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EmergingTechnologies2007

EmergingTechnologies2007

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03/27/2011

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Related terms

Ambient computing, cell phones,
conversational learning, location based
technologies, mLearning, personal digital
assistants (PDA), personalization, pervasive
computing, podcasting, tablets, wearable
computing, wireless

Description

Mobile learning (“m-learning”) refers to the
use of mobile and handheld IT devices, such
as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs),
cellular telephones, MP3 players, laptops,
tablet PCs, and wearable computers in
teaching and learning. Essentially, it is
learning and knowledge sharing that takes
place when a learner is using a mobile
device.
Clark Quinn (2000) sees m-learning as
“…the intersection of mobile computing and
eLearning: accessible resources wherever
you are, strong search capabilities, rich
interaction, powerful support for effective
learning, and performance-based
assessment… e-learning independent of
location, time and space.” The Mobilearn
Project (2003) advocates for “a new m-
learning architecture [that] will support
creation, brokerage, delivery and tracking of
learning and information content, using
ambient intelligence, location-dependence,
personalization, multimedia, instant
messaging (text, video) and distributed
databases.”
Two years ago, there were estimated to be
1.5 billion mobile phones in the world
(Prensky, 2004). This is more than three
times the number of personal computers
(PCs), and these sophisticated phones have
the processing power of a mid-1990s PC. In
addition to sales of one billion mobile
phones in 2009, it is predicted that there
will be 2.6 billion units in operation by that
year.
The key benefits of using mobile devices for
learning include the following:
> Portability
> Any time, any place connectivity

> Flexible and timely access to e-learning
resources
> Immediacy of communication
> Empowerment and engagement of
learners, particularly those in dispersed
communities
> Active learning experiences
Researchers point out other benefits, such
as increased computer literacy,
communicative skills and community
building, improved identity creation,
collaborative learning, and mentoring.
However, there are potential disadvantages
in mobile computing (McLean, 2003),
including the following:
> Small screens limit the amount and
type of information that can be
displayed
> Limited memory and storage capacities
for mobile devices
> Batteries have to be charged regularly
> Mobile devices are more fragile than
other types of computers and can more
be more easily stolen or lost
> Intermittent connectivity
> Interoperability among devices is
difficult
> Links to learning management systems
and other enterprise IT systems are
primitive or non-existent
> Existing applications need to be
adapted for mobile devices at
considerable expense
> Network access costs can be significant
> Security is a major issue
> There is little stability in the market
because of rapid development
On a positive note, in Japan, Masayasu
Morita evaluated the use of English
language lessons formatted differently for
computers and cell phones. He found that
90 percent of cell phone users were still
accessing the lessons after 15 days,
compared to only 50 percent of computer
users. Cited in Prensky, (2004).

128

© Brandon Hall Research

Selected Examples

Employees at the Malmo Hospital in
Sweden access videos on how to use
various pieces of equipment in the
hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) using
handheld computers and peer-to-peer
learning.
http://www.stockholmchallenge.se/projectd
ata.asp?id=5&projectid=4572
The Tate Modern Art Museum has launched
a pilot multimedia tour of its galleries using
handheld computers. Visitors are given a
Pocket PC that uses a wireless network to
track where they are in the gallery.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/22
25255.stm
Researchers at a university in Taiwan have
developed various mobile systems for
learning about “outdoor ecology.” They have
a “firefly watching system,” a “butterfly-
watching learning system,” and a “bird
watching learning system.”
> http://www.cs.ccu.edu.tw/~yschen/my
papers/AINA2004-final.pdf
> http://www.cs.ccu.edu.tw/~yschen/my
papers/JECR-2005.pdf
> http://www.cs.ccu.edu.tw/~yschen/con
papers/bird.pdf
The Mobile Technologies for Mobile
Learning (MoTFAL) Project involves a variety
of researchers and educators.
http://csdl2.computer.org/comp/proceedin
gs/icalt/2004/2181/00/21810910.pdf
MOBIlearn is a worldwide European-led
project with 24 partner organizations across
Europe, Israel, US, Australia. Its mandate is
to develop technology and services for
mobile learning using an open service-
based architecture.
http://www.mobilearn.org/
The Handheld Devices for Ubiquitous
Learning Project (HDUL) at Harvard is
studying how wireless handheld devices can
enhance learning and teaching for faculty
and students, adult participants in the
School’s professional development
programs, and pre-service teachers.
http://gseacademic.harvard.edu/~hdul/
Urban Tapestries is an experimental
location-based wireless platform in Central
London. Users can access and create

location-specific text, audio, pictures,
movies, or a combination of media.
http://urbantapestries.net/
The PAST Project involves using hand-held
electronic guides to archaeological sites.
http://www.beta80group.it/past/
Urban Tapestries is an experimental loc-
ation-based wireless platform covering the
Bloomsbury area of central London in the
UK. This prototype allows users to access
and create location-specific content.
http://urbantapestries.net/
Spotlight Mobile is a group developing
software for the use of hand-held devices in
museums.
http://spotlight-mobile.com/
Knowledge Pulse is flashcard lessons for
mobile phones that automatically adjusts
the order and complexity of the lessons to
match the learning pace of the individual.
Learn more at:
http://www.knowledgepulse.com/home_en.
html

Online Resources

The e-Learning Centre in the UK has a long
list of mobile and wireless learning content.
http://www.e-
learningcentre.co.uk/eclipse/Resources/ml
earning.htm
WWWTools for Education has articles on
“Handheld Computers in Education,”
“Mobile/Cell Phones in Education,” and
“iPods and Podcasting in Education.”
> http://m.fasfind.com/wwwtools/m/273
7.cfm?x=0&rid=2737
> http://m.fasfind.com/wwwtools/m/271
7.cfm?x=0&cuID=76&rid=2717
> http://m.fasfind.com/wwwtools/m/890
7.cfm?x=0&cuID=76&rid=8907
The Mobile Learning portal lists loads of
material on mobile learning, including
issues, technologies, applications,
resources, activities, links, and a glossary.
http://www3.telus.net/~kdeanna/mlearnin
g/index.htm
Jari Laru, of the University of Oulu in
Finland, maintains an extensive Web site on
everything related to mobile learning.
http://www.mobilelearning.tk/

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129

One of the best ways to find out what is
happening in a field is by attending
conferences. For example, the IADIS
International Conference on Mobile
Learning 2006 was held on July 14-16,
2006 in Dublin, Ireland.
http://www.iadis.org/ml2006
Bob Godwin-Jones, in a recent article
entitled “Emerging technologies: Messaging,
Gaming, Peer-to-Peer Sharing: Language
Learning Strategies & Tools for the
Millennial Generation,” concludes his article
with an extensive resource list on mobile
learning.
http://llt.msu.edu/vol9num1/emerging/def
ault.html
The HandLeR IHandheld Learning Resource
Project at the University of Birmingham in
the UK has a list of publications associated
with the project.
http://www.eee.bham.ac.uk/handler/public
ations.asp
The iPods in Education Web site is a portal
on these mobile devices being used for
learning.
http://213.232.94.135/ipodined/news.php
All About Mobile Life is a blog devoted to all
aspects of mobile technologies and their
use in learning and in everyday life.
http://mobile.kaywa.com/mobile_learning/i
ndex.html

Bibliography

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Attewell, Jill (2005). Mobile Technologies
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Report, Learning
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http://www.m-learning.org/docs/The%20m-
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%20technology%20update%20and%20proj
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130

© Brandon Hall Research

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m0532.pdf

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