User:Vtaylor/CIS2 Spring 2008/Mobile learning

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CIS2 Student submissions

Students have provided research and analysis.

Spring 2008

... adapted from the work of students Tseng C, Daisuke H, Jacob K, Ritchie-Gary P, Josh T

Mobile Learning - Introduction

Every teacher now has an e-mail address. Almost every student has an iPod or a media device. Every household now owns at least a television and a computer, and almost every person owns a cell phone device. Any one of these electronic devices can be used to learn electronically.

M-learning is short for mobile learning. Taking a class or simply learn something online or electronically has changed traditional learning. College students have the option to take classes online. Anyone can learn online through videos ( Students download lessons into their iPods and watch them any time, anywhere.

M-learning means learning on mobile devices. One of the examples of m-learning is the mobile network for cell phones. The most popular is the 3G network which the iPhone uses to get online. Examples of mobile learning devices are cell phones, hand held devices, audio players, and hand held game consoles.

One of the best parts of mobile learning is that learning is ‘ageless’. Any person, no matter how old you are, has the option to take classes online. M-learning has a wide variety of ways for one to learn – through texts, audio, video, and animation.

Learning things from a mobile place or “on-the-go”, really gives students the freedom to do homework or assignments on time. Having online classes also gives international students or people from different parts of the country a chance to take classes from their home. But, it also has its pros and cons.

M-learning is the exciting art of using mobile technologies to enhance the learning experience. Mobile phones, PDAs, Pocket PCs and the Internet can be blended to engage and motivate learners, any time and anywhere.

Through the use of portable devices, users can access many M-learning programs. Here are a few programs a person can access.

  • Java games - Quiz games that can be used to check skills on almost any mobile phone.
  • mediaBoard - Learners send text (SMS) or picture (MMS) messages from their phones to the web-based mediaBoard to contribute to both personal and collaborative web sites.
  • Pocket PC learning resources - Tailored games and quizzes created for Pocket PCs. Blended learning with paper-based materials, other ICTs, and with everything else you normally do!

M-learning is a powerful and practical solution to many learning and training challenges, such as:

  • in collaborative projects and fieldwork
  • as a classroom alternative to books or computers
  • where learners are widely dispersed
  • to engage with learners who in the past have felt excluded
  • in promotional and awareness campaigns
  • for ‘just-in-time’ employee training.

Advantages of M-learning

Mobile learning is continuing to grow in popularity in the field of education and the workforce. Now, instead of waking up and going to class, you can attend your class in the palm of your hand wherever you are. How about getting trained for a job by a small hand held device instead of an annoying manager? You have the power to learn anywhere at anytime. It also gives different settings and different paces so that it conforms to your style of learning. It finally gives you the chance to have learning outside the classroom and adds a “Fun Factor” to learning.

Mobile learning has narrowed the academic achievement gap between regular and special needs kids. With kids being able to pick up on nearly all types of technology these days, it is easy for them to use it and to have more fun than reading through books and taking quizzes, which are the old fashioned ways.

With this growing rate of technology and different ways to do things, it definitely has an impact on society. Mobile learning has had a huge impact on jobs and schools, for it makes learning easy. Robert Kelly from Carnegie Mellon University stated in 1986 that people stored 75% of job related information in their brains. That number continued to drop until 2004, where it hit only 8-10% of information. Mobile employees make up to 40% of the knowledge workforce in the US and it is important to keep employees up to date and educated so that they can help to run a successful working business.

Mobile learning is continuing to grow and its fields for applications also continue to grow with it. This will continue the overall growth of education whether it is for jobs or for schools. Any type of educational advancement is a great accomplishment. With this easier and more fun way of learning, it will make kids want to learn more. Any new method of teaching that produces successful methods for learning is a very important thing for our society. Technology will continue to grow and so will the roles of M-learning in our society.

Disadvantages of M-learning

Hoverer, just like the invention of computers has changed the human society completely; the invention of mobile learning and the growth of technology have also changed the traditional schools and classrooms dramatically. Society has not only been transformed by the invention of Internet and computers, but it also has been modified by the continuous growing technology of mobile learning. Wherever you go, you can see the changes which are brought by the application of mobile learning. Schools and teachers are not the only places and people that can be related to education. You now can learn everywhere and from whomever. Even though the concept of mobile learning is rising and flourishing, we cannot overlook the disadvantage of mobile learning. Mobile learning and other inventions of computers are just like gifts of fire, which have many hidden dangers. For example, the disadvantages are:

  • the lacking of opportunity for people to learn social skills
  • the educational gap between rich and poor.

