Mobile Learning

What is Mobile Learning?

Mobile Learning or M-Learning is definitely a buzzword nowadays.

What exactly does it mean? And what are its advantages?

Read on to learn more about one of the newest innovations in EdTech.
Mobile learning is education or learning done by accessing content using mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Almost everyone nowadays has a smartphone, it is no wonder that technology has evolved to allow learning materials to be accessed on these devices.

Here are a few key items that influence mobile learning:

1. Bite-size learning

Bite-size learning or micro learning has influenced the type and way mobile learning is designed.

2. E-learning

e-learning has revolutionized learning and mobile learning has adapted e-learning concepts.

3. A millennial workforce

Millennials are attached to their mobile devices as if it were part of their body. It is no wonder that mobile learning has taken off because of its appeal to the millennial workforce.

4. Responsive design

Responsive design means that the interface will adapt to different device sizes, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

What are the principles of mobile learning?

1. Access

A mobile learning environment is about constant access to content, co-learners, experts, and other resources.

2. Metrics

The concept of learning measurements and performance of knowledge is changing with the rise of mobile learning.

3. Cloud

The cloud is the enabler of “smart” mobility because it allows access to all data sources, project materials, and previously inaccessible levels and styles of revision and collaboration.

4. Transparent

Transparency is the natural byproduct of connectivity, mobility, and collaboration.

5. Play

According to TeachThought, in a mobile learning environment learners are encountering a dynamic and often unplanned set of data, domains, and collaborators, changing the tone of learning from academic and compliant to personal and playful.

6. Asynchronous Learning

Mobile learning allows for asynchronous learning which is self-paced and does not necessarily require involvement between the teacher and the learner.

7. Self – actuated learning

In mobile learning, learners take part in planning topics, sequences, audience, and application via facilitation of teachers who now act as experts of resource and assessment.

8. Diverse

Mobile learning allows for learning materials to be accessible by diverse audiences and can cover diverse topics.

9. Curation

By design, mobile learning adapts to learners, stores files, publishes thinking, and sconnect learners, making curation a matter of process rather than ability.

10. Blending

According to TeachThought, a mobile learning environment will always represent a blending of sorts–physical movement, personal communication, and digital interaction.

11. Always on

Through the proliferation of mobile devices, there is a persistent need for information access, cognitive reflection, and interdependent function.

12. Authentic

All the other principles yield to a certain amount of authenticity in learning that cannot be done in a traditional classroom.

What are the benefits of mobile learning?

According to Xyleme, these are the advantages of mobile learning.

1. Learning can be accessed anywhere and at any time
2. Mobile learning caters to the shift toward micro-learning
3. Information is more readily accessible when needed for on-the-job training
4. Learners can collaborate through online forums and chats
5. Mobile can incorporate all learning styles
6. Appeals to millennial learners

If there are advantages, there also disadvantages to mobile learning.

Here are a few:
1. Battery life, device failure, updates, and crashes are all a concern
2. Courses and learning objects MUST be responsive design
3. Internet access and overall connectivity
4. Mobile devices mean more opportunities for distraction
5. Responsive design and device and software compatibility
6. Multitasking might not be the best for learning retention
7. Cost of devices

Mobile learning can both complement and conflict with formal education, but the key concern with mobile learning is technology-related, like issues on battery life, system crashes and compatibility issues.

Here are a few best practices in ensuring the delivery of mobile learning is effective:

1. Create Small, Reusable Content
2. Make Content Searchable
3. Create an Ecosystem for Learning
4. Consider Your Mobile Deployment Approach
5. Centralize Content for Learning Delivery
6. Stop Thinking Your LMS is the Center of Learning

Mobile learning is about self – actuated personalization. The great number of mobile devices used in everyday life is leading the way to making learning accessible on mobile devices as well. A truly immersive mobile learning environment goes beyond the device and goes to the lives and communities valued by each individual learner.

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