It’s not the device, it’s the way you use it!

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the iPhone and whether companies and educational institutions will support it or even allow it on their networks. A recent blog I read, certainly expresses a negative opinion about implementing the iPhone for education. For me, it’s really important to remember that the device itself, whether the iPhone or some other type of device, is not the point. Many of the opinions that I read are assuming that the iPhone (but again, any mobile device) will all of a sudden become the only device that we learn on.

Every expert opinion that I’ve read, recommends using mobile learning as an augmentation to current learning. Using m-Learning on a device of any kind for performance support, refresher training, on the job assessment, etc. seems to be the trend. Replacing traditional learning solely with m-Learning on a mobile device is not recommended strategy. That said, the virtues of m-Learning make it conceivable that you would use it to cover entire competencies in small chunks. Groups of chunked content would add up to a competency and several competencies would add up to complete a course.

I do agree that the user’s patience for taking entire courses on a mobile device is probably quite limited at this time, and that is why I stress that small chunks be used. However, with device convergence (which the iPhone is a perfect example of, i.e. larger screen, multimedia, internet-focused), user’s comfort level with their devices will grow and it won’t seem so out of the ordinary to interact with your device more than your laptop.

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