Multitude of Training Opportunities for Professional Development

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techthursday

 

Tech Thursday is a blog series where we feature industry people, corporate learners and trainers on their e-learning habits. It covers everything from the e-learning they do in their company to the one tech device they can’t live without. This Thursday, we feature Weihao, who is a Senior Client Service Representative in a financial services company. He shares with us the multitude of training opportunities his company provides for them and how his company values talent and develops them by spending time and resources on flying trainers from other countries to hold training sessions for the staff.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you work at and what is your designation?

I am Weihao. I graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Economics & Finance) from RMIT. I am currently working in a financial services company as a Senior Client Service Representative.

What kind of training do you do in your company?

My company offers a multitude of training opportunities and I appreciate that. The training opportunities range from on the job training, WebEx training (live or on demand training), to dedicated on site trainers and e-learning modules that staff can take. All staff are also required to complete a certain number of hours of training per year.

source: www.sound-connect.com

“My company offers a multitude of training opportunities and I appreciate that. The training opportunities range from on the job training, WebEx training (live or on demand training), to dedicated on site trainers and e-learning modules that staff can take.”

 

How do you usually go through training?

I am fortunate to be in a company that values talent and is willing to spend time and resources on us to help develop us professionally. The company will frequently fly trainers from around the world to conduct face to face training sessions for us. These trainings are usually geared towards teaching soft skills such as how to handle difficult clients. We have also recently added a trainer to be located on site in our Singapore Office and that would allow for more trainings to be conducted.

For e-learning modules, we can simply log in to our company’s intranet to subscribe to the modules and take them any time we want. The modules cover a spectrum of content including both hard skills and soft skills. There is usually an assessment conducted at the end of the module to assess our understanding of the session.

There are also WebEx knowledge sharing sessions conducted by both internal or external parties for us to keep abreast of developments within the financial industry. The Q&A sessions at the end are always great opportunities for us to ask questions to deepen our understanding.

Lastly, seniors and team leaders will also conduct on the job training from time to time to impart their experience and knowledge to the junior partners.

 

Source: depts.washington.edu

“I am fortunate to be in a company that values talent and is willing to spend time and resources on us to help develop us professionally.”

 

What do you like about the different forms of training that you have?

The training methods are varied and training focuses on both hard skills and soft skills.

Other than the training provided by your company, do you actively seek out other ways to improve how you do your job? If yes, how do you do so?

I actively follow financial news through news sources such as Bloomberg or Business Times. My company also offers free online subscriptions to various financial news providers which we can access at our leisure.

What kind of tech devices do you use?

I have a smartphone.

What is one device you can’t live without, and why?

My smartphone. I use it to stay in touch with the news.

What is the one technology tool that has helped you a lot in learning? Why?

The internet. All sorts of information and knowledge are now conveniently available at the click of a button.

How to Use Videos In Performance Support

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Source: iStockphoto

We have shared  how performance support complements training and supports a worker in his work, in one of our previous posts two months ago “Performance Support: More than Just Training“. We know that in order for performance support to be effective, the materials or resources should be convenient and informative, ie: helps the worker  apply a skill, solve a problem or change performance practises, in the shortest possible way. Here at Epiphany, we thought of one possible way to achieve that target. Using videos.

Benefits of using Videos in Performance Support

1. Videos accommodate different learning styles

According to Howard Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligence, “all human beings possess the capacity to develop the several intelligences”. (see “A Beginner’s Guide to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI)” ) There are  8 categories of abilities are musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. Videos provide a sensory experience that engage and stimulate learners of varying intelligences. Using sight and sound, videos are perfect for auditory or visual learners and aids retention.

2. Just-in-time support.

Performance support is embedded in the work process and more often than not, it is usually used simultaneously with the task or challenge at hand. Hence, it is essential for the employees to be able to obtain the necessary information almost instantaneously when required. Videos can be played back, paused or stopped when necessary and is able to condense large amounts of information in short spurts.

3. Greater flexibility

Videos can be burnt onto a DVD disc, copied onto a USB thumbdrive or hosted on the internet which can be easily accessed from smartphones or mobile devices. This makes the performance support adaptable to the needs of the employees or the company. The content can also be accessed any time when required.

