What is mobile learning? Mobile learning, or mLearning is education that happens anywhere and anytime, via portable, connected devices. Though it used to be difficult to get results with online classes—it isn’t anymore. Now, it offers an incredible opportunity for educators to make learning more accessible, interactive, and engaging.
India leading Mobile Learning
As suggested in a research study conducted by Ambient Insight, India will be the second largest country for buying mobile learning products and services by end of 2015 with a whopping growth rate of 61.3%. Also, a number of schools and educational organisations across the country are making changes in their policies and toolkits to support and validate mLearning. These and other similar endeavours are placing mobile learning front and center in the world of education.
A World of Benefits
As CEO of WizIQ, I’ve had the chance to witness many benefits of mLearning. Not only does it help teachers tap into a new generation of learners, but it also provides a way of connecting with students using the tools they know and love. Students get more freedom, convenience, and flexibility. They gain the ability to learn from experienced, knowledgeable teachers located anywhere. What’s more, the specific benefits of mobile learning on student outcomes are remarkable, as noted in research findings stating that mobile learning:
|Considerations When Choosing a Mobile Learning Platform|
|To boost interaction and engagement, look for the following key Capabilities whenchoosing a mobile learning platform:|
|Educator Capabilities||Student Capabilities|
|Conduct live classes with student – anywhere/anytime||Attend live classes using mobile device – anywhere/anytime|
|Share and publish recordings – video and audio||View videos and other course content|
|Chat with students in real-time||Chat with other coursemates and instructor|
|Email students directly from the application||Email other coursemates and the instructor|
|Share class recordings “on-the-fly”||View live class recordings and other content – even while offline|
|Send notifications for upcoming events that students need to know about||Receive notifications regarding classes, tests and course content uploaded by the instructor|
|Update and share schedules as changes occur||View and track course and class schedules|
- Increases student engagement, and helps personalise learning (Project Tomorrow, a non-profit dedicated to innovation in education1)
- Improves student motivation, engagement, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving skills (Research Center for Educational Technology at Kent State University2)
- Satisfies students’ desire for personalised learning, and helps them get the most out of their time (Penn State University3)
- Promotes better adult literacy outcomes (University of Oxford4)
- Boosts business productivity, increases learning access and flexibility, and supports organisational change (Towards Maturity, an educational consulting service5)
Think “Mobile First” for Success
So how do teachers implement a strong mobile learning strategy? The first thing is to realise that offering mLearning doesn’t mean just placing static courses or archived video tutorials online for students to consume on their own time. No, it should be much, much more engaging than that.
To begin, teachers and trainers need to think strategically about how mLearning can be leveraged as a primary means of improving their students’ experience. First and foremost, effective mLearning should enable live student-teacher and student-student interaction, directly from the mobile device. I’ve personally seen how critical this is in countless experiences with both students and teachers. Mobile learning that doesn’t allow such interaction ends up leaving teachers feeling as if students aren’t truly participating, and results in lower student achievement because they are not engaged with the material.
A successful ‘mobile-first’ strategy, then, starts with the right education platform, one that allows real-time online interaction. The graphic below provides a useful overview of the things that educators should consider when choosing a mobile learning platform. What should it allow the teacher or trainer to do? What should students be able to do from their mobile devices? The answer: pretty much everything teachers and students need to support a productive and engaging learning experience.
A New Frontier in Education
During my career, I’ve seen mobile learning move from being an experimental, futuristic concept to presenting a trans-formative opportunity for educators. What’s more, the benefits of mobile learning, for both teachers and students, are many. This is truly an exciting time for education.
By Harman Singh
Founder and CEO, WizIQ
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