SumTotal® Systems, Inc., a global provider of learning, performance and talent management solutions, today announced that the upcoming release of its industry-leading ToolBook® Instructor will include the ability to rapidly create learning and interactive content for Apple’s iPhone™. Using new ToolBook SmartStyles - intelligent, professionally designed layouts optimized for the iPhone - and new support for the Safari web browser, organizations now have the ability to create rich, interactive content, enabling a Web 2.0 experience for mobile users that was not available before. The iPhone will be the first of other devices, such as Windows Mobile phones, to take advantage of this solution.
A recent survey by Bersin and Associates, a research and advisory consulting firm focused on enterprise learning and talent management, found that 18% of companies are currently delivering learning to mobile devices on a regular basis and another 35% are actively looking for such solutions.
“There is a strong trend toward development of rapid, informal content which employees can access at any time,” says Josh Bersin, president. “More than one billion devices are now in operation. SumTotal’s solution enables organizations to easily deliver online learning to employees through one of their most popular devices – their mobile phone.”
The eLearning Guild, a worldwide community of practice comprising over 29,000 e-Learning designers, developers, and decision makers, recently published a major report on Mobile Learning. Nearly half of the respondents said that a lack of standard across the industry was a barrier to adopting mobile learning, but they also conceded that mobile learning was key to increasing learner and user access and availability. “What we also found that’s exciting, is that nearly 45% of members that completed the survey indicate that they plan to do more mobile learning in the next 12 months,” says Steve Wexler, director of research and emerging technologies for The eLearning Guild. “And of the members who have employed mobile learning, 52% report an improvement in user performance and an 83% report making e-Learning more readily available to learners in their organization.
“One of the truly miraculous things about the iPhone is how many Web pages work – and work well – without any thought to redesigning them for a small screen. It is the first small, portable, won’t-leave-home-without-it device where Websites not designed with a small screen in mind just work.”
Wexler sees ToolBook’s explicit support for simultaneous delivery of content for large screens and the iPhone as something that Guild members will be very pleased about. “Guild members have made it clear that they don’t want to have to double their development efforts; that is, they want to develop it once and have it work on multiple platforms. ToolBook’s support for this capability will assuage a major concern of many Guild members.”
“Mobile learning has been a hot topic with our customers – the ability to reach and develop talent in a changing and dynamic workforce that is constantly on the move is a significant step forward for them,” says Sanjay Dholakia, senior vice president and general manager, Learning and Talent Management business unit at SumTotal. “Our investment in innovation is leading to unique talent management solutions that are focused on customer success - workers on a production floor, sales associates that are interfacing with customers or even workers delayed at an airport. Talent development and learning is most effective when received at the time of need – no matter where you are. Having pioneered the move of learning management to the web, we are thrilled to now pioneer its move beyond.”
With a microsite dedicated to mobile learning, SumTotal is providing examples of mobile learning content for the iPhone, a whitepaper on best practices for creating mobile learning, demos, and the ability to sign up for the free ToolBook Instructor 9.5 beta program on their website.