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Defining Mobile Learning

Defining Mobile Learning

A sampler of quotes from leading voices in the field of educational technology helps to establish your viewpoint on mobile learning for your classroom.

The message from the field is clear--mobile technology is changing learning. As mobile learning becomes as ubiquitous as the devices and connectivity that power it, the “when”, “where”, and “how” of student learning will become more and more fluid, opening up alternatives for instructional design, sources of content, and social collaboration. According to some of these voices, Mobile Learning is:

  • “Any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse” (C. N. Quinn).
  • “The exploitation of ubiquitous handheld technologies, together with wireless and mobile phone networks, to facilitate, support, enhance and extend the reach of teaching and learning.’ Mobile learning can take place in any location, at any time, including traditional learning environments such as classrooms as well as in workplaces, at home, community locations and in transit” (MoLeNET).
  • “The acquisition or modification of any knowledge or skill through the use of mobile technology, anywhere, anytime, and which results in the modification of behavior” (Upside Learning).
  • “Meaningful integration of mobile devices in teaching and learning in formal and informal learning environments” (ISTE).
  • “The art of using mobile technologies to enhance learning experiences” (Judy Brown, supported by iNACOL).
  • “Extend[ing] the online learning model exponentially” in “four key areas: connectivity/access; immediacy, learning modality, continuous learning” (SIIA).
  • “About understanding how learning can be enhanced through the use of mobile devices. [. . .] It is not just about what the devices allow users to do differently than in the past. The learning cannot be forgotten” (J. M. Quick).
  • “Creating more and more space for informal learning and challenging formal learning. [It] is about supporting Education for All” (UNESCO).
  • “About access to content, peers, experts, portfolio artifacts, credible sources, and previous thinking on relevant topics. […] [It] unbolts an educational environment from a school floor and allows it to move anywhere, anytime” (TeachThought Staff).
  • “The use of handheld computing devices to provide access to learning content and information resources. Mobile devices enable access to support and training materials at the moment of need” (Advanced Distributed Learning).
  • “Not just about the use of portable devices, but also about learning across contexts (Walker, 2006). [It is] a step toward making the educational process ‘just in time, just enough, and just for me (Peters, 2007, p. 15)” (Y. Park).

Mobile Learning

References

Read the source documents for each of definitional statements quoted on this page.

 

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Devices 101

Read a short overview of mobile devices and understand the opportunities each offers for mobile learning.

 

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