Mobile Learning

This summer, myself and three peers created a Wikispace on the topic of mobile learning for a project in one our classes.  Along with this, we sent our peers, instructor and special guests on an “Amazing Race – Mobile Style” around the education building at the University of Calgary.  Below, you can read the content found on the home page of our site.  If you enjoy what you read, please visit the full website for more!

What is Mobile Learning? Well, if you are allowing students to educationally interact through mobile technology at their own convenience and location, you are engaging in mobile learning. Mobile learning, or m-learning, is being integrated into all learning environments, including K-12, postsecondary, and corporate training.

Mobile technologies include (Hashemi, Azizinezhad, Najafi and Nesari, 2011):

  • mobile phones
  • smart phones
  • personal digital assistants (PDA’s)
  • MP3/MP4 players
  • handheld gaming devices
  • notebooks & netbooks
  • handheld GPS
  • handheld voting devices

Who is Doing It? Mobile learning is being adopted by all educational environments, from early childhood education to corporate training. Formal educational settings, such as K-12 and postsecondary, are incorporating this technology to improve teaching and learning.

Why Mobile Learning? Mobile learning allows learners to move from desktop computer to mobile devices in order to complete a task, making it a natural fit for distributed learning and field activities. Mobile learning is supported by the use of web applications, or “apps”. Web applications are downloadable applications that can be added to devices through a wireless internet connection (Banister, 2010). Combined with apps, mobile devices are not only easy to use, but, because they are already integrated into daily life, they support lifelong, authentic learning (EDUCASE, 2010).

Educationally, the incorporation of this technology into teaching and learning enhances learning in a multitude of ways. Examples of integration include a(n) (Hashemi et al., 2011):

  • platform to access documents and libraries, including video and audio medias
  • device to access quizzes, games, questions, and self-assessments
  • option for lesson participation
  • method to receive archived or live lectures
  • device to exhibit student work
  • tool to participate in a CMS on-the-go

 

There are various advantages to incorporating m-learning into teaching practice. Hashemi et al. (2011) categorizes eight major benefits of mobile learning, which have been organized into the table below:

Category Explanation
Interaction Facilitates student interaction with instructors and amongst peers
Portability Devices are lighter
Can input data at any location by typing, writing or using voice
Collaborative Several students at different locations can work on the same document
Engaging Learners Learners like using these devices
Bridging the Digital Divide Devices are accessible to a larger population as they are more affordable
Just-in-Time Learning Increases work and learning performance
Increases relevance to the learner
Increased Motivation Ownership of the device increases commitment to using and learning from it
Assistive Technologies May help learners with disabilities

Now that you have had a brief introduction, how do you think you could incorporate this technology into your classroom in order to improve teaching and learning? To help you with ideas, please explore the our “mobile learning & apps wikispace” and visit the context-specific pages.

Click here: Mobile Learning Website


References:
BANISTER, S. (2010). Integrating the iPod Touch in K-12 Education: Visions and Vices.Computers In The Schools27(2), 121-131. doi:10.1080/07380561003801590

Hashemi, Masoud, Azizinhad, Masoud, Najafi, Vahid & Ali Jamali Nesari (2011). What is Mobile Learnnig? Challenges and Capabilities.Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 30, 2477-2481.

EDUCUASE (2010). Things you Should Know About… Mobile Apps for Learning. Retrieved from
http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-mobile-apps-learning

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