The Future of Mobile Learning for Business in Africa
With the rise of smartphones in Africa, Mobile Learning (Mlearning) is ideal for businesses in Africa. Mobile devices permeate our daily lives, providing unparalleled access to communication and information. By the end of 2012, the number of mobile devices was estimated to exceed the world’s population (Cisco, 2012). Mobile communication has grown rapidly in Africa, In 2001, about 25m people in Africa had a mobile phone subscription; by 2013, that number had ballooned to 780m which means that for the first time in the history of the continent, its people are connected.
The demand for education is booming in Africa, according to UNESCO, there are over six billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, and for every one person who accesses the internet from a computer, two do so from a mobile device. Given the prevalent use of mobile phones, it comes as no surprise that usage of mobile apps for learning is gaining momentum. Mlearning can be used for formal training, empowering employees, and improving company proficiency.
Mobile learning initiatives are springing up, as these initiatives grow and mature, they have the potential to reach millions of youth and small business owners – men and women, providing them with access to quality and practical education. Mobile learning has the potential to combine scalability, very broad geographical availability, low unit cost, and the flexibility required to adapt to life in Africa.
Benefit of using Mlearning for business in Africa
Mobile learning provides an affordable workplace training which is beyond the classroom. By taking the learning out of the classroom-style environment, you are cutting the costs of facilitation. There is no longer a need to print learning materials, and most importantly, you are no longer training staff during precious office hours. On a mobile device or tablet, a learner can enjoy relevant, one-on-one learning that can be accessed anywhere, at any time, ensuring that the training doesn’t distract other commitments.
While millions of people in Africa now have access to smartphones and tablets, high cost of mobile data in many areas, prevent them from being connected to the internet regularly. To overcome this, mobile learning offers offline capabilities, meaning that learners can download the material when they are online to access it when they are offline, this makes the learning material accessible. Learners will have the space to focus and digest the information effectively, without distractions or work commitments.
Through discussion forums, fellow learners can discuss topics related to the course material and ask online facilitators for assistance with points they might be struggling with. In this way, a community of learning is created. Peer assessment is also a very valuable component of digital learning, this means that online learners are able to assist and give feedback to one another. This creates an opportunity for learners to communicate and discuss the materials and this will also allow African business owners and employees to discuss and learn from peers about how to navigate the challenges that are unique to African business contexts.
Mobile learning enables learners to find and access the knowledge “just-in-time” in the moment that the knowledge is needed. Whether your employee is on an oil rig in the ocean, a remote construction site, or just wanting to refresh their memory while they’re in a taxi, they will be able to access the training in an instant. A company can go the extra mile and create an internal app stores that provides scalable and cost-effective digital gateways to easy-to-find digest resources. In providing rapid responses to emerging employee work needs, employees can be empowered to work smarter.
Across the globe, many business training budgets have been squeezed, and they don’t have the capacity for staff members to dedicate weeks of time to training. In African markets, in which businesses are developing very quickly, this is often particularly true. As companies are under pressure to innovate and stay ahead, there is no time to stop business operations for training. Rather, the training needs to keep up with the fast-paced environments and work demands in order to meet the needs of the learner. The only way for this to happen effectively is mobile learning. Thanks to technological advances and the move to mobile, effective workplace training in Africa is more accessible than ever before.
e-training Institute provides courses on mobile devices which allows you to study from anywhere, anytime, and at your own convenience. All online courses provided by e-training Institute are designed and developed under a tried and tested Unique Learning Framework that is proven to deliver 98.6% pass rate at first attempt.
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