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Mobile Learning in the Enterprise, An Introduction

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Over the course of the next three posts, I will attempt to bring an understanding of how to achieve the mobile enterprise. More specifically, how to bring mobile learning to the enterprise, but many topics regarding the mobile enterprise are interwoven.

I feel the largest barrier to achieving mobile learning in the enterprise is the closed nature of many enterprises and their network resources. This is the question I will attempt to answer and create discussion around:

How do we break down the wall and get enterprise resources to all employees?

Mobile Enterprise Learning Introduction

The above image is the ideal mobile enterprise. No matter what device, or place resources are accessed from, it’s seamlessly displayed properly for any device.

I assume for these posts that employees have no access to learning or other resources outside the enterprise network. This means personal devices are out of reach for really using enterprise resources. The goal is to open up the network to all devices, whether personal or company owned with as few barriers as possible.

Managing All That Information

Managing information accessed on all employees devices sounds like a lot. It could be a challenge if not thoroughly analyzed and planned for.

Adaptive Web Design was the previous solution to this challenge (still the solution in some cases). Two or three (or more) different sites are required to accommodate various types of devices. Depending on the device the employee is using, the content may look different. Employees would have an inconsistent view of resources leading to frustration.

Think about managing the content every time a change is required. It’s not a very good solution and presents more problems than it solves.

This is where the solution to the design of the content comes in. While it’s important for me to cover this early in my posts, it’s not what this is all about, which is why I’m giving a very general summary in the introduction.

One Resource, One Web

One resource for all learning, wherever it’s accessed. I call this Responsive Learning Design which is based on the term Responsive Web Design attributed to Ethan Marcotte in 2010.

Read my post on what responsive design is all about: The Future of Learning Online: Responsive Learning Design. I’d also recommend you read the post I link to in that post from RJ Jacques and browse down to the section “If your Learning Design calls for Absolute Dimensions, you have already Failed.

I see a healthy amount of information and discussion on how to properly present learning to a mobile audience. Admittedly this is a big piece of the puzzle, but the piece that comes first is opening the network so content can be consumed.

Without a way to reach it, content is useless. Without it, a way to reach content is also useless.

Ready To Move Forward

I’ve introduced the problem and what we are trying to solve, the next post will focus on the challenges we experience when shooting for our goal. The last post will present some solutions to the problem and challenges.

The focus won’t be on the content, but rather how to break through the enterprise wall and not only have a place to put materials, but to make it accessible to all employees regardless of device.

Removing barriers to the employee is what it’s all about.

I don’t have all the answers, and am struggling with this myself. I’m not sure I have any of the answers really, that’s why I’m writing this, to spark discussion and learn from each other.

What I’m interested in doing is creating a discussion about possibilities and get comments from your experiences also. Problems you’ve run into, solutions you’ve used to overcome them, all that good stuff. Let’s share information so all enterprise networks will be an open source of information for employees. It’s good for us all.

The goal is not to open enterprise content to the outside world, that should never happen. Resources need to be available to all employees no matter where the employee is located or what device they are using though.

It’s important to support employees in their work by providing resources, learning, anything, wherever they are.

Let’s create the mobile enterprise and open resources to all employees however, and wherever, they would like to access it. Everybody wins.

I recommend you read through to the second post about the challenges to creating the mobile enterprise. After reading about the challenges, you can see some of the solutions I present. Please chime in with your experiences!

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