So How Can We Use Videos in Performance Support?

1. Demonstrational Videos

Capturing the nuances of a step by step process in the form of a video would be most effective for the operation of machineries or complicated processes in the workflow. Such videos usually involve complicated work processes or act as a guide to the use of machines or equipment  and the employees can use the videos for better understanding or operational guidelines.

2. Product or Service Information

Videos of products can be made and saved in an online module for the employees to refer to when necessary. The videos will be able to provide the employees with thorough and concise information of the products or services and help equip the employees with the  product or service knowledge.

3. Case Studies

Videos of case studies can be made to allow the employees to model after or find a solution to the problem or issue faced at work. The realistic nature of such videos will allow the employees to find quick solutions to their work issues.

4. Best Practices, Innovations, Ideas

Collaborative learning among peers can be enhanced when the employees are filmed for best practices, innovations or ideas. The online module can consist of videos of how various employees solve a similar problem or practices that the company would like to encourage.

5. Meetings, Conferences or Briefings.

Companies can consider editing videos of important conferences, meetings, briefings or training sessions down to the key messages and save them in a short online module. This will help translate strategic initiatives into bite sized content which the employees can revisit whenever necessary.

 

Edle mlearning

EDLE

We mentioned a couple of times above how the videos made can be stored and saved in an online module for quick reference by the employees. We would like to take some time to introduce EDLE again, the mobile learning platform which has taken us months to research, plan and program. EDLE allows organisations to build courses and performance support modules in a fast and effective way through its easy user-interface. Now, anyone and not just the L&D department can build these courses.

Sign up for a free EDLE trial now!

 

If you have any other ways in which companies are using videos in performance support, do share with us in the comments below!

 

Snapchat, Traces and mLearning?

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Snapchat

Snapchat

A couple of days ago, we read online that Snapchat has become the third leading social network in America, trailing after Facebook and Instagram. In case you are wondering what Snapchat is, it is basically a mobile app which allows the users to take videos and pictures, add text or draw onto the pictures or videos before sending it to their families and friends. The pictures or videos will eventually self destruct and yes, the receiver will only get to view the videos or pictures from 1 to 10 seconds, before its gone forever.

So we wonder, what’s the hype about it? We understand that most users find it a fun and interesting way to share private pictures and videos with friends on a social media platform.

Here at Epiphany, we can’t help but notice the similarity in Snapchat, Traces and mLearning. Collaboration and sharing of information between users on a social media platform, constantly on the go, customised content, all too familiar isn’t it?

So we started to wonder, can we use it for mlearning? Can we send pictures or videos as quizzes or part of the assessment where learners will have to commit the content down to memory before the pictures and videos are gone? How about sending confidential information in the form of infographics for employees to learn on the go. We feel that the time availability of the pictures or videos forces one to commit the information to memory quickly, forcing the learner to be focused, target oriented and efficient. The collaborative and sharing nature of the app, need we say more?

 

Traces

source: wired.co.uk

Traces

Traces is a new app which is only available in the UK where the sender can create a digital message or present for their chosen person. It can be in the form of a text, music, images, videos, tickets, vouchers or a combination of them. The catch is that the receiver can only unlock the message if they are in the right location at the stipulated time decided by the sender.

The whole idea of Traces, is for the receiver to embark on a journey of discovery, almost like a digitised treasure hunt, as they have to try to find the correct location of where their message is waiting for them. Only when they are in the right location, will they be able to view the message intended for them.

So how can we use Traces for mlearning? Can we tap on the collaborative nature of the app to encourage collaboration between employees, perhaps even product information exchange? Can we design a “learning journey” for employees to understand more of the various locations/outlets of their company? Can we engage learners by creating a treasure hunt for them that they can only unlock a special piece of information only if they are at a right place?

 

The possibilities seem endless, and the mere thought of them is getting us very excited too!

Do you have any ideas how we might be able to use Snapchat or Traces for mlearning? Leave your comments and share with us!

