What is the future of mobile learning in India

Mobile Learning- a bird’s eye view

There goes the definition of mobile learning in India that “it is learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices”. Mobile could play a medium of e-learning in distance education, where the learners could utilize their mobile devices in different locations during the time of leisure. The thing needs to get understood in this context is mobile learning not only includes only mobile phones but handheld computers, MP3 players, notebooks, and tablets. In the hectic pace of life, mobile learning could become a good companion of learners, who are on the move and have time constraint for learning. M-learning has great convenience as it offers accessibility almost from any place in the world.

Mobile learning-heaven for the “on-the-go” learners

Mobile learning-heaven for the “on-the-go” learnersLearning through this medium is now widely acceptable because of the affordability by the common masses. Not only in India but the global rise of mobile learning has brought increasing awareness in the trend that continues to influence behavior of individuals. In India, as lives stand completely revolutionized by mobile phones, the emerging trend of mobile learning has generated interest in the people belonging to various walks of life. As the recent survey from “Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB)” indicates, the year 2015 would bring an exponential growth of mobile phone users; the figure gets doubled up numbering around 87 million internet users. This would result in enhanced learning and interaction through mobile phones and other such devices.

Information is power

As there goes the proverb that “information is power”, it is the fast changing technology that makes learning an inevitable part of life. As a report from McKinsey & Company states clearly-“India is the fourth largest user of internet.  It affirms that India only led the world to shed light on advanced applications in Mathematics; it certainly has the opportunity to get transformed as truly mobile digital society. As favorable trend, the cost of network and handsets is declining steadily; India seems poised to unleash its unlimited potential of market for digital services. Although, the shapes of computer are now changing and are now available in their miniature shapes, mobile-phones are now most favorite devices, which teeming millions prefer to access internet to other devices. The recent development in cities, where “Wi-Fi free” zones add to the privilege of free-of-cost availability of internet, spread of mobile learning is certainly a bright possibility.

The prospective of learning gets broader

Learning through mobile devices differs broadly from the earlier medium of learning- books. It provides the biggest platform of content, views from peers, and sources for references on the pertinent topics, which could keep the learners abreast of the latest developments in any matter. This facilitates in learning an atmosphere, which is extremely competitive and fast changing with new developments. As the fourth largest internet using state, India has 8.1million internet users, although rate of adoption of internet in the masses is still dismal. As statistics show that out of total Indian masses, only 1% has started using internet in their cell-phones. But with internet becoming more and more affordable, the adoption rate is going to increase faster.

The following are the areas that mobile learning is going to serve;

Mobile Learning-valuable tool for Corporate Training

A new dimension in educational technology and distance educationWhile working in companies, the workers could now avail corporate communications at anytime and anywhere. The travelling executives could utilize their spare time by reading and learning the lessons during the time of travel. While on the move, the workers or executives could keep themselves engaged with their seniors, peers, and colleagues and keep themselves constantly in touch. As the workers in the corporate houses need to have specializations in their areas of work, they stay in touch with the latest developments and build up their knowledge-base continuously. It is the medium of learning, where learners and class-rooms could physically stay at different locations. This helps in building cost-effectiveness as mobile learning is relatively a cheaper mode of learning.

A new dimension in educational technology and distance education

Now-a-days, more and more working men and women are opting for distance education. But as everybody knows, while being on-the-job, the workers spend most of the day in travelling. This results in lack of time to study the course-materials and prepare for the examination. This new development in learning could help in overcoming this constraint as people could use their mobile devices and go through the study-material as they commute during official hours. Such advantages could make mobile learning an immensely popular tool in future.

Mobile learning- a favorable method to bring the ‘drop out’ rate to zero

Be it a developed nation or a developing nation, the educational institutions invariably find that students are dropping out of courses. The lacuna in education system coupled with poverty compels the students to leave learning. Mobile learning could give freedom from most of the limitations from existing system of education. As imparting lessons through it becomes easier, the flexibility could bring more pass-rates and considerably bring down the percentage of ‘failed’ students. As learning could revolutionize life and living, mobile learning is soon going to become ‘part and parcel’ of fast-paced living.

Mobile learning- great scope for development of portable technology

The main focus of ‘mobile learning’ is on the mobility of the learner. In future, the new technology could integrate the world as one as a greater industrialized culture, where workers across countries would interact on a common platform. As life assumes hectic pace-up, portable technology necessary for mobile learning would become an integral part of life. As newer portable technology comes in to existence, this would become a potential source of employment besides learning. Such learning comes laden with the great feature that podcasts for lectures could get downloaded from web, which the students could use to hear and learn while they are on the move.

Mobile learning- the trend with highest growth

Mobile learning- the trend with highest growthIn the last decade, mobile learning has assumed a formidable shape as it began as a small stream. It has become a greater source of research in academics, workplaces, museums, rural and urban areas around the world. Although, the trend has begun in India, the growth is still noticeable with various campaigns launched in media and society as well. As a report in Times of India states Gorakh Nath Sharma, who is a Mathematics teacher in a school at Ranchi, has joined as a Microsoft innovative teacher. He has prepared a mobile assessment tool that would give answers to an online test stored in a server and this would in turn help the students to compete with thousands of students online.

Mobile learning is inexpensive

Mobile learning is comparatively cheaper; as lessons come through mostly through mobile phones, which are cheaper devices than computers. This would make the technology affordable and spread faster in Indian society.

Content for learning becomes easy for creation and delivery

Mobile learning would involve new methods for content creation, which would easily get delivered to target audience and used as lessons.

Seamless and instant availability of lessons

As more and more Wi-Fi free zones are coming in to existence, the users of mobile learning would have continuous access to learning through internet. This makes the task of learning almost in instant.

Minimum training costs

Earlier the training sessions conducted by the industrial houses were exhaustive and inordinately expensive. As the mobile learning prevails in future, the cost incurred on such account would come down almost to minimum.

Mobile learning- a more rewarding experience

So far as learning goes, mobile learning would stay a more rewarding and powerful experience because of the interactive nature of communication. Because of the involvement of internet, both the teachers and students would interact on a common platform, resulting in fruitful sharing of information and more clarity in the concepts.

Opportunities for learning for all

As mobile phones continuously keep on evolving, mobile learning would considerably improve levels of numeracy, literacy, and interactivity among people belonging to all age groups. This would result in enhanced participation of people as mobile devices keep on grasping attention of people

Mobile learning- largest learning activity in future

As in mobile learning, sending text files to a central pool and exporting audio files from learning source to the phone become easier, such learning would gradually develop to a powerful and dependable medium of learning than other sources.

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