Some people think that mobile learning refers to using mobile computing devices to support learning. More recently the definition of mobile learning would refer to being able to learn wherever/whenever you want (which might mean using a desktop computer at home, a laptop in school, and a mobile phone while out and about.
The literature review on Mobile Technologies and Learning by Future Labs provides insights into the current and potential future developments in this area. The review address issues and ways in which the theories of learning can be extended for technology based learning. It also describes outstanding projects currently under development in the UK and around the world.Lastly, the review explores what the future might hold for learning with mobile technologies.
Learn more about examples, lessons, and ways of going for mobile learning in schools in this blog by Tina Barseghian, an experienced journalist interested in the future of learning technologies.
You may also find this video introduction to mobile learning by Shelly Terrell useful: The Magic of Mobile Learning.
A useful (draft) manual of elearning is available. Useful sections include:
- The capabilities of mobile devices (section 1.4.2)
- Definitions of mobile learning (p14), in which it is stated that in real mobile learning we learn from the environment rather than the device itself.
- Challenges and risks (section 2.6)
- Mobile learning scenario blueprint (section 1.2.1, page 27)
- The educational benefits of m-learning (p29)
- Mobile learning and virtual classrooms (section 4.2.8)
- Questions to ask when considering introducing mobile learning (p53)
- Content and presentation (p63)
The manual covers a wide range of aspects of mobile learning, especially for business. Being in draft form, there are grammatical errors, and an absence of page numbers. Nevertheless, the scope of the research cited is impressive, and there is an extensive bibliography.
A note of caution regarding the use of apps, especially in conjunction with a Bring Your Own Device Model, is sounded by the Watching App. This discusses the issue of 'vicarious liability', by which an individual in charge, eg a teacher, is responsible for the activities of others, such as if her pupils downloaded copyrighted material illegally. (The article was written from a USA perspective.) There is some information and discussion on this topic from an English perspective in the E-safety discussion on vicarious liability in Linked-in.
See also the BYOD e-safety section.
Sub-areas of mobile learning within EdFutures.net include:
- The the first UNESCO mobile learning week (December 2011) is interesting to look at for its topics. One of the presentations featured there is a PDF version of a PowerPoint called Future Trends in Mobile Technology Development: What Can We Expect in the Next 5, 10, and 15 Years? by Paul Kim. While this is very incomplete, because the commentary itself is not included, the graphics (mainly photographs) are interesting in that they depict the extent and range of uses of mobile technology in non-Western countries.
Also available is Trends in Mobile Technology and its Implications for Education: Asia-Pacific, which while similarly lacking a commentary is easier to grasp because it consists of both graphs and bullet points. It is very interesting, and its conclusions would almost certainly apply in any region, not only Asia-Pacific.