How can companies develop mobile e-learning?
Mobile e-learning is growing rapidly in the business-to-business (B2B) sector as companies look to find more effective ways of teaching knowledge to workers.
It wasn’t long ago that smartphones were seen as a luxury by most people, who were content with phones capable of just calling and texting. Now this has all changed, as Apple, Samsung and Sony have all created dynamic handsets capable of exceptional video quality.
However, not all of the world has been able to take advantage of this new technology, as many areas do not have the resources required to facilitate it. This is something that all global companies should keep in mind when they are considering any e-learning plans, as there is a big digital divide between many areas of the world.
However, the rest of the world is catching up, with figures from GSMA Intelligence showing that the developing world accounts for four in every five mobile connections across the globe.
Matt Ablott, analyst, GSMA Intelligence, said: “Our new data provides a clear indication that the developing world will account for the vast majority of future mobile subscriber growth – and could eventually account for an even greater share of total connections considering the low mobile penetration rate in many of these markets.
“However, subscriber growth is only part of the story, and many emerging market operators will need to learn lessons from their counterparts in mature markets with regards to building revenue share as well as market share.”
Mr Abbott expects to see further consolidation in emerging markets because operators are chasing improved efficiencies, which could result in pricing pressures easing in many areas of the world.
The importance of effective translation services
While mobile e-learning offers a number of excellent opportunities for international companies, it is important that managers do not underestimate the importance of having efficient translation services.
Without these, companies could risk miscommunicating key ideas and causing issues across a number of different departments. With this in mind, organisations should not rely on machine translation.
Instead, businesses should turn to experts who will make sure that no important messages are lost in translation. Research from Nitish Singh, published by Cambridge University Press, emphasised how the mobile web is expanding worldwide and a significant proportion of the globe will soon be carrying out a variety of tasks on the “mobile web”.
While translation services have advanced significantly for desktop computers, it is important that the same progress is made for mobile services and that managers carefully consider the different intricacies of mobile hardware.
How can mobile learning move forward?
While mobile learning is on the rise in the UK, there is much more that needs to be done in order for companies to be able to truly capitalise on the technology.
John Traxler, professor of m-learning at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK, commented on the plans, telling the Guardian: “It's a big step in the right direction in terms of putting the possibilities in front of the GSMA's members and raising awareness of the commercial and business opportunities education represents in the developing world.
“Clearly it's a small sample, covering only four countries, so it's indicative rather than representative.”
Mr Traxler went on to say that networks need to understand that the technology is profitable in order for them to truly pay attention to its value.
In order for global businesses to take advantage of this market, they need to keep in mind the language barrier of the different countries they work in and understand that mobile e-learning could have a significant impact on their performance.