While calculating the cost-benefit ratio of mobile training, it is important that we keep one thing in mind that different people use different devices with different features and functionalities. Depending on these features and functionalities, there will be a lot of fluctuations in price of devices.
Also, it is difficult to record how much resources are being used by learners, how long are each one of them staying connected online, what is their individual data consumption and connectivity levels. So, if we are calculating costs from a holistic perspective, it will far exceed the cost of just the mobile phone.
However, if we compare the costs with the existing costs of physical libraries, recurring expenses of tutoring and evaluations, we will find that mobile learning offers a one-time solution to all these issues. Once the basic framework is established, it is only a matter of adapting to new changes and adding new facilities.
In the long run, mobile learning is going to definitely become much more cost-effective as compared to traditional methods of learning. This is the reason many institutions are gradually warming up to the BYOD concept. The other reason behind adopting BYOD policy is that mobile phones providing a nag-free mobile learning experience are costlier compared to laptops, yet get obsolete twice as fast.
Everything said and done, mobile learning is a phenomenon that's going to stay. Earlier students used to feel thrilled at the prospect of owning a desktop. However, it's immobility caused people to discard it fast and get a laptop, which provided them the option to carry their work where they went. However, students or even children nowadays are more likely to use mobile devices as opposed to carrying a laptop because they find laptops too heavy and clumsy, as compared to a smartphone, which is basically clutter-free in comparison. All you need is the device and a charger. That's it. No cables, no wires, no additional baggage.
Just as schools, colleges and universities don't supply the writing accessories like pen and notebooks, yet expect you to use them and carry them with you at all times within the campus, the times are not far away when they will expect you to be carrying your own smartphone device to the college so that you can use them in your journey of mobile learning in online communities.