What is Mobile Learning?


The pervasiveness of mobile devices is changing the way humans interact with information and their surroundings. Smart devices, including phones, tablets, and watches, are now capable of acting as miniaturized computers; their storage space and processing power has increased dramatically with each subsequent release. Mobile learning, or m-learning, leverages this technology to make learning portable, meaning a learner can have access to materials virtually anywhere. The first wave of m-learning came in the form of apps, which are small, low-cost software extensions to devices. Proving to be a hotbed of development, numerous educational apps have been created, including: language learning apps, math and science tutorials, and more. Since their release, mobile apps have become adopted into the mainstream, seemingly plateauing the trajectory of m-learning. Although recently educators have witnessed the revival of m-learning through a subsequent demand for more online learning opportunities and an increase in BYOD initiatives across institutions. Overtime, m-learning continues to gain traction in education because it is particularly useful for learning as it enables 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?

  • - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016
  • Mobile is the only cost-effective way to reach people everywhere around the world. A report by a US market research market company suggests that there are now more mobile devices on the planet than people: 8,6 billion devices vs. 7,3 billion people: https://www.connected-uk.com/more-mobile-devices-in-the-world-than-people-how-many-do-you-have/ Further, mobile learning can be credited for contributing in the direction of destroying unemployment and illiteracy. Low-priced and easy availability of smartphones help us make education possible for even those who could not pursue it due to lack of finances - ingrid.vinje ingrid.vinje Nov 4, 2016the school be aware of their responsibility to laern children and students how to utilase
  • Every child and student are carrying a powerfull processing toll in theit pocket. They use it almost all of the time to do different things. In Norway there is still a debate about schools who forbid their students to use smartphones at school. This debate will soon be gone, but educaters must realice their responsibility to teach children and student how to use technology an not to be used by it, and at the same time take advantage og the possibiblites that smartphones for different learning arenas. - stefan.reppe stefan.reppe Nov 13, 2016 - ingrid.vinje ingrid.vinje Nov 15, 2016 - stefan stefan Nov 20, 2016 Cell phones pose both an obstacle and a medium for learning. Used correctly it has huge potential. The Danish open school system draw huge benefits from mobile learning. Mobile technology can thus be expected to grow in every part of the education system. - jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016
  • For students in the upper secondary, a smart phone is like a third hand - and a second brain. They always carry it with them and they now how to use it. Its not a "device" - it is a natural part of their life, and that is exactly why we have to think of ways of using it creatively and efficiently in teaching and learning. - Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016
  • - tero.rynka tero.rynka Dec 4, 2016I see a best benefit of mobile learning is that learners can contribute and produce ( images, videos, audio files, animations aso)
    with the tools they find relevant and handy. This, of course, demands that schools are also ready for this kind of development.

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

  • When I started building apps for schools apps needed to work offline. Now more and more users more or less demands that they work online to make it easier for teachers to audit progress of students. Make real time apps is the next step here. - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016
  • In a few years, there will probably be more people that have access to smartphones than PCs, and mobile learning could diminish a possible "digital divide" between pupils who have access to computers and those who don't. - marianne.barland marianne.barland Nov 1, 2016 I believe that more people already have access to smartphones than PC. - ingrid.vinje ingrid.vinje Nov 4, 2016
  • Online learning with mobile phones creates a flexibility that eliminates the need for learning to happen at a set place and a set time. I would also like to highlight geo-location as an important aspect of mobile learning: it can be useful to deliver relevant online training to the global audience - ingrid.vinje ingrid.vinje Nov 4, 2016
  • It is time to take the debate at system level on BYOD. In our GREAT 'Everyone is Equal' Nordic societies, no government will today come forward and say BYOD will become compulsory in public schools. That has to change. We will never get the full value out of mobile learning, anytime anywhere learning, 24/7 learning - or whatever we call it, unless every student has his/her own device. We want to digitalize the learning, personalize the learning and embrace 21st century skills. This cannot be done without 1:1 access to technology. Not mobile phones, but computers that provide the appropriate pedagogical opportunities. - Kirsten.Panton Kirsten.Panton Nov 11, 2016
  • I agree with Kirsten here in the sense that we need to discuss the BYOD issue at systems level. Without some kind of BYOD scheme, we will not achieve full personalisation of ICT.- oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Nov 14, 2016

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

  • Apps for mobile devices is often more focused and accessible than other media, including desktop apps or sites. Done right, this can be a big benefit for learning.
  • There is a lot of talented individuals located in underdeveloped and rural areas, where there are no colleges or schools. For young people like this, moving to a city can be far from possible because of the shooting living cost in most cities. Mobile learning can enable such individuals to get access to knowledge, information, or even learn from a mentor at nominal costs.
  • 21st century learning is driven by technology - but technology in the hand of the individual. Mobile Learning at its best in a 1:1 environment, where technology is an integrated part of collaboration, communication, creative thinking, problem solving etc.etc. - Kirsten.Panton Kirsten.Panton Nov 11, 2016 - jakob.harder jakob.harder Nov 16, 2016 I believe that we should understand pedagogy as the driver, and technology as the accelerator. We should not let technology get in the way of good teaching and learning. When we see that technology can be used to enhance or extend the learning experience, and to engage students, we should go for it. However, if we can't see how technology can do any of these things, we should leave the store and walk away. - ingrid.vinje ingrid.vinje Nov 11, 2016- Kirsten.Panton Kirsten.Panton Nov 17, 2016
  • Already some years ago the researchers suggested a huge potential for mobile learning, and I think we are still slowly seeing these developments taking place - Three different elements for mobile learning: (1) convenience, (2) expediency, (3) immediacy. H. Kynäslahti & P. Seppälä (eds.) 2003. Mobile learning. Helsinki, Finland: IT Press. - olli.vesterinen olli.vesterinen Nov 14, 2016
  • The use of smart phones must make us reconsider students' homework, their way of producing, their way of creating. - Dorte Dorte Nov 20, 2016
  • - tero.rynka tero.rynka Dec 4, 2016Agree totally on Dortes vision.

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

  • Yes, I build educational apps. - johan.nordberg johan.nordberg Oct 18, 2016
  • I would recommend you to check out http://funzi.fi/, a company from Finland that aims to make education accessible to everyone for free. Funzi has delivered free learning to over 600 000 people globally, and is Facebook's partner in their Internet.org initiative that aims to deliver free Internet access to people in emerging markets - ingrid.vinje ingrid.vinje Nov 4, 2016 - ellen.k.fossvoll ellen.k.fossvoll Nov 7, 2016 - olli.vesterinen olli.vesterinen Nov 14, 2016


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