 

Customised Professional Development

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techthursday

 

Tech Thursday is a blog series where we feature industry people, corporate learners and trainers on their e-learning habits. It covers everything from the e-learning they do in their company to the one tech device they can’t live without. This thursday, we feature Jean, who used to teach in a primary school and was Information Communications Technology (ICT) Level Head for her school. She shares with us the training programmes for the teachers, and how in the school environment, teaching and learning takes place not just for the students, but for teachers as well.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where do you work at and what is your designation?

I am Jean, I was a teacher for 5 years and have recently left the service. I graduated with a honours degree in Bachelor of Arts, specialising in Chinese Language and Literature  from the Nanyang Technology University. Before I left the service, I was the Information Communications Technology (ICT) Level Head for my school, and was championing programs to facilitate learning emphasizing on 21st century competency skills like self directed learning and collaborative learning.

What kind of training do you do in your school?

Firstly, we normally call it professional development rather than training. As most teachers would have already went through either a diploma or bachelor’s programme with National Institute of Education (NIE), we will just have a short induction program for new staff when they first join the school. Secondly, we also have workshops, professional sharing sessions and e-learning sessions where we will cover mainly pedagogical content,skills or techniques. Last but not least, we have tons of on-the-job training, via the mentoring by seniors and supervising officers.

How do you usually go through training?

For new teachers, there are a couple of compulsory courses which they have to attend, either in the forms of workshops or e- learning sessions. Subsequently, for teachers’ own professional learning development, teachers can choose the type of courses they would like to attend in a year, ranging from pedagogical content to classroom management strategies to children’s cognitive development.

I appreciate the fact that there is a certain amount of flexibility for us to choose the type of courses we would like to attend instead of being dictated by our supervisors. In this way the learning is more customised and I’m more motivated to learn and be trained in what I feel is lacking in myself or simply something I’m more interested in.

For e-learning sessions, they are normally done  on an interactive learning platform where there will be case studies and continual assessments along the way. At the end, there will be a final quiz assessing the learning.

On-the-job training is essentially where most of our professional development takes place. Personally, I benefit most from going to other teachers’ classrooms to observe their lessons as well as when we have professional learning teams. Usually the teachers teaching the same level will come together to identify a gap in the children’s learning and design a lesson package or come up with various strategies to bridge that gap. There is a mentoring program in my school where teachers of varying teaching experiences are allocated  “mentoring” periods to observe each others’ classes. A more senior teacher may be observing a younger teacher in terms of how he/she  integrates various web 2.0 mobile platforms in our curriculum and a younger officer may be learning from the senior teacher in terms of pedagogical content and teaching strategies.

What do you like about the different forms of training that you have?

I appreciate the fact that there are various modes of professional development for teachers. Teacher led workshops normally share very realistic examples and knowledge as “only a teacher will understand another teacher”. Conferences where experts from different countries or different fields come together are very rich in knowledge and content. E-learning on interactive platforms suits the nature of our job, allowing us to go through the learning at our preferred time and pace.

source: nie.edu.sg

Other than the training provided by your school, do you actively seek out other ways to improve how you do your job? If yes, how do you do so?

I try to read newspapers daily to keep abreast of what’s happening locally and internationally. I’m quite active on social media and follow education, technology and psychology related articles,journals and accounts closely. I attend theatre and drama plays, visit the museums, and sign up for external courses which I feel will help me improve on my job.

What kind of tech devices do you use?

I own a laptop, an Ipad and an Iphone.

What is one device you can’t live without, and why?

I definitely cannot do without my Iphone. These days I rely on Google Maps to navigate around, access work and personal emails, jot down whatever ideas I have for work while I’m on the go, check my social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Swarm and Facebook for timely updates and of course communicate with co workers, friends and family on What’s app.

What is the one technology tool that has helped you a lot in learning? Why?

Definitely Mr Google. I have lost track of the number of times I found myself stuck at work or faced with a challenge and my immediate action would be to google for solutions or answers. Although it is important to be able to sieve through the large amount of information for accurate information, Mr Google has definitely been my “go-to-person” whenever I’m in need.

