Problems With Mobile Learning - And How They Can Be Overcome

Some MLearning Options
Some MLearning Options (thomcochrane)
by Danny Wallace

One of the main difficulties with mobile learning apps is the possibility of pupils getting preoccupied. Mobile phones are generally banned in classrooms as they have the potential to divert students' attention.

The number of apps along with games on mobile phones is constantly increasing. This causes concerns both for parents and teachers that if mobiles were allowed, they'd be abused.

An article published by the Telegraph newspaper recently discussed Ofsted's plans to prohibit phones in classrooms altogether. Sir Eileen Wilshaw, chief inspector of the education watchdog described the 'low-level disruption' in sessions caused by mobile interruptions (cell phones ringing, college students texting, playing games etc.) as being the 'bigger issue' which stops effective studying.

This was met by backlash from people who thought this idea was old-fashioned, considering how mobile learning might be beneficial and also complementary to classroom studying. What App builders need to give full attention to is making sure that content is interesting and engaging and so will sustain students' concentration and prevent use of their mobile phone for other purposes.

A great way to ensure student retention is by using badges and accomplishments for individuals to gain in order to keep these motivated. Moreover, you need to ensure hat the content is shown in an exciting format together with sounds and graphics. This assists to keep students interested, and so less likely to stray away from the content.

It is also seen by a lot of that people that the articles provided on the mobile devices are way too entertainment-based to actually end up being educational. This really is difficult for mobile app companies as they need to somehow get the right stability between the app staying fun and engaging (to prevent distraction) while keeping the target on learning.

The ideal set up would be to use images and sounds (as mentioned above) so the app is exciting but with the main basis being firmly instructional. This can be done by ensure that there are no gadgets, gimmicks or mini-games involved, keep it purely educational!

Another obstacle in the field of m-learning is ensuring that content is relevant. There's many internet test sites and e-learning apps available which people are able to use to learn, however a lot of the content on these sites and programs is irrelevant as well as too generalized.

Learning with an app should be succinct and tied to what the student actually should know in accordance with the syllabus or an upcoming examination.

It would therefore be useful to have mobile learning apps where the content can be customized. For example, where the teacher/parent can produce and tailor-make their own learning content making it specific for their students, and thus avoid anything unnecessary as well as off-syllabus.

Generally fresh mobile understanding apps tend to be adapting to overcome the damaging myths around mobile studying. As the field develops, these challenges are becoming less relevant causing more people to view m-learning as a viable and effective learning device.

And finally, if you are interested in mobile learning, please check out the Quipper blog at http://www.quipper.com/m-learning

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