eLearning has seen massive leverage in South Africa in recent times. Maybe it is due to the forced circumstances Covid has brought, or maybe it is the ease of access. But it isn’t just South Africa. The global education space is facing huge disruption.
Technology is enabling people to achieve goals of lifelong learning with offerings of a variety of ‘career certificates‘ such as in the collection of courses offered by Google, which provide learning at a fraction of the cost that traditional University courses would cost.
But why is there a migration towards mobile eLearning? Normally, mobile devices are seen as a distraction than an educational enabler. So why is this different? With smartphone penetration increasing to over 90% in South Africa, it makes sense that these devices are becoming powerful learning tools.
Educational content providers have experimented with the ‘Single concept learning’ on mobile devices, delivering snippets of education into the hands of the user on demand. It has been found to increase the memory retention of learners.
Single concept e-learning delivers narrow, focused learning concepts in short, online modules. This makes learning easier, more engaging, and well-suited to our intuitive brains. It also offers flexibility for our busy schedules and short attention spans.High demand skills
South Africa faces education inequality and for resource-poor communities in rural settings, where educational systems are not meeting the societal demand, technology is opening up doors that previously couldn’t be accessed.
Mobile devices are becoming more cost-effective and open up the potential for delivering ICT based learning to marginalised learners. Mobile phones that have been given a bad rep traditionally for being a distraction are now seen as a tool that enables learners to do short, effective bursts of learning and practice, leveraging the moments as opportunities to learn.
EdTech is helping by providing learning solutions through various platforms, including non-profits such as GreenShoots Education which has trained technical teaching assistants to aid the non-profit’s programmes in staying sustainable. Africa has taken hold of this concept and EdTech seems to be set to continue to grow.
FunDza is also helping educate in increasing literacy with writing programmes that allow young writers to hone their skills, while also providing interactivity which helps learn collaboration and gives the writers a sense of ownership over their work.
Thanks to mobile phones being always at hand, it provides the learner with the chance to learn in their own space and at their own pace, and is a major benefit in today’s fast-paced world. By being able to download the course resources such as notes and assignments, it gives the learner the ability to learn when they have the time, for example, while on a bus, or during a break.
The other major benefit is that education materials can be downloaded by learners when they access Wi-Fi hotspots and can then access the content offline as needed.
Looking at these points, it is obvious that the mobile device has potential and benefits when it comes to eLearning. When this is paired with other technology tools and content, it can become even more valuable.
As we move towards an increasingly virtual world, it is clear that this style of learning will continue to experience growth if the community has access to internet and Wi-Fi areas.