The Future of Learning is Mobile

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Over the month, we’ve been working on EDLE, our mobile learning solution for organisations. Passion, for our team, goes way over the radar when it comes to discussing about how mLearning can make such a difference in business optimisation in organisation. So we decided to come up with an infographic to help explain why!

Infographic Mobile Learning-01

If you like what we created, feel free to post it up on your own blog or share it! Remember to credit us at http://epiphanyedu.com. Do also share with us your thoughts and comments on mobile learning!

How We Use Evernote to be a Better Learning Organisation

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I am sure most of you have read about how we first started using Evernote, and some great uses that we have discovered since using Evernote. I think the past 3 months have made some of us fan boys/girls of Evernote. With the help of our team, I’ve put together a short video of how Evernote has helped us become a better learning organisation!

If you use Evernote, do share with us how it has helped you in your workflow!

5 Ways Companies Are Using mLearning

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picjumbo.com_IMG_3642

Source: picjumbo.com

Companies are always searching for ways to engage their learners in training. These new ways are done with intention to ensure continued improvement of an employee’s work performance. Sometimes, we mistake training as just being a pass requirement, but simply having that mindset of merely passing a substandard training course does little to help the company in its business performance. Not only that, the medium of conducting these programmes is very important because it determines the instructional design of the course and how accessible it is to employees.

Lately, the industry has been going towards mobile learning technologies (MLT) as a result of growing mobile adoption for workers all around the world. Organisations are looking at providing more performance support in light of growing trends of data growth in every business, which highlights the need for employers to help their employees sieve through the avalanche of information to get to the most important ones that make the difference. Mobile Learning seems to be able to do that by providing employees what they need at their point of need. Definitely, this unique selling point has helped mobile learning to gained alot of traction in the training industry, especially in the retail and sales related businesses where accurate and up-to-date information is constantly needed.

Building upon the list from trainingzone, let us now take a look at how some companies are using mLearning for their organisations:

1. Video

Videos are an integral part of the mobile learning as it provides content that is engaging when delivered the right way. Videos are great for how-tos and in providing short bursts of content. In a 2012 research report on mLearning (ASTD), video was found to be the top 3 preferred formats for mLearning. These are videos used for courses, performance support, quick references, product updates, etc. It is also found to be highly effective as people have reported high levels of engagement in a poll of 300 training professionals by Brandon Hall.

2. Converting and pushing key documents

This is essentially performance support, where employees are able to dynamically access important and key information at the time and point of need. mLearning allows them the ability to do so because their devices are on them most of the time.

3. Supporting the blend

Most companies are still rather conventional and still prefer face-to-face training as their primary mode of delivery. However, they have also recognised the need for classroom time and the time out of classroom to encompass more interactive and engaging elements. Mobile is a good way to incorporate such elements. For example, learners could be using their mobile device to engage in a short quiz or poll during class and the results will be immediately available to the instructor. Not only that, trainers are able to “follow up” on learners to ensure that learners are applying what they learn in the classroom out of the classroom. An example is the app Gametize, which allows trainers to plan a series of challenges for their learners. For example, learners may have gone through a communications course and trainers could follow up on their progress by getting them to do challenges like speaking in front of a small group, or approaching a group of strangers to strike up a conversation.

4. On-the-go training courses and performance support for mobile workforce

The mobile workforce is the main target of mobile training courses and performance support as they are the profile of employees who need quick updates, up-to-date information, product specifications and more. Because of that, mobile learning is on a huge demand for this group. For that, I would recommend EDLE, our mLearning platform which allows you to create your own courses and performance support aids and deliver it to your learners in a matter of hours.

videocafe5. Social Learning

Social and collaborative learning is especially popular and the uptake is high as the workforce is already used to mobile devices as a means of maintaining social interactions with their family, friends and co-workers. An example of an extremely successful training programme is Video Cafe by The Cheesecake Factory. Employees can upload 2-3 min storytelling videos of “best practices”- how they prepare a particular dish, how they handle an angry customer..etc. With that, everyone in the company is able to watch, comment, rate, tag, and add their own video as well. This initiative proved very popular as their employees reported to have higher levels of engagement and were able to learn from their fellow employees rather than sitting through a long powerpoint presentation or a textbook.

