#LearningLive Inspire session – Mobile Learning

Posted on Sep 12, 2014

Earlier this week I was fortunate to speak at the Learning Live conference in London.

My session was part of an ‘Inspire’ series that had been running throughout the 2-day event. Each speaker was asked to speak for 15 minutes on a small stage at the side of the exhibition/refreshment area during the various networking breaks that took place.

Here’s the description of my session

Many organisations see mobile learning as something new, something difficult, something expensive! Where do they start? How much will it cost? Is there an audience for this? These, and many other questions are often reasons to put off looking at mobile learning in greater depth.
This Inspire session will answer all of the above questions whilst providing you with some ‘quick wins’ to enable you to go straight back to your organisation and start implementing some solutions.

During the session I conduced a simple exercise to re-calibrate people’s definitions around the (awful) terms ‘mobile learning’. I them laid down a couple of challenges for everybody to take away with them, which I assured them would lead to a ‘Monday morning ‘quick win”.

In order to help spread the love of the session I’m going to reproduce those exercises and challenges over the next few days and hope that you, Dear Reader, will respond via the comments section below.

Take a think back over the past 2 weeks and identify when you have used a mobile device to:

  • Solve a problem
  • Ask for help
  • Provide help
  • Connect with somebody
  • Communicate with somebody
  • Collaborate with somebody
  • Check something
  • Purchase something

…. you get the idea…. Please let us all know via the comments below

…and then….

take a think back over the past 2 weeks and identify when you have used a mobile device to:

Undertake a piece of ‘self pace click next (or scroll) eLearning. Be it adaptive, responsive, blah, blah, blah…

…and let us all know via the comments below.

When you’ve done that, remember the simple exercise and ask your colleagues, clients, customers, learners, employees etc the same questions. Perhaps this will start to recalibrate yours (and theirs) definition of mobile learning.

Stay tuned for the next 2 posts in which I’ll share the challenges that I posed during the session….


  1. andyjb don’t forget to comment! πŸ˜‰

  2. acockroft don’t forget to comment! πŸ˜‰

  3. ColinSteed don’t forget to comment! πŸ˜‰

  4. edmundmonk Don’t forget to comment Ed! πŸ˜‰

  5. I’ve pretty much done all the things you suggested above in the last 2 weeks. But most memorably I successfully located a lost diamond from my engagement ring after looking up search techniques online πŸ™‚ That was a train journey well spent!

  6. britz Don’t forget to comment Mark πŸ˜‰

  7. Hi @stephaniededhar
    Wow!!! Now there’s a story and a half? Box search technique?
    Have you undertaken any ‘click next, self-paced e/l’ by any chance?
    Thanks for commenting and I hope you find the next 2 posts to be valuable – I hope you’ll take the challenges up.
    Great news in finding the diamond – they’re forever remember πŸ˜‰

  8. juliadesigns Thanks for the RT Julia. Don’t forget to answer the question in the comments πŸ™‚

  9. CertHEUWTSD Thanks for the RT. Don’t forget to answer the question I posed! πŸ™‚

  10. ffynnonweb Thx for the RT. Don’t forget to answer the question that I posed! πŸ™‚

  11. Done all of list one this week and probably every week. List two? Can’t remember last time if at all. Great exercise Craig.

    • Hi Colin, thanks for reading and persevering with the commenting system! The first of the two challenges I posed the session attendees will be the focus of my next blog post later today. I hope you’ll be able to take part in the challenge!!!

  12. DonaldHTaylor Organicwal Thx for the RTs. Hoping you guys will provide answers to the Qs I posed. πŸ™‚

  13. CraigTaylor74 Organicwal Almost certainly already have some, but I’m turning off the computer now and taking the weekend off, so Monday πŸ™‚

  14. CraigTaylor74 Thx for the RT. Hope you’ll be able to respond to the Qs I posed Martin. πŸ™‚

  15. Hey Craig –Β 

    My morning and afternoon commute to and from Washington DC runs between 1.5 and 2.5 hours each way. The length of travel depends on a variety of unpredictable factors. I use Waze on my device at the start of each leg to provide a clear route and to provide new routes around problems. Every day of the week. The device connects to my in vehicle systems to provide hands free voice and I’ll also use it to listen to Spotify, Audible (fiction and non-fiction), or any of the podcasts I have stocked up on the device during the drive.

