Mobile Learning is rapidly becoming a method of instruction that all institutions must embrace. It can be said that mobile learning is the future of all eLearning and perhaps all knowledge acquisition. Mobile devices are quickly taking over the world and becoming the primary method for electronic information access. According to the 2015 Noel-Levitz e-expectations survey, most high school seniors, about 60%, use mobile devices as their primary way of accessing all internet resources.
Mobile Learning in 2017
The number of students who primarily use mobile devices and mobile applications will only increase in 2017. Judging from the previous years of the surveys show growth trend of students who only use mobile is growing at 15-20%, which means when the survey is released in a few months will show 75-80% of high school seniors who will not be reached if you are not using mobile learning strategies. It could be 95% before 2017 comes to a close.
This one statistic alone should convince of the need to ensure your e-learning content is mobile friendly. Last year saw a 20% growth in this single statistic of how potential college students are accessing content over the previous year. You can bet when the next e-expectations report is released then that number will be even higher. It’s becoming a mobile connected world, and educators will need to keep up with this trend.
If colleges and universities do not embrace the mobile revolution and provide learning content that is mobile friendly, then it’s possible modern college education will be replaced by companies such as uDemy or Udacity. Technology-based instruction is already moving towards this trend. Google has released a mobile application development course on Udacity which rivals many of my 4th-year computer science courses. I did not obtain the certificate because I did not want to pay the $199 per month, but I did complete the entire course for free and gained the knowledge.
These courses compact and to the point, so if someone needs just to pick up a single skill to complement existing skill sets these types of courses are ideal. Couple them with the fact that they are all mobile friendly and lessons can be consumed while waiting at the dentist or sitting on the deck, then it’s easy to see the appeal in this fast-paced mobile world.
There are 100s of eLearning startups who are offering online courses in a mobile friendly format. Course content is consumed quickly, and it only makes sense this will be a leading factor in how education is delivered in the future. The eLearning industry as already realized this trend towards mobile and that is why so many of these startups have been able to obtain millions in venture capital funds.
There are not many higher education institutions who have even started moving towards mobile. Many are running way behind the trend towards mobile it’s at this point is going to be tough to catch up with some of these private MOOC type startups. Moodle, the free open source learning management system, is making progress, but they are still behind some of these other companies when ti comes to present content in a mobile friendly manner.
If you are a higher education or even k12 educator the time to embrace mobile learning is today. Everything you create should be consumable on a mobile device first. You still need to be able to offer instruction using desktop computers, but the mobile devices are where the future of learning resides. The gSuite of Google Apps which includes Google Classroom can be very useful in setting up your instruction to deliver in a mobile format.