MUSIC: On the Road Again just can’t wait to get on the road. Making music with my friends I can’t wait to get on the road again…
Collaborative learning has evolved over the decades from pen and paper to sharing files with floppy disks, then on to files being transfer via email and internet, to discussion boards in distance learning online. Now a new age of fully portable mLearning has begun.
So what is mlearning? mLearning is acquiring knowledge and/or skills using mobile technology (such as smartphones and iPad's) anywhere at anytime. (Brown & Metcalf, 2008)
As we all know the real estate market embodies the definition of always on the go. Many agents, brokers, and appraisers feel as if they live out of their cars.Mobile learning has arose out of the need of busy on the go learners who wanted the ability to take learning on the road. The traditional wired e-learning environment didn’t allow this to happen. With the advent of wireless 3G combined with access cards for laptops the mobile age began to evolve. But the access was still limited and laptops no matter how small are still bulky to carry around at times. Now with a smartphone and mlearning application continuing education is accessible anywhere the student has a signal.
Research for this mlearning doesn’t seem to be fueled by any one source. But “public” demand is the driving force behind the development of mLearning. According to AmitGarg (2010) a mobile applications developer with Upside Learning it seems from his interactions with clients that mlearnin is the future of e-learning. MLearning is still in the developmental stages therefore all of the issues haven’t been fully recognized. Two that are currently being addressed are: scaling down current materials for the mobile environment and setting up system standards. mLearning is the answer to the drawbacks of eLearning for corporate training and universities who see the limited possibilities of students being “wired” to a computer screen all day learning (Qingyang, 2009). The production, manufacturing, packaging, marketing, and distribution is not a one sided event. But is handled by the R&D departments of each arm of the process whether it is the smartphone manufacturer, the mlearning application developer, or the provider that the application is designed for. So we would be responsible for marketing our mlearning application to our potential students.
The internet plays a large roll in distributing information about mlearning. Also, it would be recommended that myself and at least one additional key member of the team attend a tech conference such as mLearnCon which is being held this year in Los Vegas to learning more detailed information regarding mlearning at its full potential for DS Murphy School of Real Estate.
Here’s a short history on mlearnings development timeline. The beginnings of mlearning dates back to the 90’s when applications were designed and created for PDAs. In 2000 The European Commission embarked on a 3 year process to help students ages 16-24 who failed in the education system and were becoming social outcasts. Mlearning was born out of that project. Currently, we are at the persuasion stage gathering information and exploring the potential of mlearning for our industry. The timeline is to make a decision and implement mlearning into our school offerings in 2012.
Figure 1 represents market saturation and usage of mlearning in all environments, but mainly represents college and university settings. Figure 2 represents the current usage in real estate continuing education. Currently there are not any competitors for mLearning in our market.
We should target mid-sized real estate groups as the innovators. They will have funding available to back adoption of m-learning in their brokerages and the influence to spread the information to others in real estate. This group would be more receptive and meet with less top level resistance. We will need to convey to them that this is not a complex process and it is just like using any other application on their smartphones.The early adopters will be small localized realty offices who’s agents need to maintain their licenses but can’t afford to be away from their offices for extended continuing education classes. These agents are already technically savvy and would be able to stand as a reliable source of information for future adopters.
I believe the larger regional and state realty companies will be the laggards in the industry due to the number of people involved in making the decision on adopting innovations.To encourage adoption of m-learning in large realty firms we should provide their employees with a free trial as this will allow for an understanding that the technology isn’t complicated as they currently believe it will be.
Through a combination of using the mlearnings attributes of compatibility – which will all the application to be used on any smartphone, trailability-which will give new user the ability to test out the application, and observability-which will occur as the users are taking advantage of the free trial and showing others the ease of it’s use we help can drive the innovation to mass usage in the industry.
The real estate industry needs a more flexible option to deliver and receive continuing education. By adopting mlearning we will be on leading edge of providing new educational options to our students. M-learning will open new avenues and provide additional options for students to maintain their continuing education requirements. This will also allow us a an education provider to expand our student base by enrolling students we otherwise might not reach. So I ask that you consider all of this information and vote to adopt m-learning into our school structure. DS Murphy School of Real Estate will be setting a new standard for continuing education.
References:<br />Brown, J., Metcalf D. Ph.D, & Christian, R. (2008, Summer). Mobile learning update. Elliott Masie's Learning Consortium Perspectives. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from www.maise.com Web site: http://masieweb.com/p7/MobileLearningUpdate.pdf<br />Garg, A. (2010, June 10). The future of e-learning is mobile – mLearnCon. Message March 12, 2011, posted to upsidelearning blog: http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/2010/06/10/the-future-of-e-learning-is-mobile-mlearncon/<br />MLearning. (2011, May 17). Retrieved May 17, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLearning#2000s<br />Qingyang, G. (2009). Mlearning: A new development towards more flexible and learner-centered learning. The Journal of Teching English with Techology (tewt), 3(2). Retrieved April 9, 2011, from http://www.tewtjournal.org/vol 3/issue 2/09_mlearning.pdf<br />Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.<br />www.elearningguild.com, March 9, 2011<br />www.m-learning.org, March 15, 2011<br />iPad picture from http://www.apple.com/education/ipad/<br />iPhone picture from http://www.apple.com/iphone/<br />