2014 Internet User Trends and eLearning

It’s that time of year again! Mary Meeker has published her slides for 2014 Internet Trends as she sees them.

The following image is a look at high level user/usage trends.

Internet Usage Trends

The Business of eLearning Development

So, here is my take at translating this into the business of eLearning development.

  • Almost everyone who needs/wants to learn via the internet has it available to them.
  • Mobile Learning is still a big deal.
  • Tablet Learning is becoming a much bigger deal.
  • Short, Video-based learning Content delivered to mobile devices must be part of your training strategy

Breaking Down the Bullets

The first bullet means you can go ahead and delete the question on your User Analysis Checklist that says, “Does the learner have internet access”. They have it. (But while I’m at it please also delete the question asking “how do you like to learn”.)

The second bullet means more and more people have the ability to access learning content via their smartphone. Just make sure your learning management system automatically supports mobile delivery and your all set.

People Like the Form Factor

I’m not going to get into the debate about tablets being mobile devices or not, but the data is pretty clear.  People really like the form factor. I love my iPad mini and prefer it over my phone and laptop. You would be wise to include tablets as part of your testing process. And on a personal note I’ve seen tablets replacing laptops and other computers in many service industries.  From the coffee shops I frequent to the iPads given to my wife for her work in home healthcare.  I have no doubt that a lot of eLearning will be consumed on tablets in the coming years.

Video is Truly a Big Deal

And lastly, we have confirmation that, yes, video is a big deal…and only getting bigger.  If you’ve followed any of my online rants throughout the years you know how I feel about video.  There is no excuse for not creating video as part of your learning content.  TED Talks videos, Khan Academy, and countless other examples, have proven the medium as the king of all media. Make sure your learning management system can handle video uploads, and automatically do the magic of mobile format conversion for you.

Let’s Hangout!

And, as usual, there are many many more slides for your viewing pleasure.  Each and every one will make for outstanding blog fodder for the coming weeks.  So, just prepare yourself and your RSS feed reader for the coming wave of conversations. I’m considering opening up a Google Hangout and just inviting my network to join in.  If you would be interested in participating in a lively conversation around the 2014 Internet Trends, please let me know and comment below.