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Webliography: Mobile Learning Technology and Education

Dona Thanushi N S Hettipathirana

EDUC 639: Trends and Issues in Educational Technology

Dr. Daniel Baer

Liberty University

Webliography: Mobile Learning Technology and Education

A Review of Research on Mobile Learning in Teacher Education


The advances in mobile technology have introduced the field of education to mobile

learning devices, marking the dawn of a new era of education in the 21st century - mobile

learning(Baran, 2014). Mobile devices have revolutionized the field of technology due to the

advances in networking and portability (Baran, 2014). The purpose of this research review is to

examine the impact of Mobile Learning on teacher education (Baran, 2014). It emphasizes the

importance and the lack of empirical evidence in the field of education with respect to mobile

learning and teacher education (Baran, 2014).

This research is designed as a qualitative synthesis of quantitative and qualitative

research addressing issues in trends and gaps detected in review of literature on integration of

mobile learning and teacher education (Baran, 2014). The synthesis includes analysis of 37

studies on mobile learning in teacher education (Baran, 2014). The target population includes

both pre-service and in-service teacher from around the world (Baran, 2014). The synthesis is

conducted in three phases: search and inclusion; individual study review; and cross study

comparison and analysis (Baran, 2014).

The examination of the research articles in this synthesis on mobile learning and teacher

education suggests that the use of mobile learning tools and devices and the interest in mobile

learning have mushroomed around the globe, in the 15 years spanning from 2000 to 2014

(Baran, 2014). The bulk of the research on mobile education and teacher education, 38%, was

conducted in the USA (Baran, 2014). Many of the articles reviewed in this synthesis focuses

preservice teacher education in cross-content areas (Baran, 2014). The data sources used in the

articles included: questionnaires, interviews, blogs, recordings, observations, artifacts, usage

data, and audio and video transcripts (Baran, 2014). The mobile devices most commonly used in

teacher education included: mobile phones (42.5%), tablets (17.5%), PDAs/handheld PCs

(17.5%), iPods (10%) and laptops (12.5%) (Baran 2014).

The key findings of the according to Baran, 2014, study include: 1) Growing

inclination towards integration of mobile learning and teacher education; 2) Lack of reporting

on theoretical and conceptual perspectives on m-learning and teacher education;3) Diverse

perceptions, attitudes and patterns of usage of mobile learning devices; 4) Engagement with

mobile devices viewed as beneficial; 5) Lack of reporting on the challenges involved with

mobile learning; and 6) Pedagogical practices that support mobile learning integration into

teacher education (Baran, 2014).


This is a great article that sheds light on Mobile Learning and teacher education. Its

emphasis on the importance of empirical evidence with respect to mobile learning and teacher

education and the lack of it is strikingly significant. Thus, it is an enriching piece of literature

that deserves to be included in any review to do with Mobile learning and teacher education.

The purpose and objectives of this qualitative synthesis addressing trends and gaps in

the literature on the integration of mobile learning and teacher education - is very much current

and relevant, as available research in m-learning and teacher education is scant (Baran, 2014).

The findings of this research in my view, contribute immensely in enhancing the readers

knowledge on the topic of discussion the impact of mobile learning on teacher education. I

agree with the author, that the major implications of this synthesis are significant in providing

guidelines and theoretical and conceptual frameworks based on empirical research evidence to

assist teachers, teacher-educators, researchers and policy makers (Baran, 2014).


Baran, E. (2014). A Review of Research on Mobile Learning in Teacher Education. Educational

Technology & Society, 17(4), 1732. Retrieved from

Augmented Reality and Mobile Learning: The State of the Art


The advances in mobile computing technology and ubiquity of access to the Internet have

contributed in making Augmented reality or AR on mobile devices, a phenomenon affecting the

field of education (FitzGerald, Ferguson, Adams, Gaved, Mor, & Rhodri, 2013). This research

paper provides a qualitative examination of the nature and developments in the field of AR and

its significance and potential for learning as they pertain to mobile learning (Fitzgerald, 2013). It

begins by defining technology enhanced realities in terms of virtual, mixed and augmented while

examining the link between reality and virtuality (Fitzgerald et al., 2013).

Through the examination of prior research in the field of AR, authors provide a rather

detailed and elaborate definition of AR highlighting three key attributes: 1) a system that runs

interactively in real time, 2) aligning/registering virtual and real objects with each other, 3)

combining them in a real environment (Fitzgerald et al., 2013). Key contributions and

implications of this study to the field of education include: the analysis of fundamental

pedagogies related to the use of AR for educational purposes; and the taxonomy that classifies

various characteristics of mobile AR for learning in outdoor situations (Fitzgerald, 2013). The

paper also discusses the challenges to the use of AR in education in terms of technical,

pedagogical and social challenges (Fitzgerald et al., 2013). It also sheds light on the usefulness of

AR in facilitating different types of learning: situated learning, multi modal learning, experiential

learning and construction of multiple perspectives (Fitzgerald et al., 2013). Further, the study

explores the following: the pedagogic theories that fortify the use of AR; provision of a

suggested taxonomy as a framework in classifying AR in mobile learning; investigation of

criticisms and limitations of AR; and proposal on how AR can be used as part of mobile learning

(Fitzgerald et al., 2013). Limitations of AR in mobile learning, according to the study include:

availability and cost of devices, Internet services and infrastructure, cognitive overload, strengths

and weaknesses of tools, lack of technical support, and environmental barriers etc. (Fitzgerald et

al., 2013).


