Friday, May 12, 2006
Leap-frogging E-learning: The new era begins
Leap-frogging, the mainstay of Indian development scenario, now finds a new follower in the Indian e-learning industry. So even while most organizations still struggle while creating flawless CBTs and WBTs, some companies are eyeing the gen-next mobile learning. Wonder! Is e-learning fated for an ugly death in the hands of these "knowledge marauders".
So here’s the new baby in town: mobile learning. Even as Gartner declared that India is going to have the largest number of mobile subscribers in the world by 2009, e-learning managers have crowded conference rooms in their quest to understand the situation – prospects and futuristic fundas. Expert opinion is being sought and e-learning companies are frantically trying to tie-up with mobile service providers in trying to work out ways in which learning could be easily provided for Indian learners.
The flurry is however as usual: more hype and little understanding. What Gartner has suggested in the number of mobile subscribers and not the ‘quality’ of mobile subscribers. So even if the mobile service providers try to ‘pack’ talk-time with some ‘learning modules’ the concept may not work. Most Indian subscribers are likely to be people who are illiterate and have no need for hi-tech learning. And they are not going to be interested in ‘soft-skills’ and ‘managerial lessons’ at all. Perhaps a lesson on ‘how to make a living’ could be high on their list of preferences. And with a ‘knowledge-starving’ e-learning industry in India the first subscribers of the ‘how to make a living’ course could be e-learning professionals themselves.
It perhaps makes more sense for Indian e-learning companies in avoiding the quantitative figures in mobile subscribers in India and look for a pie in the mobile learning phenomenon sweeping others regions of the world – in the US and Europe.
Posted by AC at 4:36 PM