Locating To Learn: Using GPS For Location-Based Content Delivery

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There are certain features to your cell phone that are hardly possible or usable on other devices like PCs or Laptops. Yes, we are talking about GPS here. GPS has been around for quite a while now, but the availability of affordable internet on phones, tablets and phablets is ultimately responsible for its widespread use by people. Be it detecting location on Google maps or finding a good place to eat nearby; tracking the elderly and children or wandering off-track while on an adventurous hike- GPS enabled devices have made life easier by giving us a better sense of control. Though GPS devices can be standalone, this feature has become almost a bare minimum standard for any smartphone.

Locating To Learn Using GPS For Location-Based Content DeliveryMarketers are quickly cashing in on this new service. Location-based advertising (LBA) is a new form of advertising that uses location-based services to advertise on people’s mobiles. The technology is used to pinpoint consumers’ location and provide location-specific advertisements on their mobile devices. There are many interesting ways of doing this. For example, advertising based on consumer’s location history, or on the basis of their speed or direction of movement. In all of this, the objective is to customize the content to the consumer’s location so that the information is accurate and relevant.

Though largely unexplored in the arena, location based content delivery renders exciting opportunities for mobile learning. Consider an example. Suppose you have a technical engineer who has to take various sales calls for a given day. By detecting his location, you can deliver tailor-made content about the nearest venue, approximate time to reach and so on, right on his mobile device. This not only saves the time of the engineer but also improves the overall efficiency of your organization. Similarly, employees / managers going for important meetings can be updated with the latest information/news about that organization and industry. Employees are likely to take such prompt information much more seriously because it is immediately relevant to them. A word of caution though. You must provide for for measures to prevent delivery of learning content in a case where an employee might visit a place (that is geographically close to an otherwise usual official visit place) for personal reasons. A good way of doing this might be to impose certain time constraints on the location of employees- for instance, between 9 am to 6 pm only.

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The idea looks promising. It is upto organizations to successfully merge it with their learning strategies to suit their individual learning requirements. And those who do it successfully, shall reap the benefits of a smarter and happier workforce.

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