OK, this kind of information sharing drives me nuts.
Yes, I’m irritable. But stay with me.
This infographic ”Can an App Really Improve Learning?” (that I’m linking to instead of embedding because it’s quite large) purports that mobile learning is effective and the wave of the future. But here are some of my beefs. The general takeaway: this is all happy, predictive thinking based on nothing.
* “Research indicates that by 2016, smartphones will be the only types of phone s that Americans use.” I doubt that very much. History shows us that as technology progresses, older iterations never disappear entirely. There are still folks out there using print cameras, for instance. I suspect that senior citizens, in particular, are fond of their landlines.
* “Less than 2 years after its introduction, 1 in 5 adults owned a tablet.” So what if 80% of adults didn’t? What about kid usage?
* ”41% of families with children entertain them with a mobile device at restaurants.” I use mine at restaurants, too. What constitutes entertainment? Videos or calling grandma?
* The biggie. So here’s their data on ed game performance: ”31% improved their knowledge of colors by 2 or more, 45% improved their picture naming skill levels by an average of more than 8 months, 38% improved object assembly skill levels by an average of more than 10 months.” Compared to what? Who were these students? How successfully were these skills retained?
I am a big fan of mobile learning — when it engages with the environment. Otherwise, it’s digital absorption at the expense of serendipitous learning and engagement. Does it make sense to have eyeballs glued to their devices all the time? To be able to less appreciate that what passes for pace, narrative arc, and resolution in the real world are often dramatically different than what apps provide?