As I mentioned at the end of my previous blog post technology is evolving at such a rate; with new platforms both mobile and fixed appearing and these platforms offering different challenges to educational content delivery. Mobile learning or M-Learning is basically education delivered via a mobile device, such as a smart phone or mobile tablet.
Julie Brink Director of eLearning at viaLearning discusses Mobile learning in her article “M-Learning: The Future of Training Technology.” Brink (2011) explains that there are three types of m-learning:
Formal which involves organised learning, where students are notified or contacted by technology such as SMS messaging, in order to establish confirmation of their understanding or involvement within the educational scenario. E-learning courseware viewed via a mobile device is also considered to be m-learning. Informal learning involves trying to engage students in interactions, encouraging two-way communication in order to establish user feedback. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs are considered as mediums of informal learning. Last but not least is Self-directed Learning, this features the taking control of their own learning direction, students can choose their own content, references and courseware, this could involve media-based content such as podcasts or videos.
Brink draws attention to another advantage or possibility for m-learning:
“Another m-learning trend is location-based learning. Location based learning is taking advantage of a learner’s physical location and her GPS enabled device to provide teaching “in the moment,” or on-demand. For example, a salesperson can receive valuable information on a city she’s never visited while entering the office building of a potential client” Brink (2011)
This is something that interest me as I have already worked upon both geolocation based information delivery and static location based delivery, see the projects below:
Static Information kiosks have become common place in today’s world, kiosk designers must consider location, content and context when planning their designs, for example a kiosk in a room full of portraits at an art gallery may offer information that the user can then use when looking at the portraits within the room. A mobile version of the same application used on a Smartphone could also be used in an art gallery where the information would be extremely useful or it could be used in a car park where it would not be quite as valuable, but by using geoloaction technology that information could be tailored specifically towards different art galleries in different towns or even countries.
Brink (2011)believes for m-learning to be effective, it should to be “short, accessible, and relevant.” She says:
“Text should be short and concise. This is not the place to expand on the theory of relativity. Course length should not exceed five to 10 minutes, at most. Think about it: Would you want to spend 30 minutes staring at your smart-phone, trying to learn, while crammed like a sardine on the subway during rush hour? “
M-Learning is a definite possibility for my project, it would provide me with some interesting options for both content and interactivity.
Brink, J. (2011) M-Learning: The Future of Training Technology T+D; Vol. 65, Issue 2, p27-29