Friday, May 4, 2012

The Core Concept Of Mobile Learning - Pub Debates!

Having a mobile phone has its advantages, but there are some downsides too! The main positive aspect is being able to talk to people that are far away, but this is then combined with the problem of having to communicate with people you don't really want to talk to (which can be even more horrifying if you accidentally take your phone to the toilet with you!). Another issue is that feeling of terror you get when you can see that an unknown number is ringing you.
Although having a phone on you may have disadvantages, having the internet available wherever you are is a massive bonus (and has a lot less downsides to it!). For one thing, the internet is much more compliant than your mates are. It would never ring you when it's really drunk and try to be funny. And although it may well send you way too many emails from Amazon, like being asked to put the garbage out, this can always be sorted out later.
The real benefit of having the internet so readily available at all times is that it lets you win arguments in the pub. Debates in the pub like, "I'm letting you know Sweden has the highest rate of suicides in the EU") have required this method of getting a straight answer for a long time and now it has been made possible. You can finally weed out massive sweeping assumptions like "I think you'll find that Uruguay has the biggest prison populace per capita," and outright false statements like "You don't explode in space, you implode", by very simply using a search engine to get to the right answer. A great advantage of this is that ignorance is now all the more obvious as it can be pointed out quicker.
This isn't as insignificant as it may appear. It's basically the core principle regarding mobile learning: the ability to research, find out, check and dispute specific facts wherever you are. While the pub is probably the primary destination for facts and opinions that are completely false, the opportunity to fact-check and find answers is something we can now take for granted. It's often too easy to think of mobile learning as something limited simply to meaningful study or skill acquisition but, actually, it is happening all the time, the basis for it is curiosity -- or, in the case of this kind of pub debate, someone's bogus knowledge.