Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The iPhone and mLearning

DailyTech posted a story this evening about a Forrester Research report looking into the take-up of the iPhone in the corporate space. Heretofore Apple's entry into the smart phone market has been seen as more consumer than prosumer, and as DailyTech points out, the iPhone still has many counts against it for many corporations. My most recent client had and continues to have many of the same issues cited in this story about allowing the iPhone in, regardless of how much the employees are clamoring for it.

Nonetheless, the story discusses the coming improvements for the iPhone in OS release 3.0. But the interesting part is the part about three corporations that did adopt the iPhone and allow its use in the workplace:

What the companies discovered was that by giving the employees what they wanted, the employees were more motivated to explore the phone on their own. At all three companies, active wiki communities to troubleshoot problems had been created and managed by employees. This in turn made interactions with IT less frequent and more positive, cutting cost and hassle.

This is a big deal. Through application of a dynamic tool, non-IT employees were able to solve their own problems and share knowledge as a collective. On some level it was surely already feasible that this might happen, given the preponderance of apps available for the iPhone, particularly those dealing with social networking and other Internet 2.0 fixtures like wikis. I'm definitely interested to know more details about these cases from these corporations.Time will tell, but I think the writing is already on the wall, and things are looking good for the iPhone. The smart phone wars are going to heat up to be sure, and I think this means nothing but good for the future of training and performance improvement.

InformationWeek also closes with exactly what I'm thinking: Imagine your computer as being your smart phone in the not-so-distant future. Is it possible we will see the day when we carry everything with us in a pocket supercomputer, and simply plug into hardware located wherever we go?

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