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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Challenges that Face Mobile Learning

Today I have Shannon Wills guest blogging. Please be sure to check out her unique guest post. Guest posts are always welcome, please contact me.

There’s no doubt that technology has changed the way we live; today, it’s impossible to cut yourself off from technology and live the life of an ascetic. Technology has pervaded every minute aspect of our lives, and while there are downsides to this invasion like the lack of privacy and the fact that we seem to lead virtual rather than real lives, technology has proved to be invaluable in certain fields like education. Among its benefits are:
  • It has made education accessible to more people.
  • It has eliminated the hurdles of geographical distance through online learning options.
  • It has reduced the cost of education.
  • It has taken education to the masses rather than asking the masses to go in search of education.
  • It has introduced alternative methods of learning and teaching – today, students are able to learn by themselves without traditional teachers, thanks to the information found on the web.
  • It has redefined the way we view education – what used to be a chore because it was compulsive is now an interesting option because of the number of choices available.

In particular, mobile learning has made education more fun and interesting than it used to be. It has eliminated boring textbooks and sonorous lectures from the equation and balanced it with innovative apps, mini lessons, podcasts, and links to vital information. Even with all the success that mobile learning has tasted, there are areas where it could improve. The challenges that face mobile education today are:

  • It is of no use to and inaccessible by people who do not understand technology or have no access to it.
  • There are too many distractions that prevent learners from being effective and efficient.
  • The startup cost of implementing the technology may be prohibitive in developing nations.
  • There is no single uniform platform to integrate all the various technologies that facilitate mobile learning. This lack of standardization poses a hindrance to the widespread adaption of mobile learning. Learners have to adapt to new platforms as and when they move from one module of learning to the next.
  • There is no way to monitor and qualify the standard of education offered. Unless offered by accredited institutions, mobile learning may not be worth the effort.
  • When offered in bits and pieces as mobile learning is, it is hard to concentrate and keep track of what you’ve learned earlier.
  • It is an unconventional way of learning that may not be accepted in mainstream society.
As you can see, the list of challenges is long. But there is no doubt that mobile learning is here to stay; as with online education, it will take a while for people to get used to it as something routine and for educators to tap its potential as the next big thing in the world of education.

This guest post is contributed by Shannon Wills, she writes on the topic of Online Engineering Degrees.
She welcomes your comments at her email id:

Many thanks to Shannon Wills.
Enjoy your reading