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Mobilizing the learning experience

Businesses must leverage the appropriate mobile technology and platform to optimize eLearning initiatives.

There have been a wide range of technological discoveries made in recent years that have revolutionized the way education works today for both traditional classroom students and corporate environments. If they haven't already, the majority of organizations will soon shift toward digitalized content delivery, a task becoming not only easier but also more necessary as electronic devices become a staple in day-to-day life and eLearning methods continually advance.

One of the latest innovations in artificial intelligence, introduced this week by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers at the International Solid State Circuits Conference, is a new chip, which the research group named Eyeriss. This piece of robotic technology leverages neural networks and graphic processing units, or GPUs, which could potentially transform the capabilities of mobile technology, Wireless Week reported. 

"Mobile content technology is necessary for today's learning environment."

According to the source, this chip has the power to accelerate and improve artificial intelligence algorithms that would enable "networked devices [to] make important decisions locally, entrusting only their conclusions, rather than raw personal data, to the Internet."

"Right now, the networks are pretty complex and are mostly run on high-power GPUs," Vivienne Sze, an MIT professor, explained to Wireless Week. "You can imagine that if you can bring that functionality to your cell phone or embedded devices, you could still operate even if you don't have a Wi-Fi connection. You might also want to process locally for privacy reasons. Processing it on your phone also avoids any transmission latency, so that you can react much faster for certain applications."

ELearning discoveries and advancements
Although it will likely be years before this type of technology is available to mainstream audiences, the concept is indicative of how far science has come and how it has influenced the way in which publishers and marketers communicate and distribute information today.

The eLearning industry is a rapidly growing market that is finding its way into all industries and segments, not just learning and development communities, but companies of all sizes and fields. One sector of it that is especially thriving at the moment is mobile learning.

Business Because recently reported that a study conducted by PitchBook found that education and technology organizations earned approximately $2.7 billion in 2015. This upsurge runs parallel to an increase in online students. The news source also revealed that, according to the Babson Survey Group, there has been a 20 percent growth rate in eLearners.

Coursera Director of Business Development and International Julia Stiglitz told Business Because that she expects an especially dramatic increase in mLearning. Even now, about half of the organization's 17 million subscribers access the course material from a mobile or tablet device. She also said that this incline can be attributed to more people having access to these gadgets and why they are quickly becoming the "platform of choice and a necessary tool."

Easy and entertaining education
It is important that business leaders take notice of this trend and adjust operations accordingly. To understand how to best improve their organization and leverage the most appropriate systems and services, companies need a comprehensive understanding of which aspects of mobile learning are fueling the market.

Mobile technology  can optimize eLearning initiatives.
Mobile technology can optimize eLearning initiatives.

Microlearning is the method of delivering small pieces of information that are easy to digest. Because the content is offered in increments, this type of learning is ideal for distribution on mobile devices, since the material can be quickly accessed on-the-go. People can complete training courses in 15-minute intervals and companies are able to offer the education through a channel that is more affordable and effective than traditional live classroom instruction. Overlapping this approach is the growing trend of gamification. This process involves using a game-like model to inform and educate, applying video game-like elements to make learning more entertaining, engaging and interactive. Online modules, quizzes, assessments and other types of simulations can be incorporated into the eLearning experience and are complimented through the utilization of digital content.

Immersive and social platforms
Another aspect of mobile technology that has fueled the growth of electronic training applications is the concept of social learning. Social media networks have created an environment that enhances channels of communication, connectivity and collaboration. The exchanging of ideas is made significantly easier with digital devices and even more so for the younger generations that use social media on a daily basis, the Association of Talent Development recently explained.

"Digital content makes education more entertaining, engaging and effective."

The presence of these tools and processes offer businesses and organizations additional means for increased accessibility, discoverability and deliverability of education and training materials. Furthermore, the ability to have videos and other virtual content be seamlessly integrated into mobile platforms has also contributed to the rapidly escalating adoption of social learning methods. The source added that interactive features, such as Augmented Reality technology, provide users with an immersive learning environment that spikes levels of engagement and, ultimately, delivers a more effective and stimulating experience.

Technological discoveries are being introduced on a regular basis. Therefore, it is crucial that organizations stay informed on digital content developments to ensure the best strategies and solutions are employed. While public platforms, such as YouTube, could be used to upload and deliver training materials and videos, there are massive limitations that prevent companies from meeting their specific needs. Instead, businesses should utilize third-party software and advanced content management systems that give them the control, customization and regulation capabilities necessary for success.

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