Monday, September 24, 2012

From eLearning to mLearning

As I'm continue to research into the possibilities of BYOD Device 2, I'm reading about how people in different countries are using their smartphones.  In Korea, for example, they are frequently used for banking transactions, to pay for food in shops and to buy tickets for public transportation.  In Switzerland, where I was just living, it was possible to buy a train ticket with an iPhone app, and the possibilities of using phones as a sort of wallet to go shopping was also being investigated.  At airports around the world I have seen people using their phones to display their eTickets.  Giving up the idea of paper money and tickets and moving to a totally wireless economy has been referred to as a "mobiconomy".

In the book Mobile Learning Devices, Kipp D. Rogers writes about how eLearning (in electronic environments) is being supported by mLearning as people are using electronic resources away from traditional learning places.  The mobile revolution has already occurred - almost everyone has a mobile phone including over half of 6 to 9 year olds in countries such as the US.  Worldwide there are almost 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions and daily 3 billion people send text messages.   These smartphones have the computing power of personal computers from just 10 years ago.

What could be the advantages of using smartphones as a BYOD2?  Probably the most compelling, especially for ASB, is that these devices could provide a personalized learning experience whereby students choose the manner or media that suits their learning style.  Kipp D. Rogers writes:
If a student is an auditory learner, she can listen to a podcast.  If she is a visual learner, she can watch a video.  If she is a spatial learner, he can play a game.
There are challenges too of course.  These could include the small screens, limited input capabilities, short battery life, data storage, less surf ability and graphics limitations.

Tomorrow is our second R&D meeting of the year.  I'm curious to know what the other members of the BYOD Device 2 Task Force have been doing over the past couple of weeks and what suggestions for moving forward they will have.

Photo Credit:  Shooting Alexander by Lawrence OP, 2008 AttributionNoncommercial 

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