Mobile learning, also M-learning, is a flexible form of learning which is done across multiple contexts via the internet using mobile devices, including digital notebooks, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The M-learning platform offers the users a great experience and helps resolve a poor workforce by making learning easily accessible.
The popularity of mobile learning over the years is attributed to its flexibility and easy accessibility. It can be done online through live discussion and delivery of content and offline, where content can be downloaded and referred to later without need for the internet.
Mobile learning technology builds on text, audios and videos to relay information and transmit knowledge effectively. It is a learning approach that has been adopted in the digital era to meet the various training and learning needs. It allows for real-time sharing of information between instructors, learners, and administrators from different geographical locations.
With the prevalence of Covid-19, mobile learning has become a must-use strategy in the new learning environment. It has greatly addressed the need for learning and development in organizations through the training of remote workers.
The technology has ensured that training needs are met through blended learning programs and self-directed online training. Experiential learning opportunities are also ensured to enforce the formal training.
Here are some of the benefits of M-learning:
- i) Flexibility in learning
Gone are the days when learners’ physical presence in the lecture hall or classroom was required to acquire knowledge. Learning on the go has been made possible through mobile learning, where you can access learning material and interact with fellow learners or instructors from the comfort of your home.
You don’t need to follow a fixed schedule when the learning material is available. This encourages a more self-driven and voluntary study plan. It is also efficient for people who have several activities to deliver on, especially those working.
- ii) It promotes a self-paced learning approach
Fixed timeframes to deliver content puts pressure, especially on the slow learners, to ensure they grasp the available material within the stipulated time. Mobile learning allows them to concentrate on challenging areas for more prolonged periods until they understand. It becomes less frustrating when students learn at their pace.
iii) It is more dynamic
Mobile learning has diverse formats to relay knowledge, including different types of media, i.e., YouTube videos, imagery, audio files, and other M-learning features. This allows the students the choice of their preferred learning style that is more convenient for them.
- iv) It encourages collaborative learning
Mobile learning encourages the formation of an online learning community that is open for sharing of information. Learners can freely contact their peers as well as instructors online to seek clarification and discuss challenging areas.
- v) It allows multi-device support
The availed learning content can be accessed in the same form from either a laptop, smartphone, or notebook. You don’t need to purchase a specific device; the content is responsive on all the devices regardless of the screen size.
- vi) It is cost-effective
M-learning promotes greater participation and access to knowledge without necessarily having to break the banks. Instructors are tasked to create learning material using a web-based authoring system and distribute it to the learners, who only need a device and access to the internet. Huge savings on resources are ensured in terms of time and money.
vii) It improves knowledge retention and information recall
Learning material is downloadable and therefore serves as a reliable reference point whenever the need arises. Learners can choose to dedicate suitable time in their schedules to revise a specific topic in greater depth for better understanding.
viii) It encourages bite-sized delivery leading to faster learning
The presentations prepared by the instructors are usually topic-specific. Microlearning beats the challenge of handling information overload, thus improving learning efficiency, especially for those undergoing on-the-job training.
Mobile learning technologies have played a key role in capacity building at the workplace since the learning gaps identified can efficiently be filled through training without necessarily taking a break from the job.
Mobile learning and educational apps are essential baseline mediums for mobile learning. You can select and work with the one that best suits you from the variety, all thanks to mobile learning software technology. The software tools can be customized to meet user needs and can support teams of all sizes.
Mobile learning has played a key role in ensuring continuity of learning, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic has constrained physical learning.