I think it’s safe to say the mobile learning is having a moment. One might even go so far as to say that mobile learning is the future of learning and talent development. At the 2015 ATD Conference in Orlando, Florida this past month, we heard ATD President Tony Bingham say that 34% of organizations have a mobile learning strategy – and that number is only expected to continue to climb. The general session featured a panelist of learning experts from various industries who all cited mobile’s role in real-time skill development, easy accessibility to information, and personalized learning experiences.
There is no doubt that our mobile devices are changing the way we interact with others and the world around us. Information has never before been more readily available. As Sugatra Mitra said during the ATD Conference, “The whole world went into our mobile phone. The whole world went into our pocket.” And the world of learning and development is evolving accordingly.
New technologies present interesting challenges though. Those who facilitate learning must incorporate these technologies into the training mix. Often they are expected to be the subject matter expert and know best practices for designing or training with these new platforms… but they may never have had any actual training on the new technology.
Since the launch of our mobile app Emergenetics+, we have heard fantastic stories from our Associates on how they are incorporating the tool into their existing workshops and learning strategies. One of our favorite examples is using the app during a WEteam activity where participants are put into cognitively diverse groups and tasked with working together to accomplish a task.
The activity itself provides a great level of self-awareness and appreciation for what others bring to the table. By incorporating the Emergenetics+ Compare Function into the activity, participants were more quickly able to come to the “ah-ha” moment. In real time, they could look up their teammates Profile’s and access tips for communicating with each group member. It leveled the playing field and made everyone a key player because the report clearly showed the unique contribution each person was making to the overall team goal.
Whether you are already utilizing mobile learning or are just getting started, here are 3 tips for incorporating a mobile tool, such as Emergenetics+, into your next workshop:
- Know How to Use It Yourself – This may seem like common sense, but using the app yourself will create context for how and why you’re asking the learner to use it. It will help you to prepare for questions and you’ll fine-tune the way you explain how it works. And you might uncover ways of using it that you had not originally imagined.
- Have An Activity Prepared – Don’t just tell workshop participants that they can download the app. Incorporate experiential learning elements into a session. For example, have participants use the Group Reports Function to identify if an Emergenetics Attribute is not represented, and then ask what they will need to do differently as a group to compensate. Ask participants to reflect on a time when this information would have been helpful and what they would do differently as a result.
- Do Your Homework – Before your session, use the app to run a Group Report to see the different preferences represented by the session participants. Be prepared for how each of the different thinking styles will want to use the app and alter your approach and resources accordingly.
- Analytical Thinkers will mentally analyze why they would use the app. Be sure to provide data on how it will help save time and energy, and it will optimize the way they work with others.
- Structural Thinkers will want to actually use the app rather than just being told how to use it, and they’ll appreciate being provided with real-life examples of when to use it, too.
- Social Thinkers will see the value in the people aspect of the app; highlight the unique insights they’ll be able to learn about others and partner them with someone to explore app functions.
- Conceptual Thinkers will want to experiment with the different functions. Be sure to give them time to fiddle around and be prepared for new ideas on how to use the app.
- If your group is predominantly abstract (analytical and conceptual thinking)– do some big picture thinking and group discussion about the problems the app can solve and interesting ways it can be used.
- If your group is predominantly concrete (structural and social thinking)– provide them with a list of real-life situations when they can use the app; ask if there is anything they would add.
Interested in learning more about Emergenetics+? Check out plus.emergenetics.com for videos, function overviews, and the download link.