Mobile learning or mLearning is defined as learning opportunities that can occur anytime in any place facilitated by the learner utilizing a mobile device such as a smartphones, PDA, tablet, or notebook to access the learning platform.
mLearning enhances the e-Learning classroom experience by allowing active law enforcement officers to use their wireless mobile devices to stay engaged and collaborate in their classes anytime and anywhere to check messages within the class, ongoing class discussions, required course readings, taking quizzes or exams, checking grades, etc. With mLearning technology, officers patrolling will easily have instant access to their studies through their mobile devices. This means classes are on your hip and ready when the time is right for your busy schedule to study.
Going to school to earn a degree as an active law enforcement officer is no easy task. The reality of the job is rotating shifts, in-service training, court appearance, and ongoing operational concerns that often change duty schedules with little prior notice. Distance education allows for busy law enforcement officers, the flexibility to study when they have the time working around their professional and personal responsibilities. Adding mLearning capabilities to current eLearning classes allows even more flexibility and availability to course content. mLearning technology allows for the opportunity to access online classes at the learners convenience, whenever and wherever there is wireless service available.
One area that mLearning technology can immediately influence an online course is the class discussions. mLearning has the possibility to enhance the scholarly class discussion in an online class by using technologies that will allow class participants to collaborate using different posting methods to communicate. Image a scholarly class discussion on the weekly topic in which students at a distance can actively participate making and using a short video clip to make their argument or defending their informed point of view, and having other scholars in the class respond to the video clip with an audio message or by using voice to text message technology.
Students will still be able to participate in the eLearning classes using their laptop or desktop computers; however, mLearning technology will allow the use of smaller mobile devices that offers portable mobility options. mLearning technology allows for a convenient mobile learning experience that will be very useful tool for officers continuing to chase their postsecondary education goals.
mLearning will allow the law enforcement scholar to have instant access to the course assigned eBook, online library academic databases, and other required course readings on the go. mLearning technology allows “on the go” access to required class material at the students convenience when they need it. Having your college class on your hip and ready to be accessed when you have the time can relive the anxiety of upcoming assignment due dates when the work scheduled just change eliminating your pre-planned study time. Your class is on your hip and ready when the time is right for you to study.
About the Author
Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning. Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.