m-Learning: New-age education mantra

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Dr Ashvini Jakhar, Founder, Prozo

Dr Ashvini Jakhar, Founder, Prozo

A marketplace for educational resources, Prozo showcases various offerings through m-learning or mobile learning, shares Dr Ashvini Jakhar, Founder, Prozo with Elets News Network (ENN)

What does mobile learning offer?

m-learning or mobile learning offers learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions. It provides an aid to the delivery of learning, education or learning support on mobile phones, PDAs or tablets. It allows virtual learning anywhere, anytime. It is proving beneficial, especially for students who may want to learn outside classrooms at their own pace and as per the convenient time and location. m-learning focuses on the mobility of learner, interacting with portable technologies. Sharing is almost instantaneous when using the same content leading to instant feedback and reviews. m-learning has brought portability by replacing books and notes with small devices, filled with tailored learning contents.

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What are the benefits of m-learning in education?

The biggest benefit of m-learning is the use of mobile devices to deliver and access education anytime anywhere. It could prove beneficial for India’s education sector where the tertiary or brick and mortar infrastructure is limited. Our current education system, if too adopts more and more of m-learning concept, may create smarter education systems for posterity. Mobile devices are easily available and even accessible to the remotest corners in India. People can use mobile devices to access educational resources; connect with experts, or access content other than what is discussed in classrooms.

Prozo is developing Android and iOS-based mobile applications that will provide instant access to quality and relevant educational material for students of all ages, helping them in all sorts of exam preparations. It is a comprehensive platform that provides m-learning aids like tablets and PDAs other than books, digital content and mentors who are toppers and specialists in their respective field. The telementorship programmes will not only provide timely guidance and counseling, but also coach young minds to handle the stress of changing exam patterns and syllabus year-on-year.

How will it help students understand the concept of learning?

m-learning complements the traditional form of education. At Prozo, we not only offer traditional resources of learning viz, books, mock exams, personal notes and coaching material but there is also digital content comprising all kinds of mobile devices like tablets, PDAs, PCs or laptops. Even information about various e-learning courses is made available, along with free resources like blogs, tips on specific exams, etc. Now, it may not be possible for a student located some 40–50 kms away from a resource hub to travel and get study material every time the need occurs. Our platform is extending its technology to provide the same information and help on mobile devices.

Are there any initiatives government has undertaken in m-learning under Digital India campaign?

So far, it is known that the Government of India (GoI) has been actively supporting the e-learning drive to strengthen accessibility. Other than funding the National Rural Internet and Technology Mission, distribution of Aakash tablets to college students was also a step towards e-learning. It has launched two schemes – National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) and National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) – to leverage the potential of ICT in the dissemination of video and web-based course content. The GoI also extensively uses the PPP route in collaboration with ICT providers through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and ICT@Schools projects. Now, m-learning can be an alternative to e-learning depending upon choice of users.

Do you think government schools should incorporate m-learning? Why?

I think it will take its due course of time and may happen naturally when the factors contributing to the overall growth of m-learning may start to evidently influence the users.

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