I’m scanning journal pieces on mobile learning at the moment, part of the inevitable literature review process for the last big piece of assessment in my Masters.
There’s a recurring theme in those papers, and it is this: the mobile devices market is evolving and developing at such a speed that it is difficult to develop a m-learning product. No sooner is one designed and pushed to market, that the device it has been designed for becomes yesterday’s news, replaced by a new, shinier thing.
This presents quite the challenge for the educational designer. How do you design mobile learning, if the devices themselves are evolving at such a rate that whatever you develop becomes dated within the product cycle period?
This has all sorts of implications:
- What kind of learning products are possible within the incredibly short time frame of use (before it comes dated?’
- What kind of design and development cycles, and how many, should be in place?
- What kind of investment should organisations have in place if this is the case? Should organisations be prepared to have medium to long term investment for mobile learning?
- Are we sure that mobile learning is the answer to whatever the learning problem is?
It’s a conundrum, made particularly confusing because I’ve been reading both industry and academic papers. I’m vacillating between the practical and the theoretical aspects of the field, pondering the pros and cons.
I haven’t come to a decision about any of the above. But in the process of trying to make sense of this aspect of the field, as I consider and either accept or discard each piece of information, I’m constructing my knowledge. Isn’t that a fine thing?