Distance education online and mobile learning

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Distance education online and mobile learning

  1. 1. Distance education Online and mobile learningDistance education stands for convenience and flexibility for the larger student community. Itoverrides the constraints in terms of space and time, as this mode of education is driven throughself-paced learning. There is no requirement to be present at the physical site of the universityproviding distance education. Over the last decade, the enrolment for this mode of education hasgrown from 20% to 26% (2001 – 2011).Growth of distance learning through ICT (internet and communication technology)What has catalysed the growth of distance learning is the competitive job industry, which demandsgrowing competencies for performance and recognition at the workplace. Working professionals,therefore find it convenient to enrol for a distance degree, so as to streamline the learning processwith their job-profiles. Technology too, has had a vital role to play in the increasing popularity of thisstream of learning. 24*7 Connectivity, remote access, and real-time simulations, has wired ineducation in the online platform. The new-age gadgets such as the IPad series, ANDROID mobilephones, PC tablets, which render wireless connectivity, are becoming increasingly popular with thelarge student community and working professionals as well. Statistics for the year 2011 reveal thatInternet penetration in India is tremendous, touching 121 million. In addition, most part of thestudent community spend on an average, 8 hours online.(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/news/internet/121m-internet-users-in-India-by-2011-end-Report/article show/10641973.cms) the new-age mantra is being “mobile, online, up-to-date” with the job-industry, through acquired proficiencies.Distance learning opens channels to mobile learningMobile learning through web-enabled gadgets adds to the flexibility quotient of distance learning. Asthe mode of education is through the online medium, there are many advantages:1. The learning-interface here simply needs a web-enabled device. Hi-end mobile phones PC tabletsetc., are advantageous in terms of portability and interface, which deliver an enriched learningexperience for students.2. The touch-interface of these devices is the ultimate in terms of user-friendliness. It saves on time– in terms of response and triggers for any action/ event on the device.3.There is the advantage of connecting to the world-wide platform of resources through web-sites,which these days are modelled for mobile-network as well.4.The largest libraries of the world have been deployed in the online mode, giving students access tothe finest knowledge resources.5.The intuitive ‘n’ interactive interface of these gadgets spell ease and comfort in networking withpeers, connecting with academicians or industry experts and many more channels, which any eagerlearner can leverage to the maximum potential. Therefore the mobile handhelds are a globalpower-house of learning, which are compact, and as mobile as their users.The above features not only make the web-enabled mobile gadgets the “flexible study-guide” forworking professionals but also the “reliable hand-held resource” for students aspiring to add-valueto their profile through an all-round distance learning experience.As distance education is the emerging medium for continuing education for students and workingprofessionals, technology creates the channel to deliver a higher degree of creditability and
  2. 2. employability. The mobility and flexibility of the technology-driven innovative gadgets makedistance education, an experience in touch with all facets of learning.

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