Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning on the Go

m-Learning: Positioning educators for a mobile, connected future, Kristine Peters
This article, from June 2007, outlines where education has started and where it is headed in relation to learning on the go.  It looks at interviews from cell phone manufacturers, business, and schools to determine what we would like to see in mobile technology moving forward.
One of the 1st positive points made about m-learning is the fact that the learner can be garnering new information anywhere, whether commuting, traveling, or at home.  This is a boon to both educational and business worlds as there can still be things done on a sick day, or a travel day.
It also describes the three things that will either drive or crash the m-learning market--the consumer, the professionals, and the specialists.  Those three make up the largest piece of market share on the success or failure of the m-learning market.

Mobile Learning and Student Retention, Fozdar and Kumar
Going against the idea of student e-learning, but for m-learning, this article states that "Student retention in open and distance learning (ODL) is comparatively poor to traditional education" The article then jumps to the topic of developing countries and the cost behind owning a personal computer, plus the access speeds of the internet in the country, so uses India as an example.  Since India is still technically a 3rd world country, they don't have options like the US does for broadband internet access for all.  However, the do have cell phones for most.  This article wants to bring m-learning to places like India because the cell phone can handle what the infrastructure cannot.  the article also outline 7 advantages for m-learning, but 6 of those 7 are inherent in e-learning as well.  This is in direct contrast to the idea on the first page of this article when the authors stated that e-learning is not as good as other types.
Instant Messaging for Creating Interactive and Collaborative m-Learning Environments-Kadirire
This article gives stats on why instant messaging is an indispensable tool in m-learning both in education and in the business world.  Using the emergence of new cell technologies as the reason, it states you can pass along imperative information to co-workers/classmates with minimal characters, thereby minimizing extraneous information simply because there isn't room for it.

The m-learning article immediately brought to mind apps.  Everywhere you go, every commercial you hear, now says "theres an app for that"  I could download enough apps on my phone that I can control my social networking, email, bank account, bills, and many aspects of my work.  I could conduct my entire life from 30,000 feet on an airplane for days, including checking my personal health and all the others listed above.  Why not be able to control my education from there as well?
In the second article, I agree that, especially in the developing world, m-learning would be a better option, I don't believe that it will even replace e-learning or face to face until the technology of phones catches up.  For example, there are very few phones that can handle flash.  The iPad can't even handle it.  Many of the chemistry experiments I show my students use flash.  The m-learners wouldn't be able to see that material. 
In the third article, which is my favorite, it talks about minimizing extras--enough said for me since I am a minimalist.


"Emerging technologies, such as wireless networking, the Internet, and mobile communications go a long way to enhance connectivity amongst stakeholders." (Fozdar)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that mobile learning would be very useful in developing countries. ‘Pocket School’ project involves designing, developing, and implementing a mobile learning device for underserved indigenous children in Latin America. They argues that a mobile learning device should be very simple and have user-friendly and easy-to-use interface because usually there are not enough qualified teachers who can direct students to learn how to use the device in remote rural area or in developing countries.