Mobile Web Conferencing: Do’s and Don’ts

Mobile learning is hot right now.  So hot that the E-Learning Guild devoted an entire conference to mobile learning, mLearnCon, this year which attracted hundreds.  This year, several web conferencing vendors like Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx and Zoom have released mobile versions of their tools which allow users to participate a web conference from a mobile device.  The first devices to be supported, not surprisingly, are iPhones, and Driod phones and Blackberries are coming online quickly.

If your web conferencing vendor supports mobile devices, and you are considering including mobile participants, here are a few items to keep in mind:

  • Don’t attempt to facilitate a session from a mobile device – for obvious reasons.  However, if you plan to include mobile participants, log into your session from a mobile device as a participant, so you can watch the mobile “view” as you facilitate.
  • If you will use a conference call for audio, make sure mobile participants know how to mute their mobile device or that you have the ability to mute participant phone lines. Imagine the sound of an ambulance or wind blowing and disrupting the audio for everyone on the call.
  • Remind mobile participants to charge their device before joining the session.
  • Don’t offer to include mobile participants if you have not tested your material on a mobile device. Test everything on a mobile device, from signing in to the end of the session so that you can see what adjustments you need to make to instructions, content, and exercises.  The full set of features available for desktop participants may not be available for mobile participants.  Case in point: in a recent webinar using Adobe Connect Pro I posted a poll asking if participants were on a desktop/laptop or mobile device.  I later realized that mobile participants cannot see polls.  No wonder 100% of the responses showed that everyone was at a desktop or laptop!