Visit any elementary school in the country and the scene would be pretty similar across the board: A student has a question, so he raises his hand and gets immediate feedback from the teacher. Such interactions not only provide answers, but set students on a path to success from day one.
Today, mLearning is being used to communicate and interact with learners, so a smartphone may have more in common with an elementary school than you think – minus the fish sticks at lunch. Mobile learning has yet to reach its full potential, but interaction and accessibility are helping us get there.
Case Study: Rosetta Stone
There’s a reason that language software Rosetta Stone is used by government and businesses alike: It’s highly effective in teaching foreign languages. But Rosetta Stone doesn’t just rely on the content offered, but also delivery and feedback tools, available on most mobile devices.
Say you need to learn Spanish to expand career opportunities. You have a tablet, so you download the Rosetta Stone app. Instead of simply listening to someone else using the language, you’re invited to practice yourself and, thanks to the microphone in your iPad, receive immediate feedback as to whether you’re not you’re on track. It’s the mLearning equivalent to raising your hand in class: You have a question and teacher answers immediately. Mispronunciation and misunderstanding are corrected before becoming a perpetual problem.
New Applications for mLearning
The onboard tools on your tablet and smartphone offer a world of opportunity for mLearning applications. Consider how a few of these tools and applications could revolutionize your mLearning strategy:
- Geolocation alerts to offer information and language tips based on in-context geographic location.
- Microphone to record communication and testing.
- Media viewers for quick how-to videos.
- Microprojection to share screen with other parties.
- Cloud storage for group collaboration and uploading larger blocks of new information.
- Utilizing onboardsensors to gather intelligent data about your learner’s behavior.
Imagine knowing exactly when your learner access his smartphone to match content delivery to his most active usage times, or delivering a new product information video the moment it’s released. Thinking past the usual mobile learning suspects – social networking; alerts; emails – opens a whole new world for eLearning. Automated interaction means immediate feedback without sacrificing speed, time and efficiency.
Unleashing the full potential of mobile learning affords something akin to going back to school: While a few things are noticeably absent in an mLearning environment, onboard tools can simulate a more traditional learning environment . By automating the feedback and interaction process, your learners still benefit from continuous communication and educator evaluation – anytime, anywhere.