Helpful Tips for Implementing Mobile Learning Platforms in Your Classroom

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Technological advancements and limitations on physical classrooms due to COVID-19 are pushing educators to get more creative than ever. The challenge lies in leveraging technology to reach students around the world. The solution? Mobile learning to deliver full course material to students of all ages. Read on to learn what mobile learning is and gain valuable tips for implementing mobile learning platforms in your classroom.

What Is Mobile Learning?
For years, mobile learning has been an on-demand tool for professionals, providing digitally-accessible training materials and/or bits of data to quickly help customers. But with the rise of COVID-19 and government-mandated school closures, it’s getting much bigger. Mobile learning is adapting to provide consistent educational opportunities for K-12 students, college students and professional learners. 

You might think, “Wait...this is new? Distance learning and digital homeschooling have been around for years.” Well, sort of. E-learning is mobile learning’s close cousin. Those are the courses individuals take where there’s more interaction with the professor, lessons are attended in real-time via laptop or desktop, etc. And that’s part of deploying mobile learning—shifting online classes (where available) to mobile technology. But there’s more to it. There are two main ways to execute mobile learning platforms: 
  • Responsive Website - Websites provide a consistent user experience across both computers and mobile devices via web browser. Along with mobile apps, they can include easy access to course material that students can reference later if needed.
  • Mobile App - Apps like Moodle, Blackboard or custom apps offer instant access to educational course material specifically through a standalone application for mobile devices. They’re structured to provide information in ways that allow students to access course and exam prep material any time, without waiting for a teacher.
The ideal option may vary depending on the technology students readily have access to and their capacity to use the technology. One rule of thumb? Choose one platform to start with to avoid confusion and technical issues. If your school is looking to create its own system and curriculum, take some time to learn the needs of learning management systems. 

What Types of Content Are Effective?
Learning through a mobile platform is a far cry from the traditional model of sitting in a classroom to attend a lesson. Your students aren’t in front of you, so it’s harder to gauge their attention and engage them in the material. In fact, the teacher’s role is substantially downplayed. That’s why content variation is important for mobile learning platforms, as it provides different ways to learn and interact with course material. Some effect strategies might include:

  • Live Videos - If you’re a parent, your kids might be attending class via video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. This type of interaction has been shown to be effective in everything from classroom instruction to speech therapy
  • Recorded Content. Live videos are just one way to use sound and images for mobile distance learning, benefiting both students and teachers along the way. Pre-recorded video is also effective, giving instructors pseudo interaction with students and providing students with digestible content they’ll retain better than they would from assigned reading. Plus, without real-time disruptions, instructors can pack as much information into a video as they need.
  • Podcasts - More useful for teenaged or adult students (children may struggle due to lack of visual elements), podcasts are easy ways to share course materials via audio. Teachers can upload the latest episode onto the mobile learning site or app for students to access as needed. And, unlike video, students can engage with podcasts anywhere and anytime, such as when they’re driving or even cooking. 
  • Quizzes - Paired with your course material, quizzes and surveys give students refreshers on previous lessons before heading into new ones or can be graded. Consider incorporating quizzes and surveys into your mobile learning curriculum to both engage and assess students. 
  • Worksheets - They have been used for decades in the shape of kindergarten math worksheets for example, but it is not only very young learners who can benefit from them as fun and interactive worksheets can be adapted to any age and group.
You don’t have to choose just one type of content for your mobile learning strategy, and you shouldn’t. By mixing traditional lecture or course reading material with engaging content like videos and quizzes, you help students of any age learn effectively. 
Mobile Learning Best Practices

Human beings focus differently outside of a structured environment like a classroom. Because everyone is at home during COVID-19, it’s natural to get swept up in distractions. That’s why mobile learning has to be structured in ways that make students want to interact with and better able to retain course information. Think about these best practices and tips for implementing mobile learning platforms in your classroom:

Make it Bite-Sized - Learning at home is challenging enough, but you’re also reaching students who are absorbing course material via mobile phones and tablets, rather than blackboards, smartboards and projector screens. Make mobile lessons brief and to the point so they’re easier to both read on small devices and hold attention. Depending on the topic of each individual lesson, it’s possible to convey essential information into 3–5-minute modules. 

Make it Personal - Ever feel like you have a closer connection to something when it’s relatable? Students feel this way, too. Frame lessons in the context of something that applies to their lives. For instance, instead of simply noting important dates, explain how historical events have shaped our world today. 

Make it Fun - Students are already on their mobile devices, so why not gamify their learning? Teachers can easily create fun activities, quizzes and challenges to keep students engaged, whether that means sending students to a third party or simply incorporating forms and slides into the lesson. You can even award accomplishment badges after students beat specific challenges. 

How do your students learn best? Consider their environment, available technology and attention in creating course content. Your lessons will be better received, and more importantly, students will retain the information.

Enhance Distance Learning with Mobile Learning Platforms

Whether you’re a K-12 teacher, college professor or instructor for professional certifications, it’s important to have mobile learning opportunities available for students. Following a few tips for implementing mobile learning platforms in your classroom not only keeps students up to date on core curricula, it provides new ways to engage with students. Try mobile learning for your students and share your experiences with us!

About the Author
Michelle is a project manager at Pocket Prep and is involved in virtually every aspect of the company. Primarily, she’s responsible for the creation of every Pocket Prep test prep question. She’s also responsible for the planning and implementation of new processes and strategies, personnel management, social media engagement, and customer service.

Please note, this is a sponsored post.