Everyone is glued to their smartphones. Our lives revolve around them as we use our smartphones for almost everything. Smartphones enable a significant number of aspects of our lives. In addition to enabling communication with friends and family, online shopping, playing games, and consuming news 24/7, mobile phones represent an enormous opportunity for learning.
In this article...
Can We Use Smartphones for Learning?
Yes, you can certainly use your smartphones for learning. In fact, for many learners, it is quickly becoming the preferred way to consume learning content, thanks to the incredible convenience and accessibility offered by smartphones and tablets.
What is mLearning (Mobile Learning)?
Mobile learning, also known as mLearning, is anywhere and anytime learning supported by mobile devices. In the past, accessing education and specialized training was restricted to a physical classroom led by an instructor. Today with mobile learning or mLearning, it has become possible for learners to access the learning content from their devices wherever a data connection is available. Learners can download course content or assignments, review course materials, take proficiency tests, and upload their completed tasks in a flash.
There are many advantages of mLearning, but there are also some disadvantages of mLearning, which can be dealt with to ensure the most productive learning experience. Everything has two sides, in this article; we have tried to offer a balanced view of both the advantages and disadvantages.
mLearning has its advantages and disadvantages. Here, we’ve tried to offer a balanced look at both.
mLearning depends on a robust learning management system. Learn more about the latest LMS vendors and technology with our LMS Product Selection Tool.
Advantages of mLearning
Since everyone uses smartphones, they can also use the same devices for learning and training. This makes online training cost-effective for organizations, as they do not have to spend money on buying devices dedicated to training and development.
Anywhere, Anytime Learning
The best part of mobile learning is that the learners don’t have to follow a set schedule to learn something. The learners can access the content even after they have left the company premises, they can take up the course while commuting, sitting in a café, or even at night. Waiting time — waiting for a bus, train, or flight — can be used more productively with mLearning.
Course creators can use multiple content types to create dynamic, engaging learning experiences. They can share images, audio and video files, presentations, texts, links, YouTube videos, and hundreds of other content types to make mLearning engaging.
mLearning encourages collaborative learning because learners can connect or use social sharing to complete a given task. Taking online tests becomes more exciting with gamification features that can be added to the mLearning course content. This helps in keeping the learners engaged and motivated.
Supports Global Learning
mLearning allows learning anywhere in the world. Learners sitting in different countries or continents across the globe can access the same course content, tests, and assignments, at the same time or at a time convenient for them. Distance and time zones don’t matter in mobile learning.
Better Course Completion and Performance Rate
mLearning is designed to keep users connected and engaged, thus leading to a better course completion rate. Moreover, when mobile learning is combined with bite-sized course worked called microcontent, learning materials often see a substantial increase in engagement.As mentioned above, mLearning supports collaborative learning which benefits today’s generation of learners as they enjoy the collaboration that results in better performance. .
Disadvantages of mLearning
With the advantages associated with mLearning, there are a couple of disadvantages. Even though mLearning provides immense knowledge, there are a few downsides.
Distractions and Disturbances
While taking mLearning sessions, your messages, calls, social media updates, or news notifications can be very distracting and disturbing. This can also result in reduced engagement.
The simple fix is to include requests in your coursework that Notifications be silenced. At the same time, distraction can be lessened to a large extent by making the training content more participatory. Pop quizzes and interactive learning paths can ensure the learners remain engaged and in turn, focused during training.
mLearning’s promise of any time, anywhere learning comes with a pretty substantial caveat. Anytime and anywhere an internet connection is available. Once again, this challenge is not difficult to overcome. If the course content is made available for download, the learners will not have to depend on the strength of their cellular signal to ensure smooth streaming of training content.
We are intensely engaged with our mobile phones. So like it or not, much of the the future of education is mobile.