The terms "M-Learning" and "Mobile Learning" are usually used to refer to teaching and learning with mobile technologies. The "mobile" in "mobile learning" has two implications:
- Learner mobility: learners are able to engage in educational activities without the constraints of having to do so in a tightly delimited physical location. To a certain extent, learning can happen outside a classroom or in various locations, requiring nothing more than the motivation to do so wherever the opportunity arises from books, electronic resources, places and people.
- Mobile devices: portable, lightweight devices that are sometimes small enough to fit in a pocket or in the palm of one's hand. Typical examples are mobile phones, smartphones (like the iPhone), palmtops, and handheld computers like the iPad or PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants); Tablet PCs, laptop computers and personal media players like the iPod can also fall within its scope. These devices can be carried around with relative ease and used for communication and collaboration, and for teaching and learning activities that are different from what is possible with other media.
O'Malley et al. (2003) have defined mobile learning as taking place when the learner is not at a fixed, predetermined location, or when the learner takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies. The Learn2Go project gives Mobile Learning a more detailed definition: a term used to define the type of learning that takes place when the learner has some kind of mobile handheld computer, such as a PDA, Smartphone, tablet PC, games console or other portable device and can make use of the device, it’s connectivity, tools and content to learn at a time and place of the learners choosing.
Mobile learning has a range of attributes that might contribute to its definition:
- ubiquitous (available everywhere)
- pervasive (so integrated with daily activities that it is hardly noticed)
Compared to e-learning, m-learning has these additional features:
- more varied and changing locations
- more immediate interaction
- smaller, often wireless devices
- Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2005). Introduction. In A. Kukulska-Hulme & J. Traxler (Eds.), Mobile Learning: A handbook for educators and trainers (pp. 1-6). Londun: Routledge.
- O'Malley, C., Vavoula, G., Glew, J. P., Taylor, J., & Sharples, M. (2005). Guidelines for Learning/Teaching/Tutoring in a Mobile Environment. Retrieved 7 July, 2009, from http://www.mobilearn.org/download/results/public_deliverables/MOBIlearn_D4.1_Final.pdf
- W3C on Mobile Learning
World Wide Web Consortium (2008) outlines best practices for the Mobile Web.
- PDAs for Teaching and Learning
Low (2006) provides useful tips for choosing a PDA for teaching and learning.
- L&T in a mobile environment (pdf)
O'Malley et al. (2005) provides 27 useful guidelines for learning/teaching/tutoring in a mobile environment (see especially pg 57). (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
- mLearning Content (pdf)
Taylor et al. (2005) outlines issues surrounding the development of learning objects and provides guidelines for technical development of content in m-learning contexts. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
- Mobile phone technology for T & L (pdf)
Attewell (2004) provides an update on the development of mobile phone technologies with the potential for supporting and/or delivering some elements of teaching and learning processes, and reports on the work and key findings of a m-learning research and development project, which was funded by the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) and lasted 3 years. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
- Mobile technology and active learning (pdf)
Litchfield (2007) provides directions for researching how mobile technology can enhance active student learning. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
- Action learning and mobile phones (pdf)
Ferry (2008) contributes to the professional development of teachers in the use of mobile phones to inform their pedagogy. The focus is on how action learning sets helped preservice teachers (PST) to effectively use mobile phones to augment their understanding of the impact of their teaching of an environmental education unit in local primary schools. (retrieved Jan 20, 2011)
Mobile learning authoring tools
A Mobile Learning Kit that connects students and teachers through simple and effective technology and pushes the boundaries of the teaching and learning beyond the classroom into the other environments students inhabit both now and in the future. MiLK is an interface that allows educators and students to design event paths that lead people through places with the use of a mobile phone. The event paths consist of a number of checkpoints at which the event player must SMS an answer before they are directed to the next checkpoint. An event path can be designed to meet specific learning outcomes for any subject or any location. The interface also enables player reflection and assessment functions.
- 5 Minute Outliner
Helps you visualize and organize your ideas on your phone. Create outlines, projects and checklists or import them from your PC.
A web-based service enabling you to create quizzes for mobile phones.