Sunday, October 14, 2012

Learning Technology Trends According to Google

Google Trends is a great tool for understanding what people are searching for on the web. Whilst it doesn't give actual volumes it does show trends in search volumes and shows relative volumes.

I recently did some searches on mobile learning and was surprised by some of the findings. If you read about elearning and the learning technology market you can't fail to notice the growth in articles on mobile learning. However, this growth in articles is not matched by a significant growth in search volumes. In fact, in the UK search volumes for the term "mobile learning" have actually fallen since 2006 and have been stable since 2007, as can be seen from the chart below.

This wasn't what I was expecting so I started to research some other terms such as social learning, informal learning, mlearning, blended learning, MOOC (massive online open courses) and avatars.

My findings are in the slides below. Some of the findings I expected, others were a surprise. Clearly we can't draw too many conclusions just from reviewing search volumes but we can at least sense check some of the hype in the market and see what the trends are according to Google.