What is Mobile Learning?


People increasingly expect to be connected to the Internet and the rich tapestry of knowledge it contains wherever they go. Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, enable users to do just that via cellular networks and wireless power. At the end of 2012, the mobile market consisted of over 6.5 billion subscribers, with a majority living in developing countries. The improvement of mobile networks and affordability of smartphones and tablets is pointing to a future where every individual will have access to the world wide web via their handheld computer or phone. The unprecedented evolution of these devices has opened the door to myriad uses for education. Learning institutions all over the world are exploring ways to make their websites, educational materials, resources, and opportunities all available online and optimized for mobile devices. The significance for teaching and learning is that these devices can facilitate every manner of educational experience, allowing learners to access remote laboratories and conduct experiment, and organize virtual video meetings with peers all over the world, and collaborate on shared documents or projects in the cloud among other things. Over the past several years, mobile learning has earned its place as a top priority for entrepreneurs and educators that are exploring mobile learning solutions and researching their supporting pedagogies.

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

  • A lot of the great points I´ve read in the chapters on tablets, apps, and BYOD would fit in well here, too. I think some basic points and questions that apply to the potential of mobile learning in schools are (again): do all students own a mobile device (if not, is there financial aid or a school/government funding programme). What do they use it for (presumably fun/leisure rather than learning). How do you get them to use it for learning? (i.e. the didactic quality and customisation of apps, lessons, and games designed for mobile learning is crucial). Last but not least: are mobile phones/smartphones (as part of the larger category "mobiles") allowed in the classroom? For if not, then mobile learning would have to be restricted to other mobile devices only. - helga helga Oct 26, 2013 Agree! - barbara.wasson barbara.wasson Oct 29, 2013... and agreed :-) - u.simmetsberger u.simmetsberger Oct 30, 2013, [- kiira.karkkainen kiira.karkkainen Nov 3, 2013]
  • Research on mobile learning has moved through several phases, from a focus on the device (PDAs, Smart phones, iPads), to a focus on learning outside the classroom (e.g., as environmental detectives, collecting information at a museum, playing a learning game), to a focus on the mobility of the learner where location and context sensitivity play a role.
  • Mobile devices are the only ones (from all the technology used at school so far) that stay with the learners after the lessons, outside school, on the bus, train or at home. Besides, this is a part of their life nowadays. However, not all learners are aware of all the learning possibilities these devices possess, so we should definitely take this into consideration and start building new ways and traditions of mobile learning! - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Oct 30, 2013
  • The increasing number of smartphones and tablets is the main reason for mobile learning. For many years now, the mobile phone is not only the device for making calls and sending SMS. It's a very, very powerfull learning tool (for example: augmented reality, QR codes, responder system, geography learning tool with the use of GPS, cloud computing, instant messaging, video conference and so on). - simon.drazic simon.drazic Oct 31, 2013
  • Mobile learning is very important for education. The mobile device has quickly become THE portal which the learner manages his social communication. Mobile devices connects learning experiences across the contexts of time, location, device and social setting. Our mobile devices are becoming more context aware. Through the use of augmented reality or the physical environment communicating with our online profiles through the mobile device. Students collect data at home or out doors, use the mobile device to construct knowledge, assisted by the use of apps. They can share this information with fellow students and teachers, discussing these findings in the classroom in a way deep learning is supported. Mobile learning is becoming more and more about seamless learning, formal and informal. - Jeroen.Bottema Jeroen.Bottema Nov 3, 2013

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

  • Location-based mobile applications - barbara.wasson barbara.wasson Oct 29, 2013
  • Mixed-reality and ambient learning - barbara.wasson barbara.wasson Oct 29, 2013 - u.simmetsberger u.simmetsberger Oct 30, 2013
  • Mobile games - barbara.wasson barbara.wasson Oct 29, 2013
  • Diversity of mobile devices. Teachers report that several years ago it was much easier to implement technologies as there were basically two types of computers while nowadays with the abundancy of all different devices teachers often feel lost and unable to help pupils (especially younger ones as older ones easily find new possibilities themselves). - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Oct 30, 2013
  • Augmentet reality tool https://www.layar.com/ - simon.drazic simon.drazic Oct 31, 2013
  • The instructional design for mobile learning - Jeroen.Bottema Jeroen.Bottema Nov 3, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • With mobile learning, the learning space (and even time) expands to an unlimitted potential. If pupils at school get used to the idea of learning outside school, on their own, using their own devices available all the time and take these habits into adult years then we will definitely create lifelong learning habits. - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Oct 30, 2013 - Jeroen.Bottema Jeroen.Bottema Nov 3, 2013
  • New way for in-class communication, including anynomous discussions that can encourage also shyer students to particiapate. With relevant software, may also increase the potential for real-tim formative assessment. [- kiira.karkkainen kiira.karkkainen Nov 3, 2013]

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


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