The Way We Now Learn

Posted by

Mobile learning

Mobile has evolved from just a platform for making phone calls to one that now includes a wide range of activities and industries spanning across fashion, arts, music, photography, education, health, movies, agriculture and so many others. look at mobile devices and education or succinctly put ‘the way we learn’ today.

Have you observed or noticed that the concept of what it really means to be well educated is speedily changing from just ‘being educated’ to ‘personal learning’? It is becoming more of personal pursuit of knowledge. Increasingly, mobile is playing a key role in that learning process.

In With The New

I still love the old fashioned way of learning/reading by buying my physical books though (the smell from a new book still stirs me in a way only that can), but you won’t catch me dead without a dozen books (my novels and class materials) on my mobile devices.

E-books and related material available on smartphones, tablets and e-reeders have made learning an ‘on the go’ experience. On BRT buses, in Danfos, stores, at work places, on queues, in classes and even on the road (yes, I’ve seen people reading along on their mobile as they trek along or wait for a bus), people are learning/reading from their mobiles. There are many free online courses and materials alongside paid content, so even where purchases are not possible, almost anyone can still take advantage of the free stuff.

Learning Via Social

Recently, I bumped into a student who was busy jotting down notes from his mobile. I couldn’t help but ask what he was up to. He told me that he belonged to a BB (Blackberry) group from his class. The group was discussing a topic he had missed in class. I was amazed that through his mobile, his classmates were able to bring him up to speed with what he had missed. He told me about other educational groups that he belonged to on WhatsApp. Amazing!!!

Some may scoff at these groups as mere channels for passing time and for gossip, but there are students and workers all over the world putting them to good use as educational resources.

New vistas

I couldn’t help but wonder what would become of our educational system when online streaming of classes take over the traditional way of teaching. Students could actually sit somewhere, anywhere and watch, participate and contribute via their mobiles as classes go on. Of course, this is already happening in some regions.

New media of mobile learning have not become as popular here as it is in the developed countries where lecturers use podcasts to teach their students. There are student groups where information, news and projects are shared and executed virtually. We will get there when internet broadband becomes ubiquitous.
 
Learning via mobile devices provides new, uninhibited learning processes from across the world and unleashes so many opportunities for teachers and learners to share resources, materials and provide support.

Beyond Learning…

On a personal note, the e-books on my mobile devices have become more than books to me. They also serve as ‘sedatives’ on those nights that I’d rather stare at the ceiling and beg for sleep to come. Go figure. Shouldn’t we be classifying that under mobile health or not? Tehehehe.

READER COMMENTS

We love to hear from you - your opinions, insights and experiences with smartphones and other gadgets. Be a part of Mobility Arena's active community by sharing a comment below if comments are enabled for this page.

8 comments

  1. I’m currently a student, and I’m deep into e-learning. I have a laptop, tablet and android smartphone all connected to the school’s network. I receive emails almost every working hour and it’s vital for me to be in touch with lecturers, supervisors, etc.

    I now use Dropbox full-time. All my academic work (and more) is saved to my dropbox folder, and I can access my work anywhere within the school environment. It has helped me several times.

    I usually leave my laptop at home, but it’s always connected to the school network. I carry my tablet to school for lectures, and quick studying. I can access/control my laptop using ‘Splashtop’ program (Windows and Android) for tasks that Dropbox cannot handle.

    I’m about to start using blackberry again, because my classmates now have a BB group to discuss assignments and projects, and I dont wanna miss out.

    Also, the university has a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) where lecturers post assignments, lecture notes, announcements, course updates, timetable changes etc. It’s vital for most students to log into the VLE daily.

    It helps that I was already a computer/smartphone enthusiast before I got here, so I was able to blend into the e-life here seamlessly. I feel sorry for one of my classmates who still uses a small nokia basic-phone, and doesn’t know the differences between Windows XP, Vista and 7. He’s really finding the e-life to be suffocating.

  2. Excellent piece and from very practical point of view too.

    Well, someone already said it, mobile is the feature. And yes, BB devices will serve students right with the associated cheap plans. Also, WhatsApp will be very handy too for other smartphone users and people like me, who will rather not touch BB devices.

    The big advantage of mobile phones in e-learning over traditional desktop or laptop PCs is ultra-portability when compared to either desktop or laptop and far longer lasting batteries when compared with laptops and of course the general frugality with data that makes relatively cheap data pricing available and worthwhile.

  3. Quite insightful! But, the internet revolution is still just picking up in this part of the world. Guess, its gonna take like another decade to achieve. Or am I wrong?

  4. I would like to salute my Nokia devices for all the help they provided me during my undergraduate days, for all the term papers, seminars and project referenced and typed on those tiny screens.

    These days i dont read physical books anymore, if it aint an ebook count me out.

  5. Same Here Been using e-books for The Last 3 Years Since i Was 15 and I’ve Got To Say It Is The Future But I Want To Ask Ifeanyi this Whole Cloud Thing I Don’t Understand It So Could You Help A Bro Out. All Also Into Computers n Smartphone, Luv Android and I’ve Got a Netbook. My Email Is toroze_193@hotmail

  6. All we need in the country is true broadband. All these lies about broadband from our telcos is not helping at all. Until we have that, all these services won’t be available. People hardly use the conventional fm radio in developed countries now. It’s all Internet radio. Streaming non-stop. Podcasts are so important in daily living. You can listen to content at your convenience. Lecturers and students don’t have to travel long distances to pass same messages from a bricked classroom.

  7. Fibre cable cut here, sabotage there, lets-just-lie-and-hold-back-on-upgrading-our-system….our Telcos are just like oour Government; unreliable, treacherous, lazy. Yes yes yes, the working clime in Nigeria can be a deterrent to success still.

    My IT instructor once requested classes be moved online; live streaming etc etc. We tried it, the following week, we were all physically in class…go figure.

    E-boooks: at a point I found it difficult to read the regular physical books cos it just wasn’t convenient. Used to power the kerosene lamps in d past to finish Michelle’s Reed’s Vampire Academy or Pittacus Lore’s Mogadorian saga or Eion Colfer’s Artemis Fowl. Now, I just load aldiko reader and scroll through some business books worrying naught about kerosene smoke or falling asleep with a candle on and waking bald cos my hair burnt out during the night. Plus ebooks helps reduce deforestation: “Save a tree y’all, get an E-reader”.

    E-books didn’t launch my career in reading (always had a healthy appetite for knowledge), it just increased my scope. You can find every genre of book online; kamasutra for the dulling husband, cookery for the wife, astral projection for the weird, sci fi and psychology for the zsches etc etc

    Oya let me stop here and prepare for l’eglise

Have Your Say

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussions are moderated for civility

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.