Image | David Owen
Both our private lives and our knowledge of the world around us are increasingly stored in the space of a few inches, within devices that accompany us everywhere. Education is no exception: in recent years we have seen it move online, and it is now moving to our mobile devices.
Here we’ll analyze a few trends in mobile learning (or “m-learning”) that are expected to gain traction in 2015. On a planet with more mobile phones than people, it seems that our education will increasingly be focused on small screens.
- The mobile phone has replaced the PC. One of the main e-learning trends for 2015 will be learning through mobile devices, which will become the dominant medium of virtual education. Learning through these devices is facilitated by their easy access, the ability to contextualize the learning using GPS or QR codes (two secondary schools in Barcelona have simulated climbing Mount Everest using these codes), and the need for precision in many lessons.
- There is already an abundance of useful apps for students and teachers alike. Here are a few examples: Study Now! helps K-12 students to do homework or conduct research for their projects; WISE allows students to take quizzes, tests and exams; Teacher Kit ensures that teachers don’t forget any detail during class; Schoology helps to manage the class, and allows students to send homework and participate in interactive discussions; and Kahoot facilitates the creation of interactive quizzes and games.
Image | KW Barrett
From traditional “smartphones” to “wearables”. If technology continues to develop as it has in recent years, we will soon be wearing our education. Intelligent watches like Apple Watch, in addition to Google Glass and the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, help us to acquire knowledge almost instantaneously. Of course, one has to take into account the screen size for presenting visual content (such as diagrams, animations and videos) along with text. Education must also be accessible to the eyes..
Mobile-learning will improve access to education in developing countries. Africa has the highest growth rates for mobile learning in the world. In 2012, Steve Vosloo, a specialist in online education for UNESCO, already predicted that the future of education in Africa would be in mobile learning. Globally, it is estimated that the market for m-learning will reach $12 billion in 2017, with Africa, Latin America and Asia showing the highest rates of growth.
The challenge: content that encourages learning. Tom Vander, CEO of Getting Smart, one of the best known communities dedicated to innovation in learning, has explained some of the expectations that existing and future mobile apps will have to meet in order to satisfy students. One of the key factors is motivation, which can be achieved through the development of applications that tell a story (“storytelling”). This novel approach aims to turn learning into a game (“gamification”). Not only is the medium important, but designing a learning experience that engages everyone who begins their learning experience through mobile devices.
The mSchools programme is a multi-faceted mEducation initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with The Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall and GSMA.
Launched in 2013, mSchools supports students and teachers effectively integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability.
The mSchools programme brings together private and public institutions to help students build important new skills and prepare them for today’s digital world.
Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.
Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.
MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.