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M-Learning - A Promising Educational Model on the Horizon?

by Stefan Alijevikj on 21st October, 2014 at 1:31 PM CEST

In the dynamic age of today, when we are constantly on the move, fastly skipping obstacles in front of uprising challenges, we also face myrad of paradigm shifts. Some of them are real and some are just potential. These paradigm shifts does not exclude the realms of education. On the contrary, new models of learning are on the porch. One of them, and promising, is the Mobile Learning (m-Learning) educational model.

As the literature suggests, the m-Learning is molded around the mobile technology. It is said to broaden the availability of quality education materials for lower costs and higher flexibility. It also disregards administration and policy barriers as theoretically the mobile phone makes the learning, a learner-centered one.

“M-Learning thus represents learning that is not ‘just-in-case,’ education for the sake of producing a bank of knowledge, but rather represents learning that is ‘just-in-time,’ ‘just enough,’ or ‘just-for-me’” (Traxler, 2007, p. 5).

This type of educational model seems like ideal for those in remote areas, or who cannot physically attend school or university due to variety of reasons: physical disability, infrastructure issues, family-related obligations etc. In the times when internet will be accessible almost to every corner of the Earth, this may seem as one of the simplest solutions to combat educational challenges. It solves challenges in the developed world, and also in the developing world. In an instance, it feels as if the e-learning will be swapped away from the m-learning. No more computers. No more lap tops. We move to tiny tiny devices: mobiles.

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According to UNESCO paper series on mobile learning, there are several highlighted features comprising this model. Now, imagine a learning that is:

  1. Highly portable: the technology is here whenever you are in the mood to tune in for learn;
  2. Individual: it is designed to suit your personal needs, abilities, prior knowledge and learning style;
  3. Unobtrusive: You can learn as you are under the “stealth mood”. No one will notice you;
  4. Available: You use it in the bus, in the city centre, in the village, in a bar, on a street, under the tree and you are still able to communicate with a peer, a teacher or an expert;
  5. Adaptable: No need for you to be expert and tech-geek. You can have the occasion for learning something regardless your skills and knowledge with mobiles;
  6. Persistent: You will not need to leave your old “bank of knowledge”. It will be already all there. You just start off with a new technological device for learning.
  7. Useful: Your device is suited for your everyday needs for communication, reference, work and learning;
  8. Easy to use: You will easily comprehend all wonders of the device and start to navigate in the sea of knowledge and learning opportunities without prior experience. 

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So, do you imagine yourself boosting your knowledge simply with a mobile device? What are your “turn-ons” and “turns-off” for this educational model?

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Muhammad Ali Ali

Muhammad Ali Ali

amazing informative article

22nd October, 2014 @ 4:29 PM CEST

Kayode Nubi

Kayode Nubi | Action team | CF Chapters

This is already happening in countries like Nigeria and other sub-saharan African countries with startups like:

Sterio - a mobile/sms based learning platform. You can see my interview with him below: -pruijsen-of-sterio-me-on-taki ng-the-infrastructure-out-of-e ducation/

Another one that focuses on transmitting cultural knowledge via mobile apps is Asa - es/asa/

27th October, 2014 @ 11:57 AM CEST

Maria Steinsson

Maria Steinsson

This seemed such a far-fetched reality back in the day... Great read!

@Kayode Nubi, great share also!

Learning from mobiles would work great for those in remote areas

28th October, 2014 @ 11:29 AM CEST

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