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.
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.
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.