Someone told, a few years ago now, that books would become a thing of the past because Kindles, iPads, other ebook readers and even smart phones, would make them obsolete. I did not agree with them at the time and to make matters worse I delivered a poor argument as to why I didn’t share their view. I remember that the comment left me feeling sad that my daughter’s children might grow up in a world where they would not be able to have the pleasure of choosing their bedtime stories from the bookshelf, looking and turning the pages of a beautifully illustrated fairy tale and running their noses down the spine of a book to smell the paper.
It’s funny the things we remember from our childhood, once we become parents and the memories we hold dear.
Classroom Books and mLearning
Recently someone tried to convince me that training and classroom learning will be phased out in years to come by eLearning, honestly, next they will be telling me that online parties are fun. Then I was hit by the next BIG thing, mLearning (eLearning on a mobile device.)
In all seriousness this is a subject where I will need a lot of persuading as I work for a global training company. Also, I struggle deeply with the notion that classroom learning will slowly disappear. Now, this time, you will be pleased to read that I put forward a convincing argument as to why I don’t think this is about to happen any time soon.
My two main points for feeling so strongly on this subject are firstly that people need people. We need to learn from each other, we need to watch each other, we need to debate with each other, we need to laugh with each other, we need to challenge each other, we need to motivate each other, we need to compete with each other, and we need to praise each other.
My second point is that a classroom training gives delegates/students a structured environment in which to learn. Structure is an integral part of the learning process as it is time-dependent, it is motivational and challenging and it enables us to interact with others who have values and beliefs different from our own.
I still recall and article I read in the Guardian by Alan Haburchak entitled “I need real people to help me learn a language.”
Alan, adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School, is taking part in the online language learning challenge set up by the Guardian. The challenge is to find out if its possible to learn a language only using online tools. Since this article was written, many people have shifted to learning languages online. If the desire takes you, then this great article lists 40 online solutions for becoming a polyglot.
So, was my argument incorrect?
mLearning vs Blended Learning
I believe whole-heartedly in the blended approach to learning where classroom and online work in synergy with each other. Here at Working Voices we have developed and continue to expand our innovative eLearning / mLearning solution, called Working Voices Digital. This training makes use of mobile learning and delivers bitesize learning via a smartphone app. Originally the solution was available online to all delegates who have attended one of our workshops (classroom based training). It replaced the need for written course notes and demonstrated succinctly the synergy between classroom and on-line learning.
Working Voices eLearning replaced course notes with simple, short bite-sized videos that are available both on a computer via the Working Voices eLearning web portal or via iOS or Android apps.
To watch one of these short bite-sized videos click below to watch Jay Rhoderick’s brilliant introduction to Working Voices eLearning and Personal Impact.
eLearning and mLearning
eLearning has become a common place term over the last few years and gets used generically (rather like Hoover vs. Vacuum cleaner) – mLearning is hugely on the rise and all this relates to is the amazing capacity of smartphones to deliver multimedia at high speed and high quality. If you own a smartphone, regardless of whether Android or IOS, then apps are a part of our lives. We download them to increase the functionality of our device; whether it is is playing Candy Crush or taking photos of our business receipts, these devices are not just phones, they are super powerful micro computers that fit snugly in the palm of our hands.
Laptops have almost replaced desktop PCs and it is thought that the same trend will follow with smartphones replacing laptops in the next 10 years or so as technology continues to advanced and we move towards smarter homes and smarter vehicles, thanks to the Internet of things (IOT).
According to eLearning.com – there are some fascinating stats and insights that came out of their 2016 research.
Workers turn to technology for convenience and connectivity:
- 89% are downloading apps – e.g. for education (50%) and productivity tools (49%)
You can access the full report here http://www.towardsmaturity.org/article/2016/02/01/in-focus-consumer-learner-at-work/ to learn more about the evolution and expectation of employees and how they want to consume learning and training. Here are some more interesting facts that shows mLearning is accelerating and is part of trainings natural evolution.
- 76% of learners use their own device!
- 52% of people that use mLearning use it in bed after waking up & 46% in bed BEFORE going to sleep.
We read news, we train, we play games on a device that is always close to us, our smartphone. Yes blended learning I still believe creates the best possible learning solution as it is truly interactive and exposes you to not just training but colleagues and peers but mLearning is a massive benefit and can work independently as a training solution.
World Book Day & mLearning
It was all the way back in 1992 that Robert Coover declared the end of books in The New York Times. This is an argument that continues today, let me ask you, do you read less now?
What we think of as the death of books is just an evolution of books, no longer are books bound with chord and the pages made from papyrus, that does not mean books have died. Now we move from mass produced paper and cardboard spines to digitally delivered tomes, it means our consumption habits have changed, not the need for the information.
Whether a book is purely for pleasure (50 Shades Darker anyone?) or for education and progressing our careers, whether it is a hard backed behemoth or seamlessly delivered on our smartphone or ebook reader of choice, it still remains a book. Today join us in celebrating World Book Day and why not take advantage of checking out our eLearning delivered over apps here.