Mobile learning also known as M-Learning has become a popular part of the electronic learning campaign. M-Learning is a platform where students can go through their study materials on their handheld devices. Ericsson had a forecast in which it predicted that almost 80% of world’s population that is around 6.4 billion will become smartphone users until 2021. Almost 4 out of 5 people will access their related documents on their handheld devices. This shift in paradigm needs a change in the learning patterns of the masses. Many efforts are already in work to convert topics which are difficult for the learners to understand. The blackboard lectures are being converted into small 3D videos that are compatible on various mobile platforms.
Let’s start with the good things first. Listed here are the unique selling points of M-Learning as a learning support tool:
- Easy Access is Provided: Flexibility is one of the main aspects of M-Learning. It provides full accessibility, i.e. students can access lectures from any location at any time.
- Collaborative Learning is Supported: Bringing learners to a common platform where they are able to discuss their topics and ask doubts to teachers directly using the mobile. E-Learning companies have provided these services on their mobile platforms so that it’s easy for the learners to understand effectively and clear their doubts.
- Visualization: Thevisual format of a topic is always easier for the learners to remember for a longer period of time. Subjects like maths, biology, chemistry, physics all can be shown in visual formats. For example, a DNA structure in biology is very difficult to draw and explain on blackboard whereas a 3D model is easier for students to picturize and understand.
- Learning is Self-Paced: Each learner has his own pace to learn a topic and different way of understanding it. Mobile Learning can help the students to learn based on their own pace and style. A child doesn’t need to hesitate to ask his doubt but can visit the lectures on his mobile phone or call his/her personalized mentor, that is provided by certain M-Learning apps, as many times as needed.
- All Styles of Learning are addressed: M-Learning supports different types of learning materials such as through videos, audio and reading materials
Let’s discuss some of the limitation of mobile learning that should be taken care.
- Mobile Connectivity: Internet is a major requirement in these mobile devices. Sometimes while travelling to remote locations where signal strength is not strong, there are connectivity issues that occur in mobile phones which can hinder the pace of learning through these handheld devices.
- Different distraction in Feature Rich Mobile: Learners while reading their course lectures on mobile phones can get distracted due different social media updates, calls, SMS, etc.
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