This is a very insightful article examining the means of syncing augmented reality with

mobile learning. I find it quite fascinating as to how this paper connects AR, a modern

technology, with Vygotskian theory of Zone of Proximal Development, highlighting AR as a

learning tool and an artefact to facilitate learners contact with the world (Fitzgerald, 2013). The

taxonomy provided by the author, classifying various characteristics of mobile AR for learning in

outdoor situations, in my view, is vastly useful in understanding how AR can enhance and enrich

mobile learning. The examination of the Global Positioning System or GPS as a classic example

of mobile AR, provides the reader with a real-world and authentic insight in comprehending the

nature of relevance and applicability of Mobile AR.

Although, the paper overall discusses quite a number of current and relevant topics on

AR and M-learning rather comprehensively, authors fail to examine how effective of a tool AR

could be in assisting learners with exceptionalities in augmenting their learning experiences. I

strongly believe that Augmented Reality can of great benefit to students with special needs in

assisting them with multi modal learning. Thus, I suggest, that further research should be done

on the relevance and significance of AR and M-learning in the field of special education.


Fitzgerald, E., Ferguson, R., Adams, A., Gaved, M., Mor, Y., and Rhodri, T. (2013). Augmented

Reality and Mobile Learning: The State of the Art. International Journal of Mobile and

Blended Learning 5(4), pp 43-58. Retrieved from

E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice


The developments in the field of technology have revolutionized the information and

knowledge sharing in the 21st century. The purpose of E-learning in the 21st Centurty: A

framework for research and practice, as implied by the title itself is to deliver a framework for

understanding the application of e-learning to guide and assist research and practice in the

direction of mediating higher order learning (Garrison, 2017). According to Garrison, 2017, the

most crucial framework that has contributed in the shaping of e-learning in the 21st century is the

framework of Community of Instruction (CoI). Due to the exponential expansion of research

and practice on online and blended learning in the 21st century, the author believes, it is of

essence to shed light on both transformative and disruptive nature of the impact of e-learning on

education (Garrison, 2017).

The book is divided into two parts: Part I, which spans for 5 chapters, focuses on

constructing and illustrating the conceptual framework for understanding e-learning and Part II,

which spans for 6 chapters, discusses the application of the CoI framework (Garrison, 2017).

The book also provides an elaborate introduction with a comprehensive description of e-learning,

recognizing it as a new reality (Garrison, 2017). The conceptual framework is discussed in

terms of theoretical and community of inquiry frameworks (Garrison, 2017). The CoI framework

is discussed further in terms of social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence

(Garrison, 2017). The author challenges the readers to engage in pragmatic application of the

concepts and ideas presented in the book as they apply to the unique educational environments

(Garrison, 2017).

Chapter Seven of E-learning in the 21st Century discusses the learning technologies that

are of importance in the application of the framework of community of inquiry (Garrison, 2017).

The chapter provides in-depth insight into learning technologies in terms of: historical

perspective; e-learning approaches; Web 2.0; and learning and technology (Garrison, 2017).

Under Web 2.0 Garrison discusses significance of social media, mobile learning and MOOCS to

e-learning in the 21st century (Garrison, 2017).


E-learning in the 21st Century is a beautifully authored piece of literature on educational

technology advances in the 21st century. The author provides a vast expanse of evidence based

insight on important aspects of e-learning and construct a framework for understanding to guide

research and practice to foster higher order thinking. The book enriches and enhances the reader

through its valuable insight from various experts, professionals and researchers in the field of

online education. Garrison also provides pragmatic and proactive, evidence-based perspectives

and recommendations throughout the book, which I believe, are of essence to all stakeholders

involved in the educational process - learners, educators, administrators as well as parents.


Authors perspective on both transformative and disruptive nature of the impacts of e-

learning in education and the emphasis on social connectivity and collaboration in fostering

higher order thinking and learning, provides the reader with balanced and measured insight on e-

learning in terms of effectiveness, usefulness and drawbacks and weaknesses of online

education. E-learning in the 21st Century, I believe, is an essential asset to both new comers and

veterans in the field of online learning in terms of broadening the horizons on critical areas of

study in online technology and the development of pedagogy.


Garrison, D. R. (2017). E-learning in the 21st century: A community of inquiry framework for

research and practice. London: Routledge Falmer.

Mobile learning as alternative to assistive technology devices for special needs students


Assistive technology(AT) has transformed the educational process of learners with

special needs in the past 30 years (Ismaili & Ibrahimi, 2017). However, according to the authors

AT in the under-developed world is scant in availability and often costly (Ismaili et al., 2017).

The advances in mobile technology and cloud computing have revolutionized the

communication and information technology due to their portable and ubiquitous nature and the

potential for sharing information and knowledge and connect with the world in real time (Ismaili

etal.,2017). Thus, this study focuses on investigating the likeliness of using mobile devices as

alternative learning tools for assistive technology devices in the formal as well as informal

educational settings (Ismaