The past few decades have experienced a revolution in the Information and Technology. This technology has affected every aspects of personal as well as professional sector influencing the economical and social trends. Earlier the science and technology touched the people life through numerous discoveries and inventions. Now the information technology has given new ways of living life. Education has also not been away from the influence of information technology. Days have gone when the students used to study bulk of books. Internet changed the ways of learning and brought the books to the computer. Students started to study on internet with help of eBooks, eLearning, eTutions etc. Recent years the rise of android in the market has changed the use of mobile phones. The device remained no longer just a device for communication. It became something more than that. The mobile phone became the Smartphone. Now the device has taken the place of computer. It has become a pocket pc. The next thing is that the Smartphone has become the way of learning. Now there are various apps for learning. This is given birth to the mobile learning. Mobile phones are used under different circumstances.
Mobile Learning: A changing trend
Mobile learning, also known as M – Learning is a the process of learning with the help of various multiple context, through social and content interactions, by using the personal electronic devices, such as mobile phones, Smartphones, tablets etc. It is a form of e – learning where the students learn with the help of mobile device educational technology. The mobile learning technologies are of various types such as MP3 Players, mobile phones, tablets, learning applications, handheld computers etc. Mobile learning has made the learning process simple, easier and comfortable. Now students feel less requirement of going to the library and study till late night. One just one touch (in Smartphones), the whole library is open on the small screen.
Before the Smartphones, people used cell phones for only making and receiving calls and other PDAs (personal digital assistance) were used as organizers. PDAs were more advanced electronic devices than cell phones. They were used in place of computers as they could be synchronized with computers. Calculator is many years old which have been in use for educational purposes. But the Information Revolution has brought many inventions to the hands of common people. It is estimated that there are more than six billion Smartphone subscriptions worldwide that use internet on the phone. And the number is still growing. Every day people buy these smart gadgets to remain in touch and to connect with the digital world. The device offers various unique features such as multi – functionality, portability and connectivity. This leads students to harness Smartphone technology to help them in the education. The traditional learning which used to take place with the four walls of a class room, now takes place in cafes, canteens, sitting in bus or train, in the park, in the living room etc. With just a simple – single swipe of finger, the world of academics is open. Students use Google, Wikipedia for searching anything.
The mobile learning process is very simple. With the help of many academic websites, learning applications they enhance their academic skills. The Smartphones are portable which is one of the main advantages in the process of mobile learning. These are light in weight so they can be carried anywhere, anytime. Carrying laptops is not such an easy task. Because of Smartphones’ portability, mobile leaning has been able to become a convenient one. One the other side, these devices are less costly than the computer devices. With the help of data sharing techniques such as Bluetooth, Media – transfer applications, students can share and receive assignments, e – notes. Mobile learning depends on better internet connectivity. Mobile learning is somewhat different from the e – learning. E learning highly depends on the internet. As it disseminates the educational knowledge through the internet, so if there is no internet connectivity, e – learning can’t be performed.
In today’s time, these devices are the closet devices to anyone can have. This has increased the mobile learning as the devices are more personal. The Smartphones are multi – tasking devices. They serve many purposes from entertainment to the professional work with the help of many professional tools like preparing presentations, scheduling office activities etc to the mobile learning. The mobile learning is not just limited to the students but it also helps the teachers in many ways. They can create presentations or flashcards. The great thing mobile learning helps the students in accessing the pool of educational content anywhere any time. Mobile learning opens the door to the learning opportunity all the time. Students are using mobile applications for all the subjects no matter if it is computer science, management, medical science, business, marketing etc. With the help of many programming languages, the mobile learning applications have been developed. Now a days, there is android OS has become very famous and there are various android applications which serve the purpose of mobile leaning. Mobile learning helps in making projects, assignments, presentations etc.
With the help of mobile learning, the students get to learn in a way that they feel comfortable with. Mobile learning offers on the spot solution to every problem. Many students feel hesitation to ask questions directly the teacher in the class. In such cases, mobile learning serves a better option. Mobile learning with the help of Smartphones allows social leaning among the students. They can work in groups on projects, they can share information. So it also develops social and collaborative skills along with the development of research and information skills. All the mobile operating systems such as android, windows, iOS, blackberry offers the mobile learning.