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New Bersin & Associates Research Shows Mobile Learning Finally Goes Mainstream

Consumer mobile device penetration and usage paves the way for changes in corporate learning

Oakland, CA – March 24, 2011 –  Bersin & Associates, the premier research and consulting firm empowering HR organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced that mobile learning finally has gone mainstream, driven by consumers in both the developed and developing worlds, and by mobile- technology oriented industries including high-tech, business services, and healthcare. 

Consumers are spearheading the adoption of mobile technologies in the workplace and around  the developing world –  spurred by the explosion of easy-to-use and relatively inexpensive smart phones, eBook readers, netbooks, tablets, and user-friendly applications, according to the research study, m-Learning: Mobile Learning is Finally Going Mainstream – And It Is Bigger Than You Might Think. Use of mobile devices for learning has risen from 9 percent of U.S.-based organizations in 2007 to an estimated 20 percent or more in 2010. More than a quarter of the world’s population now uses a mobile device and frequent mobile Internet use has almost doubled in the past year, according to the study. The research report also notes that the informal uses for m-learning vastly outnumber the formal, and that these new applications increasingly empower today’s workers to access the information they need on demand.

  • Major companies, including Bersin & Associates Learning Leaders®, have adopted and demonstrated the efficacy of mobile learning. For example: Accenture created a uPodcast program that enables subject-matter experts and the organization’s leaders to share knowledge at a minimal cost. To date, 180 podcasts have been created and more than 20,000 employees – 11 percent of the total workforce – have accessed them.
  • Coca-Cola turned to Kelley Executive Partners to create an alternate reality game that combines social and mobile technologies – including GPS and smartphones – along with collaborative and competitive team problem-solving. The game was designed to drive understanding of how millennial consumers use Web 2.0 technologies (and avoiding television) to help Coca-Cola develop a more effective marketing strategy.

“Mobile learning is ushering a new era – one of unprecedented speed, scale and reach that can connect employees to the knowledge and expertise they need, when and where they need it,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president, Bersin & Associates. “Today’s enterprise learning functions risk becoming irrelevant if they do not rapidly respond to the power of new mobile technologies to both deepen and hasten the sharing of information across organizations, and to the changing needs and expectations for learning by new generations and geographies of employees.”

Learning organizations will need to rethink their methods, practices and perspective to support meeting business learning needs at the speeds of business, and via the formats and modalities used by business, said David Mallon, principal analyst, Bersin & Associates and author of the study. The report, which also provides an overview of the m-Learning solution provider market, draws from both existing Bersin & Associates research plus additional qualitative research conducted with both practitioner organizations and key solution providers.

“Timeliness, proximity, versatility – these are among the key measures of today’s high-impact learning organization,” Mallon added. “m-Learning plays a critical role in helping organizations meet the demands of these measures.”

The new Bersin & Associates report, m-Learning: Mobile Learning Is Finally Going Mainstream – And It Is Bigger Than You Might Think is available for $495 for a PDF and $625 for a print copy. For more details go to http://www.bersin.com/MobileLearn2011

Two Bersin & Associates reports, including m-Learning: Mobile Learning is Finally Going Mainstream and Virtual Classrooms: Facts, Practical Analysis, Trends and Provider Comparisons are available in a single downloadable PDF package for $795 for a PDF and $925 for a print copy. For more details on this package go to http://www.bersin.com/LearnTechPkg2011

Register for an online webinar about m-Learning and Next-Generation E-Learning at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific today, March 24th, at http://www.bersin.com/News/EventDetails.aspx?id=13696

Those interested in learning more about Bersin & Associates and its WhatWorks® membership may email info@bersin.com or call (510) 251-4400.  For media queries, email laura.evenson@bersin.com or call (415) 465-2711. 

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates members use our insights and tools to benchmark themselves against best practices, design and implement programs across the HR and learning spectrum and select and implement systems.  More than 5,000 organizations worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 100, use Bersin & Associates research and consulting to guide their learning, talent, and human resources strategies.

Bersin & Associates empowers HR and learning organizations to drive bottom-line impact through world-class research and consulting. The company's WhatWorks® membership gives human resources, learning, and talent acquisition professionals the information and tools they need to drive change in their organizations as strategic business partners.