Ten Reasons for Mobile Learning

Also Might Be Called “Ten Reasons for Not Depending Solely on Older Technologies.”

1. Stop turning out technology-disadvantaged alumni – By using older technologies (like portal-based systems), students are being taught with archaic technologies. Yet they are using cutting-edge technology for all other parts of their lives.

2. “The network ate my homework.” – By sending information directly to a student’s mobile device (or a teacher’s), there is no system to crash or network traffic overload to stop the information from being transferred.

3. “Services Not Available” – By transferring information directly from mobile device to mobile device, there is no problem with overload, even during peak times. All you have to have is someone making sure the network is working (and that responsibility can be give to a professional service provider like Comcast).

4. Cost to re-format content for online use – When materials are stored on Web portals, all of the content must be converted into Web page files (HTML). Based on a project done for the U.S. government, there is a 60 percent addition to cost by having to convert everything to HTML. The better way is to get the files “downstream” directly instead of uploading, just to download them again (creating a “gateway” bottleneck).

5. Poorly informed campus community – A major problem with using traditional Websites or portal environments is that they require students to check in to see if something has been updated. Instead, by using a mobile paradigm a notification would be sent directly to the user (like an aggregator for a blog).

6. Speed learning impossible – Network latency guarantees 50 percent reduction in students consumption rate. This can be seen in an example of a teacher who had been given broadband but still had to download everything on the computer due to the lag time on the network.

7. Learning system induced labor – Systems that force students and teachers to upload and re-enter content into the learning systems are a great waste of student and instructor time.

8. Partial brain learning – Creativity is limited when teachers and students must comply to learning system methodology to conduct learning activities.

9. Disadvantaging the disadvantaged – The portal solution, and the forced repeated downloading it requires, makes it very difficult for students with slower connections to receive the information.

10. Cost and impact of wasting bandwidth – Bandwidth is wasted when the same information is downloaded more than once by the same user.

—Chris Thomas is chief strategist for Intel. He made these points during a presentation made at Brigham Young University.

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