Lack of opportunity for learning social skills is the major problem about mobile learning. People are social animals, so we need to learn the art of socializing. Throughout history, the first place which teaches us this subject is the school. According to recent research, it is important that people learn to share, cooperate, understand others, and how to communicate clearly. Most of all, people can only learn these social skills when they interact with each other. Because of the invention of mobile learning, some traditional classrooms have been replaced by individual computers and mobile learning tools. Communication has become incredibly easy with e-mails, chatting rooms, and Facebook. It seems that fewer students know how to organize a project meeting with real people, and they just forget their social manners and etiquette. The opportunity for people to learn social skills has been diminished because of mobile learning. As a result, people seldom have personal interactions.

Computers and mobile learning tools offer many unique learning opportunities, but some researchers’ concern is that using mobile learning tools instead of learning in traditional classrooms with other classmates might interfere with human’s social development. When you learn by using M-learning tools, you do not have the chance for interacting with others since mobile learning cannot provide its users with a physical learning environment. Even though we are not going to be too pessimistic about the future of M-learning, we still have to admit the fact that people, especially teenagers who are developing their social skills, cannot rely on those mobile leaning tools too much. Since using mobile learning tools might result in having less and less physical interactions with others, people have a better chance of losing their opportunity for them to learn social skills.

The other disadvantage of mobile learning is the educational gap between rich and poor. For people who live here, computers, cell phones, MP3s, and DVDs are necessaries for almost everyone. Even though you might not have one, you can still find a free entrance to the cyberspace in public libraries or even Starbucks. As a result, people actually are exposed to M-learning tools almost everywhere, so it is easy for us to talk about the transition from traditional learning to mobile learning. However, the global economical inequality is getting worse and worse each day. While people in America are waiting in line for the newest iPhone, people in Central African Republic are still waiting in line so that they might have a chance for basic education. That is how the world works; some people are rich, and some people are poor. Therefore, mobile learning requires other applications of computers which cost money, so the consequence for this will widen the educational gap between rich and poor.

Poor people cannot afford the equipment for mobile learning, so they might be even more ill-educated and cannot escape from their formal circumstances. Even though some people, including Bill Gates, argue that the new technology, like M-learning, will help the poor become literate, the inequality gap still exists. Additionally, poor people could have the chance of using mobile learning tools to benefit themselves with newest information, if, and only if, they were somehow provided with the communications systems, hardware, software, and training which are related to mobile learning technology. Otherwise, they might still be illiterate and poor since it takes time and money for them to be equipped. Without such help, they cannot even get started, and the problem about educational gap between rich and poor will just become even more serious.

Conclusion and Evaluation

Nowadays, our technology has gotten so much better that people have found different ways of learning. Mobile learning has become a huge impact to our society. For instance, even in any traditional campuses, most teachers now have an e-mail address, and almost every student owns a cell phone device (sometimes, even more than one). As a result, via M-learning students and the teacher use online technology to interact, participate, and learn.

The advantage of this evolutionary learning system is that it is much more flexible than the traditional, regular learning system because the person can study everywhere using his or her own computer and the Internet with his or her own pace. In other words, students who use mobile learning systems can be the master of their own so that they can achieve their goals. They are in charge of their learning process and path.

For the future, the individualism of education and decision-making power will be the mainstream on campuses due to the popularity of using mobile learning technology. However, mobile learning might somehow become a danger which lurks under the surface – the lacking of opportunity of learning social skills. Some people argue that the using of mobile learning system only emphasizes the individualism of education, and it overlooks the importance of being exposed to human society. Also, some people cannot afford the expenses of using mobile learning system, which means that this learning style is confined to most of the wealthy people.

Consequently, people still have a lot of unanswered questions, from both sides of view, about this new learning technology since people are human being with complicated mind. Since the assumptions and predictions that researchers and professionals make nowadays about the future of technology are so often short sighted and below actual achievement, we, the people who are still in the process of accepting mobile learning, can just wait and see because time sometimes is the best answer to many questions which are beyond human’s capacity.

Works Cited and References Used



The Advantages of M-learning