So, what is mLearning?
According to the MacMillian Dictionary, Mobile Learning or mLearning refers to any learning that takes place via a portable, electronic device such as:
- Tablets (iPads)
Why use of mLearning in the classroom ?
1. Mobile Devices are convenient, portable and easy to use.
Today, most children know how to use a smart phone and a tablet before they know how to tie their shoes.
Compared to their desktop counterparts, mobile devices have become relatively inexpensive. A dedicated e-reader can cost under $50
3. Creativity, innovation and excitement
Mobile device are motivating and engaging. Students become more involved in the learning process and active participants in their education. Enrichment opportunities are endless,. Think about these ideas:
- Find apps that supplement your curriculum content
- Scholastic offers an online, enhanced version of Scholastic news to all subscribers
- Use QR codes ( 2 dimensional bar codes that link to tons of information for a digital scavenger hunt
- More ideas on how to use QR codes in the classroom
- QR code generator to make your own codes
- Create Augmented Reality (AR) worlds. These apps supplement the real world by adding computer generated content when viewed through a mobile device, like the photo features on SnapChat
4. Accessibility for all
Mobile Devices are accessible to all learners regardless of mLearning differences or educational needs. In my classroom, 4 of the 7 students use iPad apps to communicate. My students are non-verbal, non-readers and without this mobile technology, their options for expression are severely limited. The apps range in price and complexity, but they all give the power of speech back to the student.
- One of my student’s is also hearing impaired. He uses the app ProLoQuo2go (P2Go). It allows him to express his opinions, needs, feelings and responses by touching a pre-programmed button containing a familiar icon. When he chooses the message he wants to say, the button animates for a moment so that he knows it has been activated, even though he can not hear the message. The other day, he put 3 icons together for the 1st time to ask me to play a game with him.
- “Regina + Bowling + me” was the most beautiful sentence I have ever heard.
- That is the power of Mobile technology
What should your website look like to be an effective mobile learning resource?
In addition to educational apps and access to mobile devices, any website can be an effective mLearning tool if certain rules are followed, according to bloggers
- Concentrate important content in the center of the screen. Your eyes scan that areas first
- Focus on images over text to convey your message quickly.
- Use strong headlines, short paragraphs and easy to understand language. Basically Keep It Simple
- Start with your most interesting information first. Attention grabbers keep viewers reading
Find more information on these mobile copy writing tips at:
Moving from the computer to a mobile device
Finally, I took a look at this site a few other blogs I follow on my tablet. I was pleasantly surprised to see that WordPress seems to translate pretty well from computer screen to mobile device. I was a little disappointed that my header image could not be viewed in its entirety, but I did not notice any other issues in going between devices. The sites remained easy to navigate and read.
Well, it appear that the mobile-friendly trend is here to stay. It is time to embrace and welcome the new educational opportunities that come along with it.