Leveraging the Advantages of Mobile Tech for Learning
In several of my posts, I mention the advantages to mobile technology and how we can use the differences between mobile tech and other information technology for our advantage.
People often comment on the limitations of mobile technology and forget about the new capabilities that mobile tech offers. Here’s a list of things I hear often from people when I talk about mobile learning and how we can use mobile technology for learning:
- “but the screen is so small, you’re never going to want to take a full course on a mobile device”
- “but the keyboard is tiny, I can’t write more than a sentence or two”
- “the processors on those things are too slow, I need a real machine to do my work [or participate in training]“
- “my connection is slow, it takes too long to download information, and then it’s hard to read on a small screen”
I understand all of these concerns, they are valid… IF we simply try to shove current e-learning technology onto mobile devices. However, people in the learning and training community too often fail to recognize the advantages offered by mobile devices and the specialized technology that exists only on mobile devices. Mobile devices have such specialized technology as:
- video cameras
- still picture cameras
- accelerometers (iPhone, Android and other device OS’s offer these)
- audio recorders
- touch interfaces
Finally, some organizations are beginning to leverage the benefits of mobile rather than highlighting the limitations. After all, the limitations are only limitations when compared to the desktop and laptop cousins, not when looked at on their own.
An example of the use of mobile technology advantages comes from Google, who just created a mobile planetarium. Mobile users can take their Android based devices and point it at the sky, where the accelerometer and built in compass image the sky and tell the user about astrological formations.
Link to Android mobile planetarium: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/05/sky-map-for-android-mobile-planetarium.html