Mobile learning : Exploring ways to Impact Education ecosystem
As per the census of 2011 India is recognized as one of the youngest nations whose majority of young population will enter into the workplace by 2015.This has instigated the demand for a different education system which should be capable to fulfill the necessities of quality and quantity aspect of the education system i.e. Defeating the barricade in quality education and increasing the penetration of education sector.
The availability of mobile network in the remotest area of the country facilitates to leverage the extensive use of technology through introducing modifications to the ecosystem of education sector through M-Learning. Technology has only reached class room of urban schools, wherein it is again limited to computer labs and audio-visual rooms. Appreciating M-Learning just as a facilitator to distance learning using mobile technology, ignores its deeper role of improving ecosystem of education. Curbing constraints of time, location and collaboration of traditional education system m-learning simplifies access to content and experts. Customization of teaching process and personalization of education solution for learners through interactive media is another advantage of M-Learning. It helps the learner to access local and global content and even approach the experts anywhere and anytime.
In India access to education is a critical problem due to insufficient number of schools with reference to population. Low household income also contributes to the problem and provides access to only the locally popular study material. M-learning platform offers access to relevant globally acknowledged study material at low cost. M-learning solutions provide access to innovative teaching pedagogy to the educators which help to solve the training issue of undertrained educators.
Engaging learners and enhancing the understanding of the learner demands customizing teaching styles according to the needs and preferences of each learner. This is impractical in traditional classroom environment. More interactive formats and content tailored to individual learning styles developed under the m-learning platform has the potential to increase engagement levels of students to understand better. In comparison to traditional time consuming evaluation system m-learning provides regular assessment system during the learning process which helps the teachers to understand and determine the specific learner requirement for conceptual clarity.
The released report from the GSM Association and McKinsey & Company based on a number of early trials in mobile education across various geographies and education segments shows that there is a huge potential for m-learning due to one on one interaction and customization nature of mobile learning. The days are not very far when we will find educational institution is purchasing the m-learning solution for their learners to improve their learning capacity.
The remarkable rural mobile adoption growth rate and demand for varied educational content has opened new vistas in creating a market for mobile education. But the low level of literacy, limited understanding of English language in rural and semi urban areas and text driven interface is a roadblock in reaping the benefits of m-learning. We are in experimentation phase of m-learning field and both public and private sectors are identifying innovative application, it may be impulsive to celebrate its success and still miles to go for celebration.
Dr. Nidhi Maheswari
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management