M-Learning is a term used to describe the idea of using portable, electronic devices as a tool for learning.
Mobile devices are everywhere, it is said that around 6 billion people have access to a connected mobile device across the globe and for every one person that accesses the Internet from a PC there are two people who access it from a mobile device. So it’s really no surprise that mobile devices are becoming so big in the learning and education sector. eLearning made the first step in breaking out of the traditional classroom environment and mobile learning is just a way to take eLearning further, giving people the option to learn virtually anywhere.
M-Learning is a way to develop learning, utilizing the evolution in technology to create a more dynamic experience. A lot of organisations are also in debate about the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concept. The key to m-Learning is that it can be done anywhere, whether it is done on the commute to and from work, in bed or even in the bath. The personal aspect also being enhanced by the idea that people will learn more effectively on a device that they are familiar with, and made as interesting as their favorite app. Studies show that students are more motivated by lessons that incorporate iPad training, going on to improve the overall quality of the work.
Benefits of M-Learning
With many people still slightly skeptical about M-Learning it is important to highlight the benefits to see if it is right for your organisation.
The main benefit of M-Learning is flexibility. It breaks all of the classroom traditions further, taking the learning anywhere you can get a connection. This is a huge benefit as people work better in different places and feel inspired in different places.
Control for the Learner
This also leads to the benefit in which M-Learning helps to put the control into the learner’s hands, enabling them to decide when they want to learn. This will then help to make them feel more motivated and also being able to self-pace their learning, in turn changing the structure of learning from something that they feel forced to do into something they have chosen to do.
Another huge benefit to M-Learning is the idea that the courses can be made personal to the learner. Making a learning course more personal is key to success within eLearning. M-Learning can maintain this idea further as it could be on the learner’s personal device creating consistency. Using personal devices can also help develop the idea of tailoring courses to personal needs. Making individual courses different for age brackets or different departments of a business.
Today everybody has access to a connected mobile device making this concept very cost effective and available. Even if an organisation provided each employee with a mobile device it would cost significantly less than PC’s and laptops. This along with the savings made when using an LMS rather than traditional face to face learning makes training costs overall decrease significantly.
More Rewarding Learning
Technology and learning tools are evolving constantly, this allows them to fulfill more specific roles in the eLearning community. Using mobile technology to learn enables access to a virtual environment in which creativity and interaction with peers is achieved to a much higher level. Helping to create more engaging, collaborative opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Achieving the learner’s goals is much easier to achieve as mobile learning enables the eLearning professionals to adapt the information specifically for the learner’s goals and objectives.
Mobile learning also helps create the opportunity to make much more creative content. The most important aspect of eLearning is to create high quality content that emotionally binds the learner with the learning course. Being on a mobile device can enhance this creativity helping to reach overall goals and make the learning much more of a rewarding experience.
These are just a few of the ever growing benefits of M-Learning, and although with all new technologies there are aspects to thoroughly consider it is important to embrace change especially when it comes to learning as this is something we should all do throughout our lives in the most effective and rewarding way possible.
Liz Bark is the founder of Optimised Learning, an industry leader with extensive knowledge in instructional design and creative thinking. Her knowledge through Neuro Linguistic Programs has enabled her to drive her business towards new learning techniques that require creative engaging skills. She is the Creative Director and Founder at Optimised Learning. Follow her on LinkedIn.