These Stats Bode well for Mobile Learning


All signs continue to point to a near future where mobile devices will surpass desktop PCs for how we connect to the Internet, shop, and most other things, including learning. I believe we are getting very close to a ‘mobile-first’ approach to developing content and I can’t wait to see we can come up as a community when it comes to mobile learning design.

Having said that, here are three very compelling stats that all bode well for mobile learning:

  • Apple recently announced that they had sold 15.4 million iPads. Amazing numbers. In my experience in talking to eLearning developers, they all have one thing when it comes to talking about mobile devices and eLearning, they all tell me their learners want to access their eLearning on the iPad. You can read more about these numbers here.

Apple surpassed Hewlett-Packard in PC sales and revenue. Apple sold 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs in its first quarter. That’s more than 20 million personal computing devices. HP’s PC sales for the fourth quarter were 14.7 million, according to Gartner.

via Apple Sold More iPads Than HP Sold PCs – John Paczkowski – News – AllThingsD.

  • The total shipment of Tablets is expected to be 96.6 million by 2016. Another amazing number. I often use the term Tablet Learning, as a way to differentiate it a bit from mLearning as I believe the holy grail of learning on mobile devices is the Tablet. If you own you and sat with your kids as they learn something, you know what I mean. What I would like to see is other Tablet makers (beyond Apple) step up and wow us with their devices. It’s puzzling how I never see a mention of any other tablet when reading about mobile learning. You can read more about these numbers here.

According to the company’s Worldwide Enterprise Tablet Market Forecast Report, over the next 5 years, total shipments of tablet computers to enterprises around the world are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48%. That growth reflects a rise in shipments from 13.6 million units in 2011 to 96.3 million units in 2016.

via Enterprise tablet shipments could top 96 million by 2016 | TabTimes.

  • More than 2.1 billion mobile devices will have HMTL5 capable Browsers by 2016. I strongly believe the Browser, via HTML5 is the most viable solution for delivering and consuming mobile learning. This as opposed to building apps. Building apps is still too complicated and requires a certain amount of technical knowledge and this may not be a good use of eLearning developers’ time. And then there’s the how fragmentation of mobile OSes. I happen to believe we could achieve these number well before 2016, especially with the recent news coming from Adobe that they will no longer support Flash for mobile going forward. This recently development could expedite the maturation and support for HTML5. You can read more about these numbers here.

More than 2.1 billion mobile devices will have HTML5 browsers by 2016, up from just 109 million in 2010, according to a new report by ABI Research.

via The HTML5 boom is coming. Fast. — Tech News and Analysis.

What do you think about all these stats and where are you in terms of mobile learning. I really want to know. Please leave a comment.

  • mayraixavillar

    Absolutely true. An increased adoption of mobile devices, as these stats show, is demanding to experiment and develop new and more effective ways to access information and distribute content. For this reason, even though mLearning is at its early stages and still poses many challenges for developers, is arousing so much interest. And this interest will continue growing, as mLearning offers great possibilities for personalized and ubiquitous learning, higher productivity and just-in time access to content and resources. Now, as regards how we can actually deliver successful mLearning solutions, I agree with you that HTML5 and authoring tools that enable HTML5 outputs seem to be the most viable solution so far. And to support this last comment, I´d like to share these two articles with you (don´t worry, they are not from my page, so you won´t need extra clicks :)):

    HTML5 — Opportunities for Mobile Devices

    How Suitable Is HTML5 For Mobile Learning?

    The first article presents a thorough analysis of HTML5 and mobile learning while the second one presents the opinion of mLearning providers and hence, it´s based on hands-on experience rather than on estimates.
    To round off my comment I just want to add that in terms of instructional design, we´ll need to go a step further so as not to produce “simple replicas of existing eLearning modules targeting mobile devices” (Yael Even-Levy, 2011).

  • Shawn Mcewen

    Completely agree that the  massive adoption of mobile techology will have a significant impact on mLearning. Still believe that smart phones will outpace Tablets until the price point comes down to make it affordable for all income levels. I’m curious what MS and RIM deliver in the next 3-6 mths – specifically for the eLearning market. – good post RJ – Shawn

    • Anonymous

      Hi Shawn, thank you for your comment, I really appreciate your perspective on this. I totally agree with you that smartphones will outsell tablets, but as far as actual learning on mobile, Tablets like the iPad is where I see the most potential. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Microsoft and RIM will do in the next year to make an impact here.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Mayra, first of all, thanks for your comment and second, thanks for the chuckle I just had with regards to your extra click, you just saved a millisecond of my life :)

    I’m reading those articles now, but what I really like about your comment is your last paragraph and in my opinion, this will be key to success for our industry as we move toward a ‘mobile-first’ approach. We need to make sure we do not just port over the same elearning from the desktop to mobile and for this we need to look to our friends who are developing the next generation of Rapid eLearning tools. I can’t wait to start seeing what those new mobile courses will look like. Thanks!

  • Tithe Rose

    These tablets are certainly getting more and more popular. Every one of my friends has one and their friends have them too. This makes me want to buy a tablet as well. I believe that is how popularity works.

    MP4 to MP3

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