Aspects of M-Learning

Aspects of M-Learning

M-learning is a type of personal learning that has infinite possibilities; it allows more and more people to gather knowledge on the go, to realize their dreams of a better future.

The possibilities of Learning through technology are becoming infinite with the advent of computer based technologies and web based technologies.

Electronic or e-learning incorporates all forms of online instruction using electronic devices. Among the many branches of E-learning is m-learning or mobile learning, which is a natural extension of e-learning. M- Learning is facilitated by the use of portable computing devices, like PDAs, palmtops, smartphones, and tablet PCs.

M-learning Technologies

The conditions of the mobile network are ruthless. Given these conditions, it is essential to select a right application environment and design. The mobile network has a narrow bandwidth, and delays are greater than in the PC /Wired network which supports 2 Mbits per second. Connectivity is one of the main differences between a mobile and a PC. There are specially designed networks for the mobiles.

WPAN–Wireless Personal Area Network is a wireless network that is normally limited to a small cell radius. A WPAN is used to transfer data between a handheld device and desktop computer.
WAP—Wireless Application Protocol is an international protocol that allows users to access the internet via their WAP enabled mobile phones. The WAP is optimized for mobile networks with narrow bandwidths, mobile devices with small screens and limited, small memory storage, and limited processing and battery power. This makes WAP a perfect option for the mobile network.
Bluetooth– Bluetooth is a radio standard and communications protocol chiefly designed for low power consumption, with a short range based on low-cost transceiver microchips in each device. Bluetooth technology makes it possible to create personal area networks. This enables PDAs to pass messages to and from other mobile devices. It facilitates communication between mobile phones, laptops, PCs, printers, digital cameras, and video game consoles over a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency
.GPRS– General Packet Radio Service is a is a Mobile Data Service available to users of GSM, In GPRS multiple users share the same transmission channel, only transmitting when they have data to send. This is an always ready internet connection for mobile devices that provides greater speed of connection (171kb/s).
UMTS–Universal Mobile Telecommunications System is one of the third-generation mobile phone technologies. Presently, it is the most common form uses W-CDMA as the underlying air interface. UMTS, using W-CDMA, supports up to 14.0 Mbit/s data transfer rates.
M-learning Process of Communication
SMS—Is a Short Message Service allows users to send/receive text messages of around 160 characters between mobile phones.
MMS– Multimedia Messaging Service it is the same as SMS but allows the users to send/receive graphics.
MP3s– Are Audio file format that compresses audio files and enables them to be shared by users.
CAMs– Video cameras embedded into mobile phone and PDAs witch allows users to take and send/receive pictures.
All these procedures are used in m-learning to enhance content delivery.
M-learning LMS
A basic M-learning package includes a Learning Management System (LMS), which when put together with a micro-portal interface layer will facilitate access to m-learning services. M-learning LMSs have also developed speech-to –text and vice-versa and SMS facilities for devices that have minimum multimedia functionalities. In advanced phases, m-learning LMSs include support for collaborative learning and peer-to-peer interaction.
Mobile technology is once again revolutionizing the education industry as the dotcom once did. The kind of infiltration that mobile phones have reached is astonishing, no other device can come closer, not even computers. Mobiles have a global reach not only in developed countries but also in the third world, they can be found in every village.