In today’s changing educational landscape, the terms eLearning and mLearning are used with growing frequency. There are simple explanations for the terms:
- eLearning- Learning material that is delivered electronically, via the internet or a program that contains the material, and possibly supplemental material or media.
- mLearning – Learning material is hosted on a mobile device, such as a phone, tablet, laptop, or reader. The availability of media and supplementary material is dictated by the capabilities of the device.
Since all mobile devices are electronic by nature, what really are the differences between mLearning and eLearning? Some might say that there is no difference, but the markets for eLearning and mLearning products are distinctly divided.
mLearning is, by its nature, intended to take place anywhere at any time. This idea changes the expected duration of a learning session. mLearning must be able to stop and start at any time, whereas eLearning can be designed to be completed in set increments that the student will be expected to complete. Because of this, many mobile devices carry a plethora of quick reference guides and learning games, but not full courses.
The idea is that eLearning is best for education and training that requires retention, and mLearning should host information that needs to be called up quickly and does not necessarily rely on retention. It also creates a concept that eLearning is for ongoing knowledge and education, where mLearning is for information to be applied immediately.
Though tablet and mLearning markets have expanded exponentially in recent years as more users adopt mobile technology as their primary source of information, the prejudices discussed above have continued. A lack of full courses for learning, not just information gathering, has been created in app marketplaces, where learning material can be made most accessible and economical.
So why haven’t more course-level apps been created in today’s technology transition? Why are expensive textbooks and outdated Blackboard document delivery systems still the norm?
You Can Learn, Inc., is a part of a growing initiative to bring eLearning material to mobile technology. We believe that learning can take place anytime, anywhere, and that mobile devices can and should be a part of students’ education. The world and the classroom are merging more and more every day, and with mobility and comprehensive learning applications, it can be embraced!