We started off by asking about the benefits of a mobile-learning approach, the level of interest in implementing mobile learning, and which devices students prefer. In general, the most important aspect was a student’s ability to use a mobile device to stay connected to school at all times.
Mobile Learning Vs E-Learning
The majority of respondents felt that mobile learning was a great way for students to be more independent and motivated. As one respondent stated: “I think it’s an effective way for students to learn independently on their own time, but not at the expense of engaging with their peers in the classroom.”
Respondents also agreed that mobile learning is more relevant than traditional e-learning because it offers better integration with face-to-face teaching methods and better communication between teachers and students.
However, one respondent felt concerned about e-learning becoming M-learning. “In my opinion we should not use it as an extension of classroom work because this is where our teachers are responsible to teach us through face-to-face interaction.”
A majority of respondents (56%) felt that mobile learning is better for remedial or extracurricular activities, such as homework or projects, rather than for core academic classes.
One respondent said: “I think it’s a great way to enhance learning. But I don’t think we should use it for core classes like English or Math. The face-to-face interactions in the classroom are much more beneficial.”
The type of device preferred by students varied greatly, but the majority (56%) would like to use their own smartphones or tablets for mobile learning. One respondent stated: “Personally, I prefer my phone because it is so much easier to use and I can keep it with me at all times.”
Another added: “I would prefer my phone because that is what I am most comfortable with using on a daily basis and I can keep it with me at all times, unlike other devices that are larger and harder to carry around.”
The Challenges of Mobile Learning
We also asked about the most important challenges related to implementing mobile learning, and the responses were fairly consistent across both groups of respondents (teachers and students).
The two main challenges identified were: the lack of a mobile-learning infrastructure (in terms of hardware, software, policies, etc.) and privacy concerns related to using mobile devices in school.
Respondents in both groups were generally positive about the potential of mobile learning, but we're also realistic about the challenges that we need to address. The following sections highlight a few key themes that emerged from our analysis of responses from teachers and students.
Based on these findings, we recommend that schools follow the lead of several international schools and create an e-learning department with a specific focus on mobile learning.
It is important to keep in mind that we should not use mobile learning as an extension of classroom work, but rather as a way to enhance students’ academic performance and promote independent learning.
Mobile devices should not replace face-to-face teaching methods but should serve as tools for more flexible teaching approaches and better communication between teachers and students.
Mobile devices should also promote self-directed learning through online resources (e.g., digital libraries) and provide students with support from their peers or teachers when needed.