I had an “ah ha” moment this weekend. To put it in geek-speak, I had my first experience with mobile learning for performance support…and it was amazing.

After seeing a quote to replace the windows in my house which roughly approximated the US median annual household income, I decided it might be a better idea to try my hand at some weatherstripping. So one night, I did some research online, figured out that I could handle it, and assembled a shopping list for my weekly contribution to Home Depot’s bottom line.

Come Saturday, I had my tools and my materials, but standing in front of my first window, I realized I’d forgotten most of the little tips and tricks I’d learned earlier in the week. But that wasn’t a problem, I just whipped out my new Android phone, spent 5 minutes watching a refresher video on YouTube and I was off and running.

Once it became mind-numbingly boring to adhere strips to window, my mind wandered and it occurred to me how brilliantly effective little bytes of mobile learning can be. I didn’t have to go downstairs and sit at the computer, I didn’t have to sit through everything I’d already learned…I just needed a quick refresher and it was sitting right there with me in my pocket.

Of course, I’ve heard all the buzz about mobile learning and yes, I get it at an intellectual level. But now that I’ve experienced it, it takes on a new meaning. This is really powerful stuff.

A lot of people have asked us if we’re doing anything with mobile and we’re not really doing anything yet. We know that the SCORM Engine works on the iPhone and Androids devices, but that’s about as far as we’ve taken it.

The question I keep asking is, “what are the big technical problems to be solved in mobile learning?”. I don’t have a good answer yet, so I’ll pose it here. What are your thoughts? What needs to be done to enable mobile learning on a broader scale? Are the problems technical, or are they more organizational? What should we do in the space? Or, really, does anybody have an idea for a killer app that would let me afford those new windows??!!

Mike is the CEO of Watershed, though he is the Founder and was President of Rustici Software until 2016. He helped guide the first draft of the Tin Can API (xAPI) and believes ice cream is the "elixir of life."