If statistical figures are to be believed, the sale of tablets is going to be ever-increasing. If you look at iPads in particular in the US alone, an estimated 85 million people will be using the tablet by 2016.
When we talk of mobile learning, we generally tend to include both kinds of mobile devices – smartphones as well as tablets. A few questions might put things in perspective:
– For everyday personal use, if mobiles and tablets are interchangeable for the work they can do, why do people own both smartphones AND tablets?
– What is it in a tablet that a whole market is thriving on it besides high end smartphones being available at more affordable prices?
The obvious answer is screen size, and thus interactivity. For the same reason that you might prefer to play a strategy based game on an iPad instead of a smartphone, an employee might like to view a presentation on an iPad too. Smartphones may not be able to provide users with as rich a multimedia experience or computational capabilities as a tablet. While the ideal way is to design content that is device agnostic; tablets, and iPads in particular have some serious advantages over phones which cannot be excluded while designing training courses. Plus if you have a lot of iPad users in your organization, you have reason all the more. A few things to remember before you do that:
Use the screen
The most differentiable aspect between a phone and a tablet is the screen size. When and why would an employee would prefer a bigger screen? What is it in the iPad screen that makes it much better than others? Carefully research the work processes and requirements of your employees so that the content that you design utilizes the screen optimally. For example, because of its high resolution screen, an iPad is excellent for rendering high definition videos.
With a greater screen size comes the possibility of embedding greater interactivity in your learning system. Simulations and social games that require multi-touch capabilities may be far richer in their user experience on an iPad than on a smartphone. Screen size and interactivity is an asset, don’t waste it.
Don’t just design. Redesign too
Since a tablet is somewhere between the laptop and smartphone, you can also convert your existing eLearning content using readily available software such as Lectora Inspire, Flash CS6 Toolkit for CreateJS etc. Flash, Articulate or Captivate courses as well as native apps can be easily converted.
Gone are the days when tablets were used only for entertainment purposes like playing games and watching videos. They have now become an integral part of the L & D activities of various organizations in all kinds of industries. It’s time to think about it if your organization hasn’t.
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