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If you are under the impression that eLearning is the most revolutionary form of instruction after the traditional university education, you are wrong this time! The latest buzzword in the field of education is mobile learning, which shows all signs of being the norm for education and training in the near future. Though an extension of eLearning, there are many things that are different and unique about mobile learning when compared to the former.
The most defining element of this unique method of instruction is the platform itself, mobile phones or smartphones. Smartphones have already taken over our daily lives and dictate us to stare at 5 inch screens day and night. They have changed the way we communicate, socialize, work, access entertainment and in this case, how we learn. So how big is mobile learning and how big is it going to be? It is going to revolutionize the education system as we know it? And if yes, how? Read on to know all about it.
1. It is the gateway to the internet
Online courses are nowadays more popular than university degrees and realizing the importance of online education, even universities like MIT, Stanford and Harvard offer online programs. Compared to laptops and other electronic gadgets, people find smartphones to be easier and flexible to access the internet. Hence, it is only natural that they will prefer mobile learning over eLearning for online courses.
2. Rich multimedia
it is a proven fact that people tend to be more attentive and responsive to study materials that are rich with multimedia features. That is, they prefer videos, audio lessons, info graphics, games and other media rich, immersive content over huge, boring textbooks. A Smartphone is a package full of multimedia features and hence, it will be the most ideal platform to deliver these new methods of instruction.
3. Asynchronous learning
One of the defining characteristic of mobile learning is that it is mostly asynchronous. That is, the instructional material is accessed at flexible timings and though you belong to a class or a batch, you don’t have to take the classes together. In a world where people are split with different time zones, work schedules and sleep cycles, and still united by similar views and mind set, mLearning is the perfect medium to bring all learners under one roof.
4. Breaking barriers
Irrespective of age, gender, race and region, almost every person who can walk and talk owns a smartphone today. And the internet is so vast and full of information that learning has become an endless process. When online courses and instruction materials are served on a barrier breaking device as such, education becomes more accessible than ever and we evolve as a more connected species.
Mobile phones are addictive, there is no denying in that. The average media consumption of a normal person has increased since the advent of internet and phones make the addiction more severe. However, the same addictiveness of phones can be used as a plus point in making learning more addictive and engaging.
6. Individual Attention
Mobile learning programs are very different from the formal education courses, owing to the learning aids it employs to deliver instruction. Be it virtual classrooms or asynchronous online courses, each learner is given the utmost attention and training. This ensures a deeper reach in education, knowledge and values.
7. Easier Migration
Though eLearning came way earlier than mobile learning, owing to the cross platform abilities of smartphones, it is easier to migrate any eLearning course onto a smartphone. Same applies to traditional courses which can be restructured and redesigned to be served on this addictive and engaging multimedia platform, smartphone.
8. Higher Engagement
Lastly, the recent facts and figures have demonstrated that mobile learning courses receive better engagement and have better completion rates when compared to eLearning courses. Learners are observed to be learning better, complete assignments, compete with other learners to stay ahead and improve their reasoning abilities with immersive instruction material. This stands as a testament to the wide spread popularity and acceptance of mLearning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-learning) in the education system.