What is Mobile Learning?


For several years now, a revolution has been taking place in software development that parallels similar shifts in the music, publishing, and retail industries. Mass market is giving way to niche market, and with it, the era of highly priced large suites of integrated software has shifted to a new view of what software should be. Mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS have redefined mobile computing, and in the past three to four years, the small, low-cost software extensions to these devices — apps — have become a hotbed of development. Simple but useful apps have found their way into almost every form of human endeavor, and a popular app can see millions of downloads in a very short time. The huge market for apps has spawned a flood of creativity that is instantly apparent in the extensive collections available in the app stores. Online app marketplaces provide an easy and highly efficient way to deliver software that reduces distribution and marketing costs significantly. Mobile apps continue to gain traction in education because they are particularly useful for learning as they enable people to learn and experience new concepts wherever they are, often across multiple devices.

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

  • Learning is more personalized to the learner, learner-centered, and can be used to contextualize learning - crompton crompton Apr 1, 2016 Only if the appropriate school context and learning environment is designed to enable this - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler May 1, 2016
  • Allows students to create products to showcase their acquisition and understanding of the content. Unlimited palette of tools! - kathyschrock kathyschrock Apr 8, 2016

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

  • Extending pedagogies - crompton crompton Apr 1, 2016
  • Contextualizing learning by having students learn while connecting to the world they are familiar with. - crompton crompton Apr 1, 2016
  • The initial "rush" to mobile learning for digital content providers targeted app development.... while this most recent phase has included redesign and refresh of browser based use - so that users (students and teachers) can log in through the browser to get full site functionality regardless of device - kstubbs kstubbs Apr 6, 2016
  • I think you need to emphasize the real power of these apps is not necessarily consumption ("learn and experience new concepts") but is the ability to create their own content to share. - kathyschrock kathyschrock Apr 8, 2016
  • Remember smartphones! - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 26, 2016
  • Developing comprehensive frameworks for evaluating apps is essential. Rather than one size fits all I think it would be important for teachers in a school to work collaboratively and building on a number of preexisting models to design a framework that they will use to evaluate apps they or their students will use and for what purpose etc - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler May 1, 2016
  • I think that the assumption that just because the device is "mobile" that it will be necessarily imply the student is "learning" needs to be dispelled. Many schools do not really think through why they are going "mobile" and this needs to be addressed (http://www.accs.ie/cmsAdmin/uploads/accs_report_final_one_to_one_devices.pdf )

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

  • A shift in learning to make it more contextualized, learner-centered, and relevant to students. - crompton crompton Apr 1, 2016
  • At first, it was just the "idea" of BYOD or school policies changing to adapt to student owned devices - with a few case examples where it actually happening... but now more and more schools have embraced mobile devices, often student owned, to truly personalize learning and extend the learning day. - kstubbs kstubbs Apr 6, 2016
  • Having a mobile device can enhance "anytime, anywhere" learning and creating. The sticking point right now are the classroom "rules" for when to use the devices. Many students are not free to turn to them at all times. - kathyschrock kathyschrock Apr 8, 2016

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

  • Various systematic reviews that identify how mobile learning is being used to change K-12 learning e.g. Crompton, H., Burke, D., Gregory, K., & Gräbe, C. (2016). The use of mobile learning in science education: A systematic review. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 25, 149-160.
    Crompton, H., & Burke, D. (2015). Research trends in the use of mobile learning in mathematics [Special Issue]. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning 7(4), 1-15. - crompton crompton Apr 1, 2016
  • BrainPOP redesigned our homepage in November - to enablel users to log in through the browser from ANY device - this means several things: 1) users can access full site functionality (compared to our app), 2). schools taking advantage of individual account for students and teachers can leverage those individual accounts regardless of device or time of day, 3). it should enable us to reach and support more users Here's a blog post about the update - kstubbs kstubbs
  • Again, I have a page of links to successful practices for BYOD/mobile learning/1:1 initiatives here: http://www.ipads4teaching.net/byod.html - kathyschrock kathyschrock Apr 8, 2016


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