M_learning…:)

Education
has slowly redefined itself by bringing teaching and learning process out of
the ordinary.  With the use of
technology, everything is made easy and accessible for both educators and
learners to obtain.  Learners are
expected to have a constant access to information within, and beyond the
classroom, while educators are required to spread as much information as
possible as well as making the learning process more effective. One of the ways
to obtain such goal is through M-learning or ‘mobile learning’.  Mobile learning is defined as any sort of
learning that occurs when learners utilize the advantages of learning proposed
by mobile technologies. This sort of learning is highly accessible as the
learning process can take place at almost anywhere and anytime since it depends
on the mobility of the learner. Mobile learning can be as simple as just
sending text messages, voicemails and e-mails to a more complicated task such
as conducting an online discussion.

Mobile
learning has integrated the use of personal technologies such as Personal
Digital Assistance (PDA), Tablet PC or laptop, mobile phone, camera phone,
Smart Phone, personal audio player, as well as handheld game console. It
provides unlimited access through the use of 3GP (for the delivery of the
audiovisual content purposes), Wi-Fi (for accessibility of the instructors and
learners via the internet) and GPRS (provides excellent connection and data
transfer rate). Technology is fully utilized in order to support the learning
process.

It is
seen that mobile learning is a new technology that should be integrated into
the classroom as it offers many advantages. Its mobility has made teaching and
learning process accessible beyond the limitation of the classroom. Learners
are free to learn at any time of the day and conduct their discussions without
having problems to organize the discussions at any specified place. Learners
also can get instant feedbacks or comments from the instructor as well as tips
to complete their assignments. In short, mobile learning can enhance the
interaction between and among the learners and educators. What is more, it
supports student- centred learning as learners are expected to be responsible
of their own learning and involves a lot of discussions. Mobile learning is
fashioned to cater for different learning needs of the learners as it
personalized learning. Learners can have access to what they want to learn
according to their preferences and time.

However,
despite all the advantages, this new technology also possesses some weaknesses.
In Malaysian context, mobile learning is quite difficult to utilize because of
its cost barrier. Gadgets involve in mobile learning is highly expensive and
may burden the learners. Moreover, most Malaysians especially learners have not
reached to a point that enables them to use the technology effectively. This
could create a gap between tech-savvy and non-technical learners as the
advantages will only go to those who are tech-literate. The feeling of
isolation can caused non-technical learners to be unmotivated to learn. As
educators, these are some important aspects not to be overlooked as it posts
great impact to certain learners.

The
implications of mobile learning are yet to be seen in few years time with the
rapid growth of technology. The capabilities of mobile learning will continue
to expand with the invention of more sophisticated and powerful gadgets which
will help in teaching and learning process. Learners and educators are expected
to equip themselves with the coming of this new wave and grab the advantages
that lie within it. 🙂

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~ by syafizee on September 6, 2009.

One Response to “M_learning…:)”

  1. As with the introduction of any technology, there are bound to be challenges,. I do agree that cost is a major factor. What would be other factors that would stop you to engage in mlearn yourself? As teachers we need to understand something before deciding to implement a tool for our students. So, why dont you try out some of the software/application that I have suggested. then blog your experience. It is only after the experience, you are able to decide if mlearn can assist you as a student yourself or your future students. Looking forward to read more about your experience.

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