Wherefore art thou M-learning?
The advantages are clear
Personal, portable, playable
Massive market saturation – everyone of all ages and genders have one (52% of mobile game playing is female)
Open platform – anyone can develop a JME (Java Micro Edition) application and you’re not locked into licensing agreements – just make one and distribute
THE convergent device – mobile swallows everything; voice, texting, MMS, MP3 player, radio and now GPS
Digital distribution – no box or packaging
There are loads of screen resolutions from 128x126 up to 352x416, then different memory sizes and processor speeds. Another problem is that although all have Java (literally a little computer in your phone) they all have different bugs and implementation issues.
The good news is that only 4 brands of phones make up 75% of the market and with some clever coding (tiling) and screen resolution choices (71% of market has just 4 screen resolutions) you can cover most of them if you know what you’re doing . The trick is to have code that is easy to port. If you really want to know what to do on these devices try Affinity Software, Brian Rodway knows more than anyone I know about mobiles and they have a track record in delivering across large numbers of devices.
Video NO, applications YES
One thing seems clear, that video on phones has bombed. Mobile TV has gone nowhere fast. The reason is simple enough. Nass and Reeves did the research at Stanford, and showed that the emotional impact, psychological attention and retention were all substantially reduced on small screens. Don’t do video, do text and graphic applications. Make the applications interactive; a mobile is not a passive, watching video medium. Go for quick, short pieces of standard e-learning, quick retention or assessment quizzes, even paged powerpoint or Java games.