5 Benefits of Mobile Learning Relevant to All Applications

Posted on May 24, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Distance learning first began by satellite and was a way for teachers of specialized subjects to reach more students. Online learning continues the trend with the only requirement being a computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access. Mobile learning has taken the next step in convenience and accessibility. Many benefits are specific to a program or discipline, but the following benefits are shared across mobile platforms, including iPod and iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and even desktop widgets for continuing mobile learning on your laptop or PC.

Enhancing Fast and Relevant Communication

Classroom learning is often considered superior to alternatives due to teacher access, but mobile learning actually gives better access to a wider range of students. Introverts or students who are otherwise hesitant to communicate in class report having an easier time addressing concerns with the teacher and other students via mobile communication. Professional students are also favorably impacted by the ease of communication with professors and classmates at times when they need it most.

Better Time Management

Mobile learning excels in the area of time management. Whereas classroom-based learning requires setting aside specific times that require commuting to and from the location, mobile learning can take place during dead time. Students who are waiting for another class, a doctor’s appointment, or in a line somewhere can quickly access materials.

Differential Learning

Everyone learns differently, and pace is only one relevant metric. Some people learn better from seeing a video, reading a description, hearing step-by-step instructions, or using a combination of methods. The order of information can also be important. An idea or procedure that one student picks up easily may not click with another until a later presentation. Mobile technology enhances learning by allowing students to use their strengths in all these areas. All presentations, handouts, and videos are in one accessible location and can be re-accessed at any time, which allows for greater clarification.

Greater Accessibility to Students

Mobile learning is accessible in another way as well. Fringe students are often those located in rural areas or outside the geographic scope of a desired program. They may be unable to quit their job to attend school or may plan to use educational experiences to enhance job training. Others may live within distance of a program but be unable to afford lost income from attending classes. Stay-at-home parents of young children also benefit by being able to further their education while taking care of their parenting responsibilities. Mobile learning allows all these students the opportunity to attain their educational needs without compromising their careers or other duties.

Exceptional Learners

Whether the student faces the challenge of a specific handicap or is exceptionally gifted in the discipline, mobile learning makes it easy to provide accommodations. Gifted students will be able to augment classroom learning with webinars, articles, and other supplementary material. Students with autoimmune disorders will be able to maintain personal safety and keep health appointments while still participating in class. Other students with sensory-based disabilities will have an easier time linking their assistive technologies to the mobile classroom.

Out of all of these benefits, the most popular one is convenience. Mobile technology makes it possible to continue learning in any location with accessible internet, and innovations in wireless standards have greatly expanded service areas. Mobile learning is the newest and most popular alternative to the traditional classroom.

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Regina Haggstrom is a freelance journalist with an interest in continuing education. If you are interested in mobile learning technologies and continuing your education online, she recommends looking into available programs.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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