E-learning in the most unlikely places

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Written by Armin Hopp on 25 June 2014

The 2014 World Cup has finally arrived and cities around the world find themselves flooded in a sea of national flags, raving spectators and peeping cars. In the UK alone, 15 million people tuned in to watch the Three Lions’ opening match against Italy earlier this month.  

I’ve always been a huge admirer of the amount of physical and mental preparation that players put into every game. Everything from their dietary regime to the amount of sleep they get is paramount to their performance on the day, not to mention the hours invested on the training ground. A professional footballer is said to train for about five hours a day, five days a week. This year, to ensure that England’s performance wouldn’t be affected by the Brazilian heat, the team was even subjected to special acclimatisation techniques involving heat chambers. For us mortal spectators, the whole thing is a little more laid-back, as we enjoy the match over a cold beer with our friends, only breaking into a mild sweat when somebody scores or the referee makes a bad decision.  

But World Cup preparation goes beyond just physical factors such as speed, climate resistance, nutrition and sleep. The word “preparation” wouldn’t make us think of the team gazing into their iPads completing some e-learning exercises –would it? We tend to think of football and e-learning as two irreconcilable terms and that the last place for e-learning would be a football pitch.

Well, that has now changed.

Pace of change

I was really interested to read about England’s team being equipped with iPads and their very own learning content this year. To better understand their direct opponents, each player received access to a Brazil 2014 scouting app, provided by The Football Association. What’s more, the app is by no means generic, but has been designed to meet the squad member’s individual needs. So if you’re a striker like Rooney or Sturridge, the app will give you a detailed insight into the opponents’ defensive strategy. The content is delivered in the form of videos and expert insights, which could serve as a real advantage during the match. This is what I call truly personalised mobile learning on-demand. And it might actually be working.

The truth is that there is no such thing as an unlikely place for e-learning anymore, as e-learning and mobile solutions are becoming increasingly flexible, accessible and tailored to the individual. All these factors will help to enhance motivation for the learner, too. E-Learning is no longer a niche; it is becoming more and more common, entering unexpected sectors. In fact, the scouting app even allows for results to be measured, meaning that Roy Hodgson can see what his team has been up to in real-time. So no matter where in the world you’re based or what your profession is, chances are there’s already a learning mobile solution out there which could help to make you better at what you do.

But even the best technology won’t help a corporate team or sports team if the communication isn’t there. After all, strong communication skills are the glue holding together any successful company or team. If the teams don’t discuss their tactics clearly and thoroughly in advance, there’s no way they will succeed on the day, unless through a huge stroke of luck.

I’m still hoping that my national team Germany has learnt its lesson and will win this year’s cup. Bring on the opposition! 


About the author
Armin Hopp is the founder and president of Speexx. He can be contacted via www.speexx.com

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