Why M-Learning Is Cheap. Many people I’ve talked to at various conferences, online events, and around my own institute have expressed concerns about m-learning being a rather expensive thing for institutions and learners to participate in. The issues I’m most commonly asked about are generally associated with either the cost of hardware (e.g. mobile phone handset, or PDA) or the cost of connectivity (e.g. SMS messages, mobile web data costs, etc.).
People are inevitably surprised when I tell them that m-learning is actually cheap! It depends on the m-learning approach being used, of course… but there are a number of factors that make m-learning potentially quite affordable for both institutions and learners.
For example - if mobile phones are used as the platform for an activity, then it’s possible that the cost of hardware will be zero. Current Australian telecommunications industry statistics are that over 8 million mobile phone handsets were sold in Australia in 2005, 98% of Australia’s population has mobile phone coverage, and around 20 million Australians (95%) own a mobile phone, with penetration among young people even higher.
My next 'how to' article will explore this in more detail as I describe how to set up a fast and virtually free mLearning platform using Text Messaging and Outlook.