What is Mobile Learning?
I confirmed a couple of things at mLearnCon this week in San Diego. Mobile Learning for Higher Education is about connecting while for the business community it is about information delivery. Since the concept of mobile learning has evolved due to improved mobile devices, Higher Education has been expected to blaze a trail for incredible new mobile learning tools. And we have tried, ambitious educators have siphoned off many grant dollars to explore the possibilities. We at GFU have been in the middle of it with many early Apple iPhone, Touch and now iPad applications, but we were not finding mobile learning. We were finding mobile connectivity and more flexible access to information but that did not translate into improved learning. The learning would have to come from a change in pedagogy, as William Rankin, ACU Connected, most effectively explained it, our professors need to present the questions that our students can now easily research, then help them experience and discern the answers. Mobility unlocks the classroom allowing us to directly answer the questions. And with everyone connected; directly can mean virtually or directly as in leave the classroom to explore the question in person. This is incredibly exciting but also frightening to academic institutions that are comfortable with the reverse.
Now there may be a refuge for our faculty who find greater comfort as conveyors of information. That would be to go to the private sector and help the many business entities that need to use mobile learning to more effectively educate their employees or customers. I discovered an excellent example for the use of mobile learning for the corporate world, it was presented as “Digital Wine“, by Robert Hennigar, of Constellation Wines. His education department has created the perfect mobile learning application, Academy of Wine. Condense the necessary information about every wine that they sell and make it readily available to their employees, distributors and anyone else who might need to offer an intelligent recommendation for a wine. I recommend that you checkout the mobile site, http://www.aowmobile.com, if you ever need to make an important wine selection.