A principle real estate theory: buy property in a less valuable, but up and coming neighborhood at a cheap price and reap the benefits down the road when everyone else catches on to the area's value. Relatively common knowledge that should perhaps be applied to the mLearning craze?
According to T+D's January issue, despite the buzz around mLearning, programs delivered on mobile learning devices are still the least frequently used of the eLearning practices, which seems to signal that there's been much ado about nothing. Basically businesses are looking at these mobile technologies and saying, "Wow, that's great. But we're still not gonna use it."
But not so fast.
According to The New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE's 2010 Horizon Report, mobile computing is slated for universal adoption in a year or less. Some educational institutions have already implemented mobile learning as par for the course. Purdue University's Hotseat encourages students to participate in open source discussions both in and out of the classroom as well as enables class participation in lecture halls, etc via mobile device.
At Abilene Christian University, all 2009 incoming freshmen were issued an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch for personal as well as academic use. Students are able to participate in impromptu quizzes, ask questions and use a dictionary wiki in class to enrich their learning experience.
The latest from Gartner predicts that by 2013, web-enabled phones will exceed PCs worldwide, 1.83 billion to 1.78 billion. And, not long after that, in 2015, phones will be the most popular method of Web browsing.
Complete mobile takeover isn't here yet. But, without a doubt, it's coming.
Moral of the story: now's the time to get a firm hold of mLearning before the new three-story shopping mall pops up down the street from the new Super Walmart and you have to fight for parking in your own neighborhood.
About the author: AJ George, a cum laude graduate of Towson University, is IconLogic's lead Technical Writer and author of the book "PowerPoint 2007: The Essentials" and the soon-to-be released "PowerPoint 2008 for the Macintosh: The Essentials." You can follow AJ on Twitter at http://twitter.com/andrayajgeorge.