Thursday, September 22, 2011

mLearning is a fad!

Ha! Got you to look!
OK! OK!, all juvenile attempts to get attention aside, I don't really mean what I wrote in the title! It was a not-so-clever ploy to get you to this post.  As a matter of fact mLearning is not a fad! Well, I guess if you consider Computers in general to be a fad, then mLearning and mobile devices are a fad too, I guess it depends on your world view.  For me, and for the mainstream mLearning is a nice extension to learning that should be explored and taken advantage of.

The main problem with mLearning, at least the main problem I've encountered in my professional life, is that people expect mLearning devices to be just like computers, where you sit down for XX-minutes, you view so many minutes of instructional video or animation, you perform an activity, and you take a test.  This, the mobile device, is not an appropriate modality for this type of learning!  You cannot shoehorn a certain type of pedagogy into the mobile realm....well, I suppose you can, but you are going to create bad, and unusable, mLearning.

mLearning has appropriate methodologies and pedagogues that are appropriate to the medium. Most instruction will not be the "main dish" of instruction, but it will be adjunct instruction, additional instruction and ways of getting to the "main" materials, and it can function as performance support. Also, the modalities of a mobile phone, a tablet, a portable digital media player and a PDA (all of which can constitute elements of mLearning) will be similar and different from one another. A good designer needs to design instruction appropriate to the environment which these devices are used in, and appropriate to the devices themselves.

What are misconceptions about mLearning that you have come across?
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