Why is Mobile Learning so Popular?
There was a time not so long ago when installing a computer suite at your school was about the best thing you could be seen to be doing with integrating technology into your curriculum. While they are still undoubtedly useful resources, teachers soon found that they were not without their downsides. The biggest drawback with computer labs, especially for elementary school teachers, was that you had to physically move your class to that location. The computers could not come to you, so the students, textbooks, stationery, and lessons had to go to them.
Mobile learning cured this problem, and made integrating technology into the curriculum a lot easier. Netbooks and iPods are loaded onto computer carts and wheeled into classrooms so that the teachers can use these devices as part of the instruction, and not waste time moving students and resources to and from the classroom. Students can also take these devices to the library, or other classrooms, and continue their activities in another part of the school if needed.
Space is another big advantage with mobile learning devices. No longer do schools need to devote a whole room to 25 computers, because the size and portability of devices like netbooks and iPods mean that they can be stored in a classroom, or media room, without needing to be used there.
However, as useful and versatile as these devices are, perhaps the biggest reason for the rise in popularity of wireless and mobile technology to enhance teaching and learning is financial. These devices are more cost-effective that they have ever been, and even the smallest school districts are finding that they can find the money to add this technology to their schools.