Mobile devices with internet access deliver end-users the best of both worlds, namely, communication and information. Smart phone and tablet users can harness the power of the internet for learning without being bound by the traditions of time or place. Relevant literature refers to this phenomenon as mobile learning or m-learning. In an effort to appreciate the educational benefits, let’s explore in detail.
M-learning can be incorporated with the aid of modern technology including smart phones, tablets, personal media players and gaming devices etc. Online delivery of documents, presentations, multimedia, notifications, news, assignments, quizzes and educational courseware is achievable via the aforementioned devices.
Online learning content and experiences can be easily accessed using mobile devices, enabling everyone to learn everywhere at anytime.
M-learning is supported by devices and technologies. These include:
- E Books
- Tablet computers eg. iPad
- Smart Phones eg. iPhone
- Personal media players eg. iPod
- Gaming devices eg. xBox 360
Technical support is necessary to facilitate effective learning. For instance, 3G and 4G data services are needed for seamless transfer of web-based content. Moreover, portable devices do require high speed wi-fi internet to access courseware situated in a learning management system.
Here are some key features:
- Interactivity: There is high level of interactivity between learners and teachers and between peers. Knowledge is readily available and connecting with other course participants is matter of touching the mobile device’s screen to follow links;
- Accessibility: The data is available right on the learner’s device. In this way, it can be accessed at any time and at any place that is convenient to the learner. Learning is self directed and self paced and there is little pressure on mind for completing the training, which is characteristic of face-to-face learning;
- Portability: The learning content can be transported anywhere the learner goes with their device. If the content is not stored locally on the device, it will be available via the web-based system storing the data.
In conclusion, m-learning offers portable and accessible learning for everyone. Smart phones and tablet devices have gained enormous popularity and should be embraced by 21st century educators. Mobile learning is indeed the future of education. On the same token, it must be recognised that learning management system software builds the foundation for harnessing the benefits of mobile learning. We recommend you view our articles and demonstration related to Moodle iPhone App and Moodle for iPad.