While the industrialized world offers plenty of opportunities for mobile learning, the developing world presents additional opportunities. In the West, the on-the-go lifestyle opens the doors to more mobile learning in the future; globally, the proliferation of smartphones will pave the way for mobile learning. Here are three future trends in mLearning most likely to flourish in 2015 and beyond based on the findings of UNESCO’s global think piece, “Education and Skills for Inclusive and Sustainable Development Beyond 2015.”
Using mLearning for Lifelong Learning
The lines continue to blur among learning, working and living thanks to on-demand, contextual learning. As job requirements continue to change and expand for current employees, one of the future mobile learning trends in that could benefit employees and employers is continual microlearning vs. today’s structured continuing education.
Vocational Training for On-The-Job Training
Vocational skills and apprenticeships have fallen off the radar in the industrialized world, but the developing world is seeing an upswing in on-the-job training. Soon, the West will retire many of its tradespeople; mLearning can supplement hands-on learning for the next generation of apprentices.
Reaching the Global Unreached With Reading, ‘Riting & ‘Rithmatic
Mobile learning presents a unique opportunity to reach what UNESCO calls “the unreached.” Smartphones bring a learning platform to developing countries where education marginalization occurs based on gender, location (urban vs. rural), language, minority status, etc. Early termination of education for marginalized groups deprives students of employment and upward mobility. Mobile learning can restore hope to these groups.
Literacy standards are causing headaches for American employers too. NBC’s article entitled “Why Johnny can’t write, and why employers are mad” went viral and exposed the fact that educated candidates often cannot speak and write clearly. Some employers provide remedial training; others keep searching for qualified candidates. Look for remedial mLearning to fill the gap left by traditional education as more employers face a shrinking pool of qualified communicators.