In a time when a global pandemic can catch educators off-guard and bring most forms of schooling to a halt, the need for Mobile Learning is now.
While most learning management systems (LMSs) are hosted on digital devices such as PCs and laptops, mobile consumption in more recent years has been coming up the inside lane in popularity for educational use. Mobile learning (mLearning) is fast becoming another education buzzword which is already seeing a strong following.
What is mobile Learning?
Mobile learning is a new way to access learning content using mobile phones and tablets. It’s possible to learn whenever and wherever you want, as long as you have a modern mobile device.
Mobile technology has become ingrained into just about every facet of our lives these days across multiple devices, and in doing so has radically transformed our learning process, keeping us constantly connected to unlimited volumes of raw data and information.
We enjoy unprecedented instant access to expertise, from informal cooking lessons on YouTube to online university courses. People around the globe are involved in exciting new forms of teaching and learning, and yet traditional schooling systems are still struggling to leverage the many opportunities that mobile-friendly learning can offer to help students engage with learning material.
For anyone who has been looking into an eLearning service of recent, you’ll notice most platforms such as Archy Learning feature mobile optimised classes as a feature either as an alternative or as an addition to student learning activities. Some other trends you might also notice are gamification and micro-learning. These trends are used to divide lessons into more engaging or bite-sized learning experiences.
The advantage of mobile learning is that it offers formats often found in other learning streams like video & static lessons, as well as more unique offerings that most other platforms cannot like augmented reality, gamified learning, real-time alerts, text messages and social learning, all within a mobile app.
Why you should implement mobile learning
There are many reasons why mLearning might be a strong choice for your group. To determine if mobile is the way to go for your students, consider how different types of learning have made an impact on your students in the past and how widely mobiles are being used by students.
Signs that mLearning is a good choice for you:
Instant Access to Material
Mobile learning allows for users either in the field or on the go, to access information instantly. Considering that more people own mobile devices than computers along with virtually 24 hours of access, it makes sense that eLearning adapts to mobile technology.
Retain More Material
Mobile learning allows for easy, instant, repeatable use of training material to counteract the Forgetting Curve. Some mLearning platforms also combat skill atrophy with periodic, gamified updates and micro-learning boosts. Archy Learning is one mobile LMS that specialises in both of these aspects.
Up until now, most people accepted “education” as a small window of time in their lives. Entering school at around five years old and attending school institutions all the way to higher educations like University. Education had an expiration date, then working life began.
This industrial era model is quickly becoming less relevant to the way we live our lives in the connected age. Mobile learning helps users to access learning content anywhere, anytime.
Education’s Long Tail
mLearning solutions are positioned to tap into all preexisting educational materials that could be made accessible via mobile channels. This is true with YouTube and other video-sharing services that already provide tutorials, quick tips and complete lessons that can be repurposed as educational material. The recent TED-Ed initiative attests to the opportunity offered by the clever repurposing of existing quality lessons with instructional design.
New Opportunities for Traditional Education Institutions
The mLearning phenomenon will not necessarily compete with conventional schools but actually complement and extend their current offerings. Both Harvard and MIT announced that they have collaborated with edX to offer free online courses. Both universities will observe how students respond to the courses to better understand distance learning.
The key to successfully channelling the mLearning revolution will not simply be about digitising current educational systems. The real appeal will be allowing people to choose their own paths, leverage their talents, and follow their passions and callings. The most exciting and rewarding aspect of mLearning is that students of any background have the opportunity to pursue knowledge in their own settings.
Of course, mobile learning isn’t for everyone but for those who love it, it truly helps elevate their learning experience.