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.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

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

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

  • You have part of the comments about developing countries but I feel more is needed on this. For example, mobile devices are the one thing that can be used where many live far away from the main towns where there is electricity. They can power up in the town and use them as they go home - Thus taking educational materials to places where they were never able to access them before. That is why there is a huge adoption. - crompton crompton Jun 14, 2015
  • The most current adopted definition of mobile learning: Mobile learning is learning across multiple contexts, with interactions with people and content, using a personal electronic device" (Crompton, 2013 p. 4) 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. Self-plug but people often do not understand what mobile learning entails and this definition provides that clearer understanding of the main three components. - crompton crompton Jun 14, 2015
  • The proper mobile device is important for use of offline apps. While Chromebooks have saturated the education market, they are primarily used with Internet connectivity. This is limiting when in remote areas. In the U.S., the digitial divide still exists, due to socio-economic status, or underserved rural areas.- keith.bockwoldt keith.bockwoldt Jun 14, 2015
  • There should be some conversation that addresses needs for secure and authentic access to the tools and resources, especially when the conversation focuses on the K-12 community. As more education campuses (both K-12 and higher ed) look to support all types of mobile devices for both academics and research, this means also being prepared to support personal devices owned by students and educators alike - not a small task for IT departments! (- kim.owen kim.owen Jun 17, 2015)
  • Context-Aware Ubiquitous Learning Learning with ubiquitous technologies (often using mobile devices) to learn subject content while connecting to the real-world. This can be done with technologies created for a learning situation but it can also be used by teachers using technologies and programs already available - crompton crompton Jun 14, 2015 [Editor's Note: Moved here from RQ2]

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

  • Mobile learning (and wearable technologies) are THE way to make learning relevant to students. To provide situated, authentic learning mobile devices are the best way to do that. At this time, many educators are just using mobile devices to do things they have always done with traditional learning or tethered technologies. Mobile devices could be used to do many things that could not possibly done with tethered tech. - crompton crompton Jun 14, 2015
  • Authentic inquiry based learning. Students are more engaged by using technology while at school. Many are used to using technology at home. If educational institutions don't start providing/allowing technology in school, we will not be able to achieve desired results to help our students be prepared for a world that is rapidly changing and a world that will reinvent itself many times in their lifetime.- keith.bockwoldt keith.bockwoldt Jun 14, 2015
  • add your response here

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

  • My work is all in this area and I have multiple projects ongoing such as looking to see if mathematics teachers are using mobile devices to change the way they teach. I am using the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition (SAMR) framework to see if this is happening. - crompton crompton
  • I am doing various meta analysis to see what has been done with mobile learning thus far.- crompton crompton Jun 14, 2015
  • Studying faculty perceptions of mobile learning in higher education in the U.S. and Palestine. - crompton crompton Jun 14, 2015
  • My district is using mobile devices in a full 1:1 environment with 12,100 students. We, too, use SAMR to help our teachers move above the line and transform instruction in the classroom.- keith.bockwoldt keith.bockwoldt Jun 14, 2015
  • Helen - I have some assessment data to show the positive results of using mobile devices, if you're interested.- keith.bockwoldt keith.bockwoldt Jun 14, 2015

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