December 17th, 2013 E-Learning


Mobile learning (also referred to as mlearning) is a relatively new “sub-niche” to elearning. While the definition can vary depending on who you speak to, in general it focuses on learning across various contexts and on mobile devices.

For the most part, mlearning tools involve handheld computers, MP3 players, notebooks, mobile phones, and tablets – the primary focus being on the mobility of the learner.

Essentially, because of mobile devices, learners can learn anywhere, anytime, about (almost) anything.

Popular and Growing

As mobile device use increases, so does the interest in mobile learning strategies and techniques. I find it quite fascinating that in 2012 (roughly two years after Apple introduced the iPad), one in five U.S. adults owned a tablet.

But adults aren’t the only ones jumping on board with mobile technology.

One study indicated that roughly 38% of all children under the age of eight have used a cell phone, or other mobile device to play games, use apps, watch videos, TV shows an movies. If nothing else, this demonstrates how mobile technology is going to be ingrained into the upcoming generation.

Accompanying the increase in mobile technology is the emergence of mobile apps. Many people think that these only involve games that will be a distraction, however this is not the case. In reality, more than 80% of the best-selling paid apps in the iTunes Store’s education category are targeted towards children.

Mobile device and app popularity is infiltrating the classroom. Schools often have their own set of mobile devices for students to use that supplement the workload. It isn’t uncommon to see assignments utilize a blended learning approach to drive home key points.

While it only seems natural to leverage mobile tools and apps, there are still challenges. For example, consider that many of these mobile learning applications lack some form of clear learning measurement standards (or goals). Without these in place, it is difficult to present objective ways to evaluate the educational value of these apps.

In the end, the growth of mobile learning exponential. Useful educational apps are emerging  daily. If you’re interested in more research on educational apps, specifically how they can be used for children, visit




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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


6 responses

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I am very interested in mlearning. In Africa most people use the Internet via mobile phones and iPad . I am a lecturer and teach Educational Technology. In recent time i started thinking on how to use technologies easily accessible to our students in aiding their learning . I set up a lab …Center for Instructional Innovation Technology(CIIT). I will like to have suggestion on what tools /equipment to add that will enable me to have an mlearning platform .
Thanks a million and Remain Blessed.

Avatar Awotua-Efebo , Ebi Bio

Hi Ebi-

Thanks for the note. You have a lot of tools at your disposal, but what you decide to use is ultimately dictated by the mobile devices the students will be using. If they are using smartphones or tablets, then a simple way to start with mlearning is to create a training site dedicated to your topic. Then create courses, lessons, and other content (videos, text, images, audio, etc.). Students then access this at their own convenience. If you want to get into leveraging apps, I would suggest taking a look at the various app stores to see which educational apps apply to your audience.

Thanks. How does learndash act on mobile devices? I want to stay optimized for this mobile future. or do you suggest another lms?

Avatar Frank

Hi Frank-
LearnDash works on mobile devices as long as you have a mobile responsive theme.

is it possible to connect the learndash database to a mobile app or build an app that connects to the database of learndash?

Avatar mat

Hi Mat-
LearnDash leverages the standard WordPress database – you can find out more info on that here.

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