M-learning : The new guru
Mobile learning is becoming increasingly popular owing to the pace at which mobile devices have penetrated into our lives. Today, mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, are more affordable than ever and this is helping in making digital content available to a large number of learners.
Moreover, learners have access to the internet and social networks via these mobile devices. So all the technologies required to gather information, create content and communicate with other people are readily available and naturally create an environment conducive to learning. Here are some reasons why learners prefer to use mobile devices to browse through content over other mediums:
- The new-age learners have one mobile device or the other with them always. This makes it comfortable for them to access the information anytime, anywhere.
- To stay engaged in a learning environment, learners prefer multimedia over textbooks. It is easier to access videos, podcasts, audio, or micro-learning on the go. They also appreciate more control over their learning sessions, i.e. being able to select which modules to complete first.
- Educational institutions these days encourage initiatives like BYOD (bring your own device) to create a mobile device-based learning environment. Also, it’s the ease of use of mobile learning platforms which makes mLearning a preferred choice by learners.
- Older courses can be migrated easily to the mobile platform with minimal effort. This can create a better learning experience and provide the flexibility for learners to access the courses on the device of their choice.
- M-learning platforms are integrated with phone based reminders and organisers which help the learners get ongoing notifications and updates on their courses, which they check anywhere and anytime. They can also resume their course easily, without unlearning previous content. The learning path established in a mobile platform is more personalised and continuous.
- Mobile learning makes it possible to extend education beyond the physical confines of the classroom and beyond the fixed time periods of the school day. It allows students to access content from home, communicate with teachers, and work with other people online. The value of mobile devices is that they allow students to connect, communicate, collaborate and create using rich digital resources.
- The content presented in the mobile platform is to the point and concise. This enables learners to complete courses and initiate the next course as well.
While, M-learning has a huge potential, it is important to understand that a right mix of instructional design, teaching methodologies and content is needed to share knowledge via mobile devices.