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Thursday, 11 June 2015

The value of mobile learning

The value of mobile learning[13]—Tutors who have used m-learning programs and techniques have made the following value statements in favor of m-learning.
  • It is important to bring new technology into the classroom.
  • Devices used are more lightweight than books and PCs.
  • Mobile learning can be used to diversify the types of learning activities students partake in (or a blended learning approach).
  • Mobile learning supports the learning process rather than being integral to it.
  • Mobile learning can be a useful add-on tool for students with special needs. However, for SMS and MMS this might be dependent on the students’ specific disabilities or difficulties involved.
  • Mobile learning can be used as a ‘hook’ to re-engage disaffected youth.
Benefits [2][14][15]
  • Relatively inexpensive opportunities, as the cost of mobile devices are significantly less than PCs and laptops
  • Multimedia content delivery and creation options
  • Continuous and situated learning support
  • Decrease in training costs
  • Potentially a more rewarding learning experience
  • New opportunities for traditional educational institutions
  • Readily available a/synchronous learning experience[16]


Technical challenges include
  • Connectivity and battery life
  • Screen size and key size[17]
  • Meeting required bandwidth for nonstop/fast streaming
  • Number of file/asset formats supported by a specific device
  • Content security or copyright issue from authoring group
  • Multiple standards, multiple screen sizes, multiple operating systems
  • Reworking existing E-Learning materials for mobile platforms
  • Limited memory[18]
  • Risk of sudden obsolescence [19]
  • Security
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Cost of Investment[20]
Social and educational challenges include
  • Accessibility and cost barriers for end users: Digital divide.
  • How to assess learning outside the classroom
  • How to support learning across many contexts[21]
  • Content's security or pirating issues
  • Frequent changes in device models/technologies/functionality etc.
  • Developing an appropriate theory of learning for the mobile age
  • Conceptual differences between e-learning and m-learning
  • Design of technology to support a lifetime of learning[22][23]
  • Tracking of results and proper use of this information
  • No restriction on learning timetable
  • Personal and private information and content
  • No demographic boundary
  • Disruption of students' personal and academic lives[24]
  • Access to and use of the technology in developing countries[25]
  • Risk of distraction [2]


Over the past ten years mobile learning has grown from a minor research interest to a set of significant projects in schools, workplaces, museums, cities and rural areas around the world. The m-learning community is still fragmented, with different national perspectives, differences between academia and industry, and between the school, higher education and lifelong learning sectors.[26] Possible future applications for mobile learning include location based learning, augmented reality, wearable learning, learning implants, and ambient intelligence. Advancements in mobile learning will require a change from traditional classroom pedagogical approaches to a digital pedagogical approach that will suit mobile learners.[27]
Current areas of growth include:
  • Testing, surveys, job aids and just-in-time (J.I.T.) learning
  • Location-based and contextual learning
  • Social-networked mobile learning
  • Mobile educational gaming
  • Delivering m-Learning to cellular phones using two way SMS messaging and voice-based CellCasting (podcasting to phones with interactive assessments) [26]
  • Cloud computer file storage [14]

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