SMS for Mobile Learning
In the last post, I talked about some ways that you could use voice in mobile learning. I’m going to attempt to show some ways that you could use SMS or text messaging for mobile learning. There are lots of ways that SMS could be used. I liked the simple example that I saw when working for a previous company. An individual in the knowledge management group decided to simply pose questions to a group of students in a class. Each question was carefully crafted to be simple enough to answer in 140 characters, while still requiring real thought. This is sort of like running a forum through text messages, but the great thing about it is that… it’s mobile. Learners can tend to those questions anytime they have a free moment, without needing to be near a PC or needing to login to any kind of system. Our administrator (the knowledge management worker) was able to collect the responses and pass them to the instructor so he could see them and he loved the idea.
Beyond that, there are a lot of more advanced solutions that use more technology than the SMS text itself. I’ve used PollEverywhere in presentations and I’ve seen it used in the classroom. The PollEverywhere service allows your learners to respond to polling questions through SMS and a web interface for devices equipped with a modern browser. The beauty of a service like this is that you can see the results right away and so can your learners. Check out the 1 minute video on the site for an overview.
If you’re more inclined to tackle the technical side of all this, you can setup an SMS gateway. It’s not trivial, but you can configure your service to be flexible for your needs.
You can also setup a support number for learners. Learners could send texts to that number and receive feedback from an expert or a group of support personnel. Think about how you can support your eLearning and mLearning resources. The simplicity of text based communication is where it really shines.