When Apple released the first iPhone back in 2007, few people understood just how significant this technological advancement would be. Before then, the only truly mobile devices were cell phones, which were primarily used for texting and making telephone calls. In 2007, however, Apple helped propel consumers into an entirely new mobile computing world. People now take their personal computing devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches wherever they go. Even more, these devices have largely replaced many of the portable laptop computers.
With this advancement in small and easy to carry devices, entire mobile-based businesses are emerging. Apps and games flood the market and try to gain the attention of mobile users. Historically, entertainment and social media have primarily monopolized the mobile platform. Over the past several years, however, innovators are increasingly demanded to develop some interesting technologies for adaptive learning within the mobile platform.
The benefits of learning new materials or concepts on a mobile device, or mobile learning, continue to increase. Mobile resources like Khan Academy and Lynda provide students with online lectures and instructional videos directly to a mobile device. And with the ability to study materials wherever one goes, a mobile learner is able to study 40 more minutes each week than a stationary learner. In addition, a mobile learner can complete course materials 45 percent faster than a learner using a computer. Applications like Lumosity are also offering learners on-the-go brain exercises” and games to improve memory, increase retention, and enhance focus.
These are just a few of the many mobile learning benefits. But what exactly is m-learning and what are some other advantages of using this technology?
The mobile learning advantage
Mobile learning consists of a variety of mobile educational experiences and methodologies that would otherwise not be possible in a traditional setting. Allowing students to access classroom material from their mobile phones or access third-party applications, like Goodreads for instance, are some examples of this methodology at work. Using a laptop or desktop computer with a WiFi connection is no longer the only way to access content online. With the advancement of broadband cellular network technology, mobile phones can stream high-quality videos directly to their mobile devices. The most important aspects of mobile learning are anywhere access to content and a self-directed pace for instruction. Within these platforms, learners are able to access content anywhere and whenever they want, instead of being restricted by location, hardware, and timeframe.
There are three primary forms within the mobile learning framework: individual, peer-to-peer, and group sharing.
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