Having grown up in a rural area, I have an inkling what it is like to not have access to great education resources. Historically, one would have to travel someplace to learn. Before books were widely and cheaply published, knowledge was very concentrated. After the advent of the printing press, books become far cheaper and could be widely distributed with relative ease. This had an enormous impact on the increase and distribution of knowledge in the world.
The Internet has made huge strides in distributing knowledge, but much, if not, most educational content much remains in books. More has to happen.
The world is about to change. With a smartphone or tablet, education can inexpensively be brought to anyone. But that is only the first step. With connectivity and analytics, we can tailor content to individual students. Content is interactive, engaging, motivating, and tailored, unlike passive books, which are both too costly and too limited in their value.
With mobile technology’s never-ending innovation and competition, both devices and connectivity continue to drop in price. In a few years, we will be in a position where almost everyone will be able to afford a decent connected device. So many services that have been unavailable to hundreds of millions of people will now be in the palm of their hands. This is a game changer. It will level the playing field.
At Qooco, we have this passion to help people learn to speak a language efficiently and effectively. The sad truth is that the vast majority of money spent on language learning has been wasted. The problem is not students, teachers, or content. It is process. Success in spoken language learning comes down to frequent practice and actionable feedback. Once-a-week classes achieve little. Large classes, even if held frequently, do not allow frequent actionable feedback and practice. There is no evidence that a variety of content provides any measurable improvement in spoken language learning.
Because mobile devices are personal, mobile learning allows frequent practice and feedback, anytime, anywhere. The outcome is better results with less effort. With more widespread adoption of analytics and adaptive learning, the results will be even better. The excitement is just beginning.