5 Key Mobile Learning Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2013 Internet Trends Report [Slides]

If you are a Learning Professional, who needs to convince stakeholders about the importance of mobile learning, one way is to bombard them with mobile statistics, and there’s no better source than the annual Internet Trends Report presented by Mary Meeker.

In 2009, Meeker published a ‘Mobile Internet Report,’ where she predicted that more users would connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years, and here we are today in the middle of the biggest computing revolution in history.

Here are my top 5 key takeaways for m-Learning from this year’s Internet Trends Report:

1. Internet Growth Remains Strong


There are now 2.4 Billion global Internet users, which is a 8% year over year growth. When you consider the total world’s population, there’s still room for growth. It’s worth noting that many of these internet users are not only accessing the web using their mobile phones, but in many cases this is their only way to access the web. In other words, these people have no access to a traditional desktop computer. It’s also worth noting that in China, mobile internet access has already surpassed that of accessing the web using a traditional desktop PC.

2. The Mobile Revolution Momentum Continues


With 1.5 billion smartphone users worldwide and counting, mobile web traffic now accounts for 15% and is growing 1.5x per year and likely to maintain its trajectory or accelerate according to Meeker. The lesson here is that we must begin mobilizing learning now! As I said in my previous post, “today we don’t get to decide which devices learners use to access our learning.”

3. There’s a strong affinity for mobile. We check our smartphones 150x per day


There’s something to be said about how the mobile experience makes us feel, maybe it’s the physicality of touch, the idea that nothing gets in the way of us and our content, no keyboard, no mouse, no stylus, no usb ports for a microphone or webcam to connect to, nothing but touch. We enjoy the simplicity of mobile. Which is why it’s no surprise to me that Meeker mentioned that smartphone users feel connected, excited, curious, interested and productive; and that we check our smartphones an average of 150 times per day. The lesson here is that mobile users are engaged and the platform represents an opportunity for delivering great learning experiences.

4. The Mobile Revolution is making us Re-imagine Everything


When was the last time you called a theater to get movie times, or visit a travel agency to research your next vacation, or brought a physical map with you on a trip? My guess is that you haven’t done any of these things recently.  Thanks to the convenience of mobile devices and all the inherent sensor superpowers they come with, we are able to enjoy our lives more. Meeker calls this “the re-imagination of everything.” Above are just a few examples mentioned by Mary. I think that the next big thing we need to re-imagine is how we design learning for multiple screens and not just e-Learning for the traditional desktop and laptop.

5. Wearable Computing is the next big thing


In her presentation, Mary Meeker said that “Wearable computing is emerging as the type of significant technology shift that will drive innovation in the way personal computing did in the 1980s or mobile computing and tablets are doing currently” and I couldn’t agree more. When you think about how many times we reach for our smartphones every single day, it only makes sense that wearable technology, such as Google Glass, will be something we will embrace next. For a while now we have been talking about designing for the ‘unknown.’ In other words there’s a need to design learning that is responsive and adaptable enough to flow freely across multiple screen, and now is clear that these wearable gadgets will play an important role moving forward.


While all of these statistics are compelling, one simply needs to get out and look around to realize that there’s a massive shift toward mobile computing happening and this means that developing learning only for the 1024 x 768 desktop computer and laptop is no longer an option.  Mobile is very real and it’s time to get serious about mobile learning!

I leave you with all 100 slides from Mary Meeker’s presentation:

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