to mobile devices.

Using a virtual classroom can engage students like never before and give them valuable experience in real life situations. Whether it’s learning how to interact with customers or using augmented reality to simulate a workplace, there are countless opportunities for wearable tech to integrate with mobile learning.

Remote Workplaces Are on the Rise

According to Global Workplace Analytics, employees these days only spend about 50 percent of their day at their desk. This recent call for work-life balance has completely shifted the way we work and also has great implications for our training and education sectors.

Traditional training methods offered in the workplace such as day-long seminars and workshops are rarely flexible and force the employees to learn at a time and with a method that may not be suitable to them. By utilizing mobile learning, employers can stay on top of trends and aim to educate staff with a model that suits their individual needs and schedules.

The Future Trends of Mobile Learning

The future trends of mobile learning are certainly exciting. Clearly, a continued focus on convenience and flexibility will continue to allow the student to study where and how they choose.

A major area of interest for the future of mobile learning comes with augmented and virtual reality, which allow the student to experience a simulated environment from the comfort of their own home or space of their choosing. These realities will take mobile learning to a whole new level and give the student access to virtual environments that were once only available in flight simulators and other high-tech learning arenas.

User generated content may also become a major factor in mobile learning, with students able to upload their own valuable content and contribute to the coursework. As this sharing of information is already prominent in other areas of social media and the internet, there’s no doubt that it will be useful in the education sphere as well.



Forbes: Five Trends Driving The Growth Of Mobile Learning In Corporate Education

KPCB: Internet Trends

US News Study: Many Online Students Use Mobile Devices for Coursework


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