A few weeks back we received Gary Woodill’s latest book ‘The Mobile Learning Edge’; after a few weeks of hanging around on my desk, I’ve found the time to read it. Let me dive straight in and make some comments about it.
This is perhaps the first book I’m reading that looks at mobile learning from more than just a pedagogical perspective, it has a definite business focus. It’s evidently written for business managers and executives looking to see if mobile learning can align with their business goals and necessities. Dr. Woodill covers the mobile technology and it’s applications in fair detail. Every element that might go into a mobile learning solution is described and pieced together to give a whole picture. There are some interesting bits about how mobile devices can not only serve to retrieve information, but also used to gather information – used as content generation tools. To me, the best part of the book was the descriptions of different ways in which mobile learning can be used; most supported by examples. There are a whole range of resources in the book that add value as well.
Dr. Woodill elucidates seven principles for effective mobile learning. I’m taking the liberty to reproduce those as they’ll interest the readers of this blog. In my experience I’ve found that these are principles that drive the design of mobile learning as well. As an example, principles 3 and 4 are the reasons why I almost always ensure a ‘social component’ in the solutions we propose.
- Employees are adults who learn differently from children.
- Employees learn from solving problems that matter to them.
- Employees learn by collaborating as members of a cohesive social groups.
- Employees learn through conversing with, and listening to, each other.
- Employees learn by integrating information with what they already know.
- Employees learn through active experiences that involve their senses and their bodies.
- Employees learn best in concrete situations where the context matters to them.
As an interesting aside, the book comes with a companion site http://www.mobilelearningedge.com where Dr. Woodill continues to post furthering the content in the book. It’d be wonderful if more of our customers read this book, they’d have a great idea about what mobile technology could possibly do for them. That would leave us to have constructive discussions about the nature of a product or service to meet their needs; instead of spending so much time educating them about the technology and its applications.
If you are a business leader, part of L&D, a designer of learning or just plain interested in what mobile learning today is capable of, this makes an excellent read. It looks into the now and immediate future of mobile learning; recommended.