Blog 3 (Fall 2016) – M-learning, by Haylee Mariucci

I did my third presentation on a case study about m-learning. The case study is called Using Mobile Phones to Improve Educational Outcomes: An Analysis of Evidence from Asia. The study was done by John-Harmen Valk, Ahmed T. Rashid, and Laurent Elder. The case study consisted of six projects, but for the sake of time I looked at two. The first is called Mobile Telephone Technology as a Distance Learning Tool and the second, Improving Literacy in Rural India: Cellphone Games in an After-School Program. What this particular case study is looking at is how m-learning can improve access to education and how it promotes new learning.

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M-learning can improve access to education in many different ways. It gives an alternative way of learning for people with work restrictions and other demands. M-learning makes learning more accessible by letting people choose when they want to use it. Also, m-learning is much more cost effective for people in rural and remote areas. Another factor that plays into m-learning is promoting new learning. When people are given the option to learn on their own it gives people the chance to not only make their own schedule, but actually learn when they choose to. When people get to choose what they want to learn this leads to a better quality of learning and sets in lifelong skills. When people get to choose what they learn it also makes people take a higher responsibility for their learning.

 

The project Mobile Telephone Technology as a Distance Learning Tool was done in Bangladesh. This project introduced interactivity and tried to overcome distance learning problems. Problems such as lack of interaction, feedback, monitoring, and infrastructure. The project was done over a broadcast on national television. There was an interaction between students and teachers through SMS. There was a face-to-face group and an experimental group. The experimental was the distance learning group. Pre and post test scores revealed that m-learning was just as effective as face-to-face learning.  This project revealed that m-learning was a good alternative to face-to-face learning.

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The second project I looked at was Improving Literacy in Rural India with Cellphone Games. This project explored the role of mobile phones in expanding the reach of English language learning. The cellphone games targeted many skills related to English language

learning. Pre and Post test scores of this project also revealed an increase in average. The conclusion for this project was that mobile phones complement traditional learning.

 

Through this case study I learned there are many advantages of m-learning and it can be used as a very good learning tool. M-learning increases access to education by making it available when convenient for each student. It is much more flexible for each individual student because students can use m-learning anytime, anywhere. M-learning also reduces many barriers that students face through traditional learning styles. Although there are many positives to m-learning there are also some negatives. Language barriers are a disadvantage to m-learning. Infrastructure is another big problem, especially in the developing world. Lastly, the cost, to participate in m-learning each student must be able to afford a mobile device.

 

Valk, John-Harmen, Ahmed T. Rashid, and Laurent Elder. “Using Mobile Phones to Improve Educational Outcomes: An Analysis of Evidence from Asia.” International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning11.1 (2010): n. pag. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.

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