SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

How mLearning is changing the way we learn

[fa icon="calendar"] March 1, 2017 / by Danny Satas


What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Think fast!! Well? Although most of us won’t admit it, one of the first things we do in the morning is check our phones. No surprise here, as the concept of the “mobile phone” has developed significantly throughout the years. Do you still recall the good/bad old days when the mobile phone was only used to make and receive calls? Well those days are long gone. Now, with the wide range of handheld portable computers available, i.e. smartphones and tablets, mobile domination is inevitable!

Mobile Phone Usage


No surprise then that mobile phones were leading the overall device usage trends in 2016. 96% of respondents to the Connected Consumer Survey 2016 from China use mobile devices on a regular basis. China, US and UK mobile device usage overpowers the use of computers between 10 and 35%, depending on the sample country.


Mobile Learning 1.png

Source: The Connected Consumer Survey 2016 by Google 


Some say revolution is coming – I say it’s already here! If anything, current trends can only paint a partial picture of how our daily lives will strongly depend on connectivity and communication via a smart portable device. Handheld smart devices have a significant influence on growth within the retail, entertainment, leisure and now learning industries. 


Mobile Learning 2.png

Source: eLearning Market Trends and Forecast 2017-2021 – Docebo, 2016

So what is mLearning?



Simply put, mobile learning otherwise referred to as mobile education, is a type of learning available anywhere anytime through a handheld, smart device! What we previously referred to as a classroom course, which then was transferred to the online field, is now fully customized and available through your portable smart device.



Handheld smart devices are dominating the global market, penetrating new industries, and changing how we live our daily lives. So why should the learning industry be any different?
It is in our nature as human beings to be filled with curiosity, to learn new skills, pick up new trades and develop ourselves both personally and professionally.

More so, the global mobile learning market should reach $20 billion by the end of this year, growing to the staggering amount of $38 billion by 2020.

These figures by themselves should be a good enough answer as to why learning is going mobile.

But that’s not all! According to a research carried out by McKinsey & Co., additional socio-cultural factors will play a part in the growth of mobile learning. Children growing up now will adapt much quicker to mobile technologies compared to 10 years ago. Even governments and educational bodies have begun to recognise the power and the attention grabbing ability of mobile learning and are now encouraging further future investments.



Where is the trend most evident? Broadly speaking the overall eLearning trend can be tracked back to North America. This directly translates into the mobile learning environment as North America will lead by example, estimating around $15 billion by 2020.


However, bigger growth rates will be seen elsewhere, for example:


  • Asia-Pacific is projected to grow up to 54% through 2011-2020.
  • China and India, both countries experiencing great economic growth for the last decade or so, are at the top of the group and are predicted to steadily increase spend on mobile learning in the years to come.
  • The emerging Brazilian market is likely to have a significantly higher spend on mLearning compared to other Latin American countries.


Although the forecast seems to be bright for mobile learning, it will not be without obstacles! The lack of fully localized content, available in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, is one of the main issues mLearning publishers will be facing to sustain steady growth. Compared to eLearning, mobile learning has a significantly higher dependency on content.


Access to education is still one of the main issues faced by developing/emerging markets. Lack of school coverage with the combination of low-quality, locally available material constrains millions of people from primary or continued education in their life, and mobile learning is definitely playing its part in solving this!


Three take-aways


1- mLearning is increasingly growing and will do so for the foreseeable future, with the help of current global reach and constant tech development

2- Locally available content is one of the main issues currently facing developing/emerging markets

3- Translated and localized content will play a big part in the continued success of mobile learning growth in non-English speaking countries


If you have an App and are thinking about going global, the first step is to ensure that your app is localization ready.

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Topics: International Business Strategy

Danny Satas

Written by Danny Satas

Danny serves as Account Coordinator at SimulTrans, focusing on new business development and customer relationship management. He is one of the newest additions to the ever growing SimulTrans' team, coming from a sales and marketing background and holds an MBA in Marketing from Dublin Business School (DBS).