If you grew up in the 90s, you may remember those petite, pocket-sized dictionaries that were popular despite the fact that they contained a very limited number of words and meanings. The fact that you could carry them around and learn on the go compensated somewhat for their lack of comprehensiveness.
Today, technology has ensured that we don’t have to make this trade-off - thanks to smart-phones; we have encyclopaedic knowledge at our fingertips – anytime, anywhere! The last few years have heralded the age of mobile learning (or M-learning), which is defined as" learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices.”
This shift from classroom to mobile learning is a key trend in higher education today. More and more people are consuming video content, podcasts, study apps, online quizzes, and e-books. If you look at the past 30-40 years, you can see that learning migrates from one platform to another depending on what students of each generation are apt to spend time on. In the 80s or 90s, books were the main source of learning and knowledge. In the 2000s, students spent copious amounts time in front of the computer, so a lot of courses came on CDs to be installed on your PC. In 2015, students (and in fact, most people) spend a lot of time engaging with the phone that they hold in their hands. Hence, it makes sense that learning has made its way to the smart phone screen as well.
No two learners are the same. Each learner has his own methods and pace of understanding the concepts presented to him. With mobile learning, learners can employ the methods and pace that are suitable to their learning style. There are online learning platforms that tailor their study content to suit individual needs. There are also several study apps that track your progress as you study. With a smart phone, you can make use of the several apps that help you make mind maps, to-do lists, notes, and study time-tables to keep you on the straight and narrow path. Engaging with the different kinds of materials available at your own time and making use of the platforms to interact with experts makes this kind of learning experience a very personalized one.
For all these reasons and many more, mobile learning is evolving by the day and rapidly picking up popularity as a favoured learning method. So, have you tried to learn on your phone yet?