True mobile learning has been around for close to a decade, right around the time when the first smartphone and tablet (Apple) were introduced and opened up a new world of possibilities for training and education.
Enough time has gone by where today’s youth is exposed to mobile devices from the day that they are born, and as such they are very much accustomed to using it for both learning and entertainment.
Because of this added component in the way we learn, classrooms and countries are now investing in education technology.
For example, it is quite common for K-12 classrooms to have a set of tablet devices. Countries like Turkey aim to supply all of their students with 10 million tablets by the year 2015. Thailand’s government is planning to supply 13 million mobile devices to students within the same time-frame.
Tablets aren’t the only piece of technology driving mobile learning, smartphones are as well. In one survey, 73% of teachers said that they and their students use smartphones for educational purposes in the classroom.
Not all news around the new mobile learning shift is positive though. In particular, these devices require a financial investment, which may be too high for many students. For instance, one survey reported that only a fifth of teachers say that nearly all of their students have access the necessary digital tools at home. This can result in a significant learning disadvantage.
While we have made great strides in mobile learning within the educational setting, there is still room for improvement. New protocols like Tin Can (Experience) API will help to progress mobile learning further, but beyond the technology, initiatives will need to emerge that give every student equal access to the tech-tools schools use today.
Despite its relatively young life-span, mobile learning is having a lasting influence on how we learn.