There's no doubt that smartphones and apps can make learning live with a teacher more convenient.  You can find out more about LearnCube's capabilities to work on mobile devices here.

However, you may want to understand the implications of a decision to teach students on mobile before offering it.

Firstly, consider the two big differences between smartphones vs tablet/computers:

  • Screen sizes are much smaller on the vast majority of smartphones¬†

  • Smartphones allow and encourage us to take calls where it's most convenient; not necessarily the quietest with the best connection.

Implications for online teaching and online learning:

  • How much harder is it for the teacher to deliver an effective class if the student is viewing the teacher/whiteboard from a small screen or with patchy internet?

  • How does the teacher know if a student will take the class on their computer/tablet or mobile phone?

  • What content should the teacher present if they can't see what the student sees? i.e. if they are on a laptop but their student is on a small, old smartphone.

  • How does that impact the teaching format in a private or group class?

  • If the student decides to take the class on their smartphone in a noisy environment (cafe, train, street), what are your policies?

  • Does this expose the teacher/school to more technical problems caused by hardware? For example, there is a much more significant difference between a next-gen iPhone and 5 year old basic Android device vs a latest model Mac laptop and a 5 year old windows PC.

  • We've noticed more cross-browser issues that are outside of our control to fix. e.g. We've found students can access the class via Safari on their iPads but not via Chrome. Do you have a way to educate those users?

  • What if the student is not able to connect via wifi, how much data will the student go through?

  • What if the student does not take their class in a place they know has strong internet? How easy is this to explain to students at the time of class?

Many of the potential issues and edge-cases are outside of LearnCube's control.

We're still optimistic about mobile but believe this needs a deliberate and separate strategy from teaching to students predominantly on computers/tablets.

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