What is Mobile Learning?

We are in the midst of a complete shift in the devices we use. As smartphones and tablets become more and more capable and user interfaces more and more natural, old methods of computing seem place-bound and much less intuitive. People increasingly expect to be connected to the Internet and the rich tapestry of knowledge it contains wherever they go, and the majority of them use a mobile device to do so. According to the 2013 “ICT Facts and Figures” report from the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, the mobile market consists of over 6.8 billion subscribers, with a majority living in developing countries. The unprecedented evolution of these devices and the apps that run on them has opened the door to myriad uses for education. Learning institutions all over the world are adopting apps into their curricula and modifying websites, educational materials, resources, and tools so they are optimized for mobile devices. The significance for teaching and learning is that these devices have the potential to facilitate almost any educational experience, allowing learners organize virtual video meetings with peers all over the world, use specialized software and tools, and collaborate on shared documents or projects in the cloud, among many other things. Although there are still likely many uses that have not been realized yet, over the past several years mobile learning has moved quickly from concept to reality.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • "Extends the boundaries of traditional pedagogues" (p. 4) Quoted from Crompton, H. (2013). Mobile learning: New approach, new theory. In Z. L. Berge & L. Y. Muilenburg (Eds.), Handbook of mobile learning (pp. 47-57). Florence, KY: Routledge. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
  • - jon.k.price jon.k.price Feb 17, 2015Agree, but I also see the mobility in the classroom enabling student centered instruction. Mobile devices can mean students interact in new ways inside the classroom walls as well as having access beyond them.
  • Mobile learning provides easy access to learning on the go, at a time and place that is convenient to learners. Used to create individual and collaborative learning. Extends beyond the classroom walls and provides anytime, anywhere learning for everyone. - kayj kayj Feb 22, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • More about taking learning to those in developing countries that have not been able to get access before for various reasons. I also have the latest mobile learning publication for ITU but it is still in press at this time - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
  • More about learning being contextualized through context-aware ubiqitous learning which is a sub category of mobile learning that has students learning academic concepts in the real-world with the support of technologies. It is extending the pedagogies to have students learning outside the classroom to contextualize typically decontextualized concepts. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
  • More about the four main components of mobile learning, which as context, connectivity, pedagogy, portable devices. This can be found in the first chapter of the handbook of mobile learning. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
  • A definition of mobile learning built from the 4 constructs described above. This definition can be found in the same chapter. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015 Crompton, H. (2013). A historical overview of mobile learning: Toward learner-centered education. In Z. L. Berge & L. Y. Muilenburg (Eds.), Handbook of mobile learning (pp. 3-14). Florence, KY: Routledge.
  • - jon.k.price jon.k.price Feb 17, 2015I agree with the above. However, in mature economies I would also add that we need to shift away from "either-or" thinking. Students are increasingly using mobile devices for social interactions, tablets for consumer applications and laptops for content creation. Until we have large capacity, affordable 2-in-1 or convertible devices we need to understand how each of these technologies can be applied in an ICT enabled learning environment. Agree- deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015
  • I agree that a global perspective of this definition is missing - UNESCO offers rich resources and next week will hold its annual Mobile Learning Week event. - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 18, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • Provides new ways of learning that have otherwise not been possible. Having students learn in a real-world environment while supported by portable technologies. Contextualizing things that are often presented in a decontextualized way. (e.g. learning about angles by looking at the outside of buildings and not be looking in a textbook. Have students understanding that these subjects mathematics, science etc. are in the world around us. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
  • Yes...how do we create our lessons, curriculum and teaching units that have a mobile context, pushing students to engage in their world? Learning will have an interactive component using mobile apps, the camera, and other significant wearable technologies. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 8, 2015
  • - jon.k.price jon.k.price Feb 17, 2015Limiting the discussion to the smart phone or tablet, I see the application in ways that integrate multimedia effectively. Students enjoy producing content for e-readers or embedding video, but do not like to type an essay or do math homework as much.
  • Bridging formal and informal learning - 24/7 learning - museums in partnership with K12 - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 18, 2015 Agree- deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • A study of how context-aware ubiquitous learning supported students in learning angle and angle measurement. Looking at mathematical implications and another looking at guidelines of how to develop such activities (both in press). I can give you the proofs of these. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
  • A configurative systematic review of mobile learning in mathematics and another in science. Currently working at a very large study across subject areas. These studies bring together information from origional studies since 2000 to look at numbers of what concepts were taught, types of devices selected, grade levels, etc. and then a qualitative review looks in more detail at what exactly is happening and where it does appear useful. These are both under review at this time. - crompton crompton Feb 5, 2015
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