Mobile learning is the new frontier for educational institutions and for profit organizations alike. Entrepreneurs are also getting into the game because the business is shaping up to be quite profitable. If you haven’t yet, expect to have some exposure to mobile learning (even in a minimal way) within the very near future – especially as smartphones are becoming the norm.
Schools are some of the biggest players in the mobile learning world – using classroom tablets for example for various exercises. Consider for a moment that one study, conducted by the Association of American Publishers last year, indicated nearly $8 billion (with a “b”) is spent each year on k-12 textbooks in the United States. This makes sense, but what is pretty astounding is that roughly 2.8% of textbooks were ebooks.
Libraries are catching on too, as they begin to expand their wireless devices for digital learning. In a 2010 Federal E-Rate survey, 56% of schools and libraries expect to implement or expand digital textbook use. I’d be interested to see a follow-up to that study to see where we are today in relation to the projection – I’m willing to bet it’s on track.
But why all this emphasis on mobile learning anyway? What’s the big deal if learning is offered on a smartphone or in a textbook – learning is learning right?
No, not all learning is the same.
Internet research suggests that use of computers and broadband technologies can significantly boost math and reading achievement for students. It has also been suggested that this motivates students. Yet still, the Department of National Education still indicates that about one third of Americans have not adopted broadband into their homes – which is essential for completing the now common internet based homework.
Yes, mobile technology is on the rise, not just for entertainment, but for learning and training too. Elliot Soloway, founder and CEO of GoKnow, an educational consulting firm, predicts that every k-12 student in American will be using a mobile handheld device as part of their learning by 2016. All signs are pointing for that to be true.
Gill Valentine Et Al. Children and Young People’s Home Use of for Educ. Purposes