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Limelight on Mobile Learning

The author of the article “Limelight on mobile learning: integrating education and innovation” focuses on the effect of technology on education. With mobile devices being the point of focus on this article, the author reviews the effect the devices will have on education delivery. This is especially attributed to the reduced cost of the devices which makes them affordable. Both the positive and negative effects of technology, especially mobile learning, is analyzed by the author. Kukulska-Hulme further determines the scale of balance between modern online learning activities and compares it to traditional classroom learning. This is used to give the reader an insight of the effects and changes that mobile learning has brought to the education sector. The author boosts her argument by commenting on how effective semi-formal learning environments provide good learning material. The observation that a lot of people are registering for online courses, can be seen as a biased view by the author, because various factors may contribute to this phenomenon. Some of them may include the fact that people want to seem modern while some simply hate attending traditional classrooms.

The role of schools and universities is put in question by the author as she tries to discuss the impacts that mobile learning devices have on these institutions. The conclusion that these institutions offer static knowledge and the supportive argument that mobile devices will have the ability of supporting intelligent platforms is to be reviewed. One should consider the fact that no matter how expansive and supportive the mobile industry is some informal activities of traditional learning cannot be merged with the modern form of the learning curriculum. Schools and universities provide a static base for effective research under the surveillance of professionals. Constant monitoring of the research process is effective for attaining supportive results. However, such a system cannot be implemented through mobile learning. Despite its effectiveness in the dissemination of information, mobile learning in education is essential to just a limited percentage. With the ease of access that mobile learning provides, it also contributes to effective communication and collaboration. This creates room for its incorporation in the traditional method of education. The increased need for creation and study of different environments and surroundings is highly implemented by the use of audio visual information delivered on demand.

The advantages offered by mobile learning are numerous and worth taking into account. The author focuses on the access that this industry provides to educational resources. The ease with which new networks are forged, and effective communication carried out between different platforms makes this industry irresistible. The author stands right in this opinion as mobile devices have different positive impacts to both the learner and the teacher. This information has it background from a well analyzed series of the UNESCO working paper. With such evidence at hand, it is worth noting that the author’s conclusion is correct. The use of the farfetched information to support an argument is essential to convincing the reader on the importance of the subject matter. Various advantages on the use of mobile learning are identified. The author demonstrates the effectiveness of these devices and how they assist teachers do their jobs effectively. However, there is a deficiency in citing relevant examples on how this contributes to the effectiveness in the job. Various examples such as; online assignment handling and marking, holding open discussion forums, teaching at ones convenient time would have been cited to emphasize on the advantages of mobile learning. On the other hand, the observation that the platform enhances student learning is not enough without citing proper examples. Some of the contributions that the system offers the learner include: effective research coverage, access to online databases with a huge amount of information and the ease at which the learner can navigate or use the applications packaged with mobile devices without a tutor. This self-explanatory nature of mobile systems makes it easy for many online learners to register.

Focusing on the advantages of mobile devices, the author further stresses the fact that mobile learning can aid many people. The diversity of the industry can include those that have been previously discriminated by the traditional system. The societal impact of mobile learning has transformed how the society views people with disabilities. The education offered by this system stands effective to the courses undertaken by people with special abilities. As a result, different sectors of the society have changed with all kinds of people included everywhere. The research provided by the author gives a basis for the analysis on the effectiveness of mobile learning. Applications packaged with mobile devices play a crucial role in supporting education through online learning. In countries with chaos, this learning method comes in handy for continued education delivery. However, the author of the article fails to realize the impact of uncontrolled information dissemination. Despite the positive impacts that this system provides, it also poses numerous threats to information management. The lack of a central control body to regulate online activities leads to misuse of information. Unlike the traditional system where information is regulated from a central point, the mobile platform offers unlimited access to both constructive and destructive information. With many organizations putting their information in the open access, many face the challenge of information misuse especially when it falls in the wrong hands. This poses a threat to the reputation and success of the organization.

The unlimited information access does not only provide great enthusiasm for learning among students, but also contributes to improvements in learning. The article leans on the prominent ability of the mobile learning to link contexts providing vivid global examples to the students. This is true as students are exposed to the outside world. However, many younger students may have a different view of the world that is contrary to their society. In third world countries, for example, students may view their continent as backward and archaic as viewed in the eyes of the developed countries. Many focus their minds on attaining the kind of life demonstrated through mobile learning. As a result, the positive achievements attained from the study will be at the expense of their motherland. Also, some simulations presented through e-learning may be computerized and not real. The student may fail to realize this, and, therefore, set unattainable goals aimed to attaining the impossible. Despite this, good usage of mobile learning will save an organization a lot of resources. Field trips may be replaced with online simulations among other practical advantages of mobile devices.

Education offered through mobile learning creates a more engaging and active class. Unlike the traditional teacher centered context, the modern learning environment is bound to surpass the limits of control of the facilitator. Information presented to the learner is cross-checked against modern trends and latest information. As a result, the teacher is challenged and confronted with different views of the information. However, regardless of how modern and informative the information may sound; the teacher may opt to oppose the information in light of what is presented in the hardcopy. Lack of control in the information presents the different contradicting views of an idea. There lacks a regulatory body to control the certainty and truthfulness of information posted online for review. This is where the traditional systems collaborate with the mobile learning effectively. The institutions provide a regulated information access where students can be updated on current curriculum changes. The author of the article fails to see the effect of jumbled and unscrutinized information on a learning institution. If information lacks a central point of reference, people will deliver different ideas and support them each claiming to be correct.

A question arises: of what the effective mobile learning approach should be adopted. With the introduction of mobile devices such as Smartphone’s and tablets, the traditional books are being replaced by these devices. It becomes hard to separate a student’s social life from his/her class work. Other than paying full attention to the teacher, the students are busy with social networking and checking their emails and updating their profiles on social networking sites. The teacher may waste a lot of time emphasizing on the importance of a particular point, but since no one is paying attention, this goes with the wind. The lack of effective policies to regulate information influx, as previously seen, poses a threat to the answers the teacher gets once a question is formulated. Despite the evident advantages presented by mobile learning, the diversity of the education sector cannot be fully incorporated in e-learning. However, it is worth noting that an effective combination of the traditional system of education and mobile learning will have numerous advantages.

The implementation of mobile learning faces numerous challenges; this article fails to bring to the limelight the challenges that face mobile education. Among them: unreliable software packages to carry out specific tasks. Unlike computers, mobile devices have limited processing power, and, as a result, the tasks they can support are limited. The accelerating change in technology is another factor that makes mobile learning unreliable. The ability of the devices to support learner-defined inquiry hinders the potential of self evaluation to determine the best course action for the learner. The Internet has changed the mode of learning in the society today. The issue of authenticity and autonomy of a writer is not depicted in the material; this is a result of the availability of entirely every topic on the Web.

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