    I live by my calendar and am on the move quite a lot during the day. Notifications and reminders through the calendar and connected SMS updates are a life-saver.Β 

    I do find that I’ll use the connectivity features of the device sparingly, but will frequently tether to the laptop I also lug around to provide more powerful tool access. The camera, however, is used VERY frequently to capture hand written notes and whiteboard shots.

    I don’t quite know what I’d do without my device and portable kit. I could live without the low-bid computer and monitor on my desk. But would be far less effective without my personal device.

    Folks commonly ask me if it bothers me to use my own data for work. I reply “I use my own car to get to work, my own $ for fuel. It’s a small price to pay for fluid access to everything I need whenever I need it.”

    • Hi Steve, your daily commute sounds as Hellish as mine (5 hour round journey), but at least I don’t have to drive it as you do!

      Thanks for reading and for providing such a detailed response. The first of the two challenges I set the attendees will be the focus of my next blog post. I hope you’ll accept the challenge!

  16. niallgavinuk LearnKotch Thx for the RT/fave guys. I hope you’ll be able to answer the Q’s I posed πŸ˜‰

  17. CraigTaylor74 tried to comment, but ended up too complicated (whacko requirements?!?!) Nice stuff.

  18. Quinnovator What sort of requirements was it asking for Clark? I’ve had probs with LivefyreΒ before, so may remove it if too onerous.

  19. CraigTaylor74 Livefyre don’t mind sharing my FB or LI details, but it wanted to take it for itself

  20. Craig, my version of this exercise has folks bring out their devices and tell us all how they use it to make them ‘smarter’ (more effective in the moment or over time). They go on about memos, notes, calendars, pics, and more. Then I ask “how much of that was a course”, and of course the answer is none. Recalibrating is a great tool to try to trigger a shift from ‘courses’ to performance (and more). (And thanks for dropping LiveFyre, (wasn’t sure, but appeared it was going to snarf more info from me than it needed to).

  21. Solve a problem – Turn-by-turn directions via Google Maps
    Ask for help – I see this also as finding an answer. Both Siri and Google
    Provide help – Locating a photo in my Dropbox app for my wife’s profile pic
    Connect with somebody – Twitter…daily. 98% via mobile device
    Communicate with somebody – Twitter…daily. 98% mobile device. email and SMS text
    Collaborate with somebody – Formulating #LRNCHAT questions with the team in cloud group
    Check something – Evernote alert to task list
    Purchase something – app for exercise class. purchased daily class pass

    • Hey Mark, thanks for reading and commenting.

      Your comment highlights what I keep harping on about in terms of the prevalence of the types of activities you’ve listed over ‘mobile friendly’ click-next elearning. Unfortunately the various vendors out there have a bigger marketing budget than me πŸ˜‰

      I wonder if you could share any stats you have about how well accessed / used your #Jive platform is via mobile devices?


      • Craig, We’ve had a mixed bag with mobile access. Our initial install was soon updated and mobile changed. Being on premise install added another layer of cumbersome that we are trying to work out now so use not high right now.

  22. Hi Craig – we’ve just about put the finishing touches on our Innovation in Training MOOC and it struck me that “shockingly” we don’t have a level devoted to Mobile learning. But then I quickly realised that’s because just about everything we cover in the MOOC is mobile by default, it’s ubiquitous and it baffles me why anyone would think they need to invent some naff way of putting elearning course content on a mobile or tablet.

    • Hi Sam, thanks for taking time out of your latest #MOOC to stop by and comment.

      Your point is well made and of course I agree, but I still see very little evidence of mobile curated content being considered in workplace training. Instead the default thinking of many when considering mobile is ‘shrunken down’ click next, ‘stuff’!


      • People who are using mobile as a habit have little reason (or budget) to crow about it. Of course most big companies do little to help employees use their own devices for everyday workplace learning. Why? fear mostly I suspect. But fear disappears remarkably quickly in the right conditions.

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