Written by Shalini Saxena on 12 September 2017
In the past two decades, mobile phones have become an inseparable part of our daily lives. Mobiles are like a 24*7 buddy, which absolutely fulfill the ‘I’ll be there for you’ criteria. Yes! You rely on your smart gadgets for anything and everything. Whether it’s connecting with friends, sending work emails, finding routes or modes to commute, ordering food/grocery, banking, surfing, or even LEARNING new things – your phone does it all for you! Mobile Learning or mLearning is the term used to describe a sub domain of eLearning scenario in which content is delivered on handheld devices, such as smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, etc.
Though eLearning has been around for quite some time, the advent of mLearning can be marked around five years back. With phone screens getting larger, phablets becoming common and preferred laptop sizes smaller - the difference between the two modes is blurring. Here’s a quick look at what still keeps them diverse:
With the tech-savvy generation taking charge, personal pocket devices have been deeply ingrained in our routine practices. View it as the latest development in the eLearning industry or just another trending term - you can’t deny that mLearning has brought brilliant progress in eLearning. Constantly lowering prices of portable devices has made it affordable for a larger chunk of the population. Thus there’s a sudden increase in the digitally literate audience making use of mLearning tools and apps.
Sources: Michaels & Associates, eLearning Industry, Training Zone, BrainShark
The greatest advantage which mobile technology brings in is ubiquity – it gifts users the ability to virtually learn from anywhere at any given time. For instance, school kids can travel with their parents without compromising on their learning and college students can earn a degree learning remotely. The student can be anyone from an 8-year old kid to a senior citizen and course can be anything from a simple ‘Counting Exercise’ to a seasoned ‘Entrepreneurial Advice’. mLearning has touched all the spheres of knowledge, and ‘mobile-first’ strategy has become an implicit approach for many. Besides this, mLearning serves many other advantages on the platter:
With high creativity quotient and excellent instructional design, mLearning has fixed its seat in the eLearning market and there are is no doubt that it is here to stay. Despite uncountable advantages, some limitations like screen size, limited functionalities and distractions linked with phone continue to hinder the growth and absolute accomplishments of mLearning goals.
While mLearning is constantly evolving and the mLearning market on a global scale is expected to reach $53 billion by the year 2018 (Source: Ambient Insight), it has some limitations too.
Offline learning refers to having access to content without internet connectivity.
But offline access has few constraints too:
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