The increasing growth of social media and mobile platforms has been good news for the online learning industry.This is according to one expert, who suggested that smartphones and new applications will help the sector to carry on growing.Tom Kuhlmann, editor of The Rapid E-learning Blog, said that 2012 is set to be a big year for the online education market and that many companies, schools and colleges will begin to embrace higher levels of e-resources in their work patterns and training schemes."There's a lot going on in our world - social media, smart mobile devices, virtual teams, et cetera. In many ways, learning is at the centre of it all. This is good for those in the industry," he said.According to Mr Kuhlmann, the expansion of social media platforms and their wider availability has also contributed to the success of online training."My predictions are that the tools will become easier to use and provide a lot more capability. We'll also see a lot more focus on how to leverage social and mobile media to enhance performance support," the expert added.Furthermore, experts believe an expansion to cloud computing and virtualisation will make it easier for individuals and businesses to manage their data and learning systems.Cloud computing is predicted to expel the use of traditional PCs both in the home and in the workplace, according to Dr Mick Grierson, computing director of the Goldsmiths College Creative Computing Programme.He commented that new and advanced technologies will soon become mainstream and halt the demand for standard feature computers."You can just rent a server and it'll feed you any applications you wanted - for a few pounds a month. I think that in the future, we're less likely to see traditional desktops in the workplace and the home," he said.