You’ve understood the concept, you’ve seen it at work, you may even be personally learning on your mobile phone today. But what if you are looking to implement a mobile learning solution on a larger scale? Below are some of the factors you should consider before you begin implementing a mobile learning solution.
What is the learning problem you are trying solve?
Look closely at the issues you are facing with your current training and education methods. Consider what the gaps are and why a mobile learning method would fill these gaps effectively. There may be many ways of overcoming current learning obstacles and before investing into any new technologies, you need to certain that m-learning is the right answer for you.
What technology will you require?
If you are part of an organization that already provides mobile devices to its students, or a company where staff are all on company-owned phones, rolling out a new, training method may only require software applications to be identified and disseminated. In other cases, your technology requirement may only be software training, or it may extend from software and software training, to hardware like the mobile devices, networks etc. Talk to someone who has already invested in mobile learning or a company like Mobl21 that offers m-learning solutions, and you’ll be able to get an idea of the kind of technology you might need to invest in.
What skills will teachers/facilitators have to learn?
Think about who will be providing the content and what skills or level of technological understanding they’ll require. It helps to generate enthusiasm early on from your support staff regarding the learning potential of the solution, especially if you will need to provide additional training to teachers. Otherwise you may face resistance while trying to implement mobile learning from your own teachers, which can seriously limit its potential.
What would be the cost of implementation?
Consider all aspects including software and hardware costs, training, implementation, and connectivity. Also talk to a few mobile learning companies and explain your requirements to get an idea of costs. This will also help you understand the details of the implementation process from an expert, as well as give you insight into how other organizations are using mobile learning.
How can you facilitate acceptance?
Organize open discussion with your staff to first measure how receptive they will be to using mobile technology to facilitate their lessons. You may have even have had one them raise the case for m-learning and if so, make this person your champion. New methods are better received when it appears to come from within the system rather than from the top down. Additionally organize talks and training with experts and particularly expose your staff to positive case studies so they can see the benefits as well as the goal as clearly as you do. Similarly, meet with students and gauge their reactions to the new technology. Organize discussions and contest from time to time to give that little push and keep the momentum going.
How will you measure success?
The clearer you’ve defined the learning problem, the easier it will be for you to gauge success later on. Look at measurable data such as grades or performance, especially comparing the before and after implementation period. Get anonymous feedback from both staff and students alike. And most importantly, interact with some of your learners one on one to gain insight into general opinion of how the new solution is doing. Remember, it takes time to accept new methods and not all people adapt at the same rate. Give focus to areas of concern, and periodically hold refresher training courses, to keep usage of the mobile learning method active, and visible.