So these are some ways that companies are using mLearning to enhance learning in the organisation. It might be note-worthy that these ways are pretty much aligned to the current trends in which our generation is learning- through youtube videos, using mobile apps for self-learning and using different forms of social media to get their information. Similarly, corporations will have to observe the ways in which the general population learns and see how to leverage on that in organisational learning.

If you have any other ways in which companies are using mLearning, do share with us in the comments below!

Customised Training Courses for Employee Development

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techthursday

Tech Thursday is a blog series where we feature industry people, corporate learners and trainers on their e-learning habits. It covers everything from the e-learning they do in their company to the one tech device they can’t live without. This thursday, we feature Tiffany, who works as a risk consultant in a multi-national accounting firm. She shares with us the kinds of programmes that her company has for its employees, and how she has benefited from the wide array of training programmes that it offers.

Hi Tiffany! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am working as an Assistant Manager doing risk consulting in one of the main professional services companies. I’ve been in this industry for about 4 years.

coaching

Source: globaldreamsknoxville.com

What kind of training do you do in your company?

When consultants first join the company, they are given a week long training coordinated by the Learning and Development Unit. Basics of the role will be communicated to us via powerpoint slides as well as case studies to introduce an element of real life application. However, about 95% of what we need to know is taught via OJT (on-the-job training), as the work we perform requires us to be highly adaptable. Each project that we embark on requires us to understand and design risk profiles specific for that particular client. Personally I feel that learning from an experienced senior is a really good form of training.

What is the training for?

Training conducted is mainly for key skills required in our job scope. For example, report writing skills, product understanding and changes in the local regulations or the firm’s risk management developments.

I like the fact that I can choose from a myriad of training courses conducted so that I can customise my learning in accordance to my needs or interests.

How do you usually go through training?

For compulsory training, my firm will send emails to lead us to links to do training from slides.

For skills training, we are allowed to pick from a variety of course offerings. We will search for interesting or relevant courses through our company’s website and look at the training schedules. After signing up for these trainings, we will attend these half or full day face to face teaching sessions. Usually learning material is sent to us for pre-course readings. At the end of most of these face-to-face trainings, we will have a self assessment to reinforce our learning takeaways.

What do you like about the different forms of training that you have?

As a risk consultant, there isn’t a one size fit all type of training schedule as skill requirements differ from person to person depending on your strengths and focus areas. I like the fact that I can choose from a myriad of training courses conducted so that I can customise my learning in accordance to my needs or interests.

Other than the training provided by your company, do you actively seek out other ways to improve how you do your job? 

I will try to read the papers to keep up to date with happenings around the world. You never know when this type of information could come in handy in my course of work. Also, I use a simple app called Flipboard and on my way back from work, I will flip through the app’s ‘business magazine’ to see if there are any short interesting articles to read.

What kind of tech devices do you use?

I have a smart phone, my work laptop and my own personal laptop.

What is one device you can’t live without, and why?

I would have to say that I am unable to live without my work laptop. I find my outlook programme particularly useful to perform multiple tasks within the same platform. i.e. To schedule meetings, archive learning material sent through emails and last but not least, to keep myself constantly connected to my clients.

What is the one technology tool that has helped you a lot in learning? Why? 

It would be a difficult toss up between Google, the brilliant search engine and Wikipedia, the wonderful online encyclopedia. I literally spend hours on these two ‘oracles’ clicking on hyperlink after hyperlink, following an endless stream of semi-related topics.

And We Are Almost There..

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Edle mlearning2At work, we sometimes sieve through so much information just to get to that sliver of information that we once went through in our elearning module. We want information to be readily available when we need the performance support at work. We’ve got these knowledge stored away somewhere online, as a paper job aid, or in our minds. But most of the time, we just can’t find it.

That is why mobile learning matters.

Mobile learning approaches allow learners to access learning conveniently and flexibly. If your organisation has a distributed workforce, you don’t have to worry about not being able to schedule their employees down for regular training courses as mobile courses can be delivered fast and effectively.

Mobile learning enables teaching and learning to occur at the most appropriate time and place. That means that learners will get access to information just when they need to at their workplace. Your organisation will be able to provide adequate and effective performance support for your employees to work at their optimum.

At Epiphany, it has taken us months of research, planning, programming and countless iterations.. and EDLE: Mobile Learning is almost ready for the big launch on the 24 July 2014. EDLE allows organisations to build courses and performance support modules in a fast and effective way through its easy user-interface. Now, anyone and not just the L&D department can build these courses.

EDLE helps to

1) Shorten time to productivity – Every business wants to optimise their manpower and be able to train their employees in the quickest time as possible for optimum business performance. EDLE helps to do so by providing easy access for employees anytime, anywhere.

2) Increase effectiveness of training – Courses in EDLE are designed with objectives in mind and is split up into bite-sized chunks which allow learners to internalise content better.

3) Provide greater support for employees – Easy access and search allows them to access content at their point of need.

We’ve already did our soft launch this week by migrating our servers over to the new EDLE mLearning, but will still be working on it for a couple of days to optimise its performance. Meanwhile, sign up for a free EDLE trial now!

6 Interesting Mobile Learning Stats for Your Training Strategy

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picjumbo.com_IMG_3649Some of you may have been put off by the onslaught of learning with technology in the recent years. Technology in training may be helping Learning & Development professionals to mitigate the problems that face-to-face training face by bringing content online, but some may wonder about the effectiveness of the training itself. Lately, there has been news about mobile learning being the next in thing in the corporate training industry, and you wonder whether this is just going to be another new direction that you should contend with in your company’s training strategy just because of yet another fad.

I’ve recently come across some statistics about mobile trends on shiftelearning.com that may make you reconsider mobile as being “yet another fad”. If anything, the trend looks set to shift to great mobile usage in the general population in the long term.

1) Increasing mobile usage

91% of adults in the U.S now own a mobile phone. According to The Pew Research Internet Project Report from 2013, 63% of adult mobile phone users use their phones to go online, and this figure has grown by twice since 2009. This points towards the pervasiveness of mobile devices in everyday lives, and the central role that it holds for information access.

2) Increasing collaboration and engagement on the mobile

Learners are 2 times more likely to engage in collaboration, communication and peer-to-peer feedback on the mobile devices. They are also twice as much more likely to be listening to podcasts and watching videos as well. These statistics are taken from a study “Mobile Learning at Work” done in 2013.

3) Huge market potential for tablets

The sale of tablets is expected to grow by seven times from 2012 to 2016- from 56 million to 375 million units. This is according to a recent forecast from Forrester Research. Not only that, one-third of the sales will be businesses and two-fifths by emerging markets.

4) Increasing mobile workforce lead to rising mobile adoption trends

With the rise in mobile workers from 15% to 29% between 2011 – 2012 in the US and Europe, there are a huge number of organisations set to support such a trend. As this number increases, more mobile devices will be in use at work. (Source: 2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends)

5) Mobile learning found to increase motivation

Studies have shown that mobile learning increases motivation and the willingness for self-assessment. In a study taken from The World Journal of Education, 70% of the students surveyed in this study reported an increase in their motivation to learn when mobile devices were used properly. 

6) Increasing number of Millenials entering the workforce

The Millenials- a generation who grew up with technology, are coming out into the workforce. Whether school or work trends are keeping up with such technology, the fact is that this generation is used to learning with the internet, more often than not with mobile devices. That is why institutions need to keep up with such a trend.

 

At the end of the day, it really isn’t about going with the trend of what the industry is currently into, but rather, what works best at this point in time for your consumers. Consumer’s tastes are constantly changing. And by consumers, I mean the employees who receive training from your company. What is the best way to allow them to consume training given their lifestyles, habits and preferences?

Even though training is going to be largely a mandatory one where employees go through the motion of learning what they need to know, in order for training to be effective and convenient for your employees, one needs to consider how they are used to consuming information.

And this rounds up my time here about mobile trends. What other data points towards mobile as being a trend that is here to stay? Do leave your comments below.