According to a Futurelab report (Daanen & Facer, 2007), by 2020, digital technology will be embedded and distributed in most objects.
mLearning has invaded the eLearning scene, regardless of the age of the learner. More and more schools are using laptops or tablets. Children consider it to be a fun. There are increasingly more educational apps available for teachers. With the advent of mobile learning, educational systems are changing. Now you know the meaning of M-learning, let's take a look at mobile learning in education.
Why do we need M-Learning in our Education Space?
The progress of any nation depends on the system of education adopted by it to groom the next generation. With the proliferation of mobile technologies in all walks of life, it is the need of the hour for India to remodel and upgrade the current education delivery system.
The concept of m-learning could be a boon for India’s education sector, especially in the field of adult learning. According to a recent study, Indian users, on an average, spend 3 hours and 18 minutes every day with their smartphones.
Students preparing for competitive exams are also leveraging the benefits of mobile learning. Edtech mobile apps contain academic content that covers quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, and general knowledge. These apps are helping students prepare for their exams in a planned and guided manner. Working professionals who wish to continue with their studies are also being enabled to strike a balance with their jobs.
Can't we think of a new dimension of using the same mobile phones to revolutionise the Indian education sector, using a concept called m-learning or mobile learning?
Extant research and statistics reveal a higher engagement rate when courses are delivered using the mobile format. One of the advantages mobile learning offers is that of personalization, which adds to the sense of engagement and motivation of the users. Moreover, the fact that mobile learning is accessible any time, any place by the users, helps learners stay on track with their training, which results in fewer dropouts.
Phone based reminders and organizers are integrated with the m Learning platforms. Learners get ongoing notifications and updates on their courses, which they check anywhere and anytime. The can also resume their course easily, without unlearning previous content. The learning path established in an m Learning platform is more personalized and continuous.
Flexibility to learners
Flexibility is not limited to any one place or time anymore! Flexibility in mLearning also involves learning using videos, podcasts and other popular multimedia assets on smartphones.
It is possible to receive immediate feedback from your teacher or fellow students with synchronous learning. You are able to get direct feedback while you’re at home. Teachers can interact with their students during their lectures.
The surrounding challenges
Like all evolving technologies, m-learning has its pros and cons, and has been facing multiple challenges in terms of adoption.
However, with the high quality of the available content, m-learning is — in time — bound to become common knowledge. Mindsets are changing. Even in rural and semi-urban areas, parents and tutors alike are beginning to understand the kind of advantage it offers.
In this fast changing world, different stakeholders will have to work together to develop new educational models to cater for new generations of learners who will be using mobile technologies that do not exist as yet. Educators need to re-conceptualize education and make the shift from education at certain ages to lifelong learning. The current educational model is outdated because it was developed before the advent of information and communication technologies.
With the popularity of mobile devices and the ever increasing use of mobile applications, eLearning might end up running almost exclusively on mobile learning apps pretty soon!