Mobile learning is changing education and even the way we think. Students and teachers have more options than ever before. People don’t just learn in the classroom anymore, they can learn anywhere there’s a device and an Internet connection.
The role of the student is changing, causing the role of the teacher to change as well. Educators need to embrace technology, the possibilities it presents and how it can enhance the learning process. Here are some ways that mobile learning is changing how we learn:
Collaborative learning occurs when two or more individuals learn together. This can include group projects, discussions, peer reflection, etc. This type of learning allows students to take charge, and teachers to step aside and become facilitators of learning.
Mobile learning enhances collaboration through the use of social networks and tools like Google Drive, Dropbox and mobile apps. We can now work with people both synchronously (at the same time) and asynchronously (at different times) – basically, whenever we want!
Students and educators around the world can connect in Google Hangouts and Mystery Skype sessions. Mobile learning allows us to build online communities in which to grow and share our knowledge.
Mobile learning is helping change classrooms from teacher-centric to student-centric. Instead of the ‘sage on the stage’, or teachers lecturing to students; students can participate much more actively in the learning experience. This gives them a sense of ownership and makes them more motivated to learn.
Mobile learning allows students to research topics on the Internet, make use of educational apps, communicate and become problem-solvers. The Internet gives students the freedom to choose their own paths. Teachers become guides.
Each student has different needs, goals and motivators. It’s important for teachers to try to meet the individual needs of every learner. Mobile learning makes it easier to do this. It provides students with multiple sources of content and offers them a myriad of ways to demonstrate their learning: in writing, by making podcasts, videos, graphs, interactive pages or using any number of web 2.0 tools.
Gamification is the use of game thinking and mechanics to inspire students to get engaged in the learning process. In his report on educational games, Don Menn states, “Students recall just 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. If there are visuals accompanying an oral presentation, the number rises to 30%, and if they observe someone carrying out an action while explaining it, 50%. But students remember 90% if they do the job themselves, even if only as a simulation.”
Gamification is an effective way to help students retain information by providing them with audio and visual stimulants. It can deliver an experience that is fine-tuned for individual students, while providing feedback, which enables formative assessment. Social elements can be easily incorporated as well. Mobile learning allows you to easily incorporate gamification into education, making learning more engaging, entertaining and enjoyable. (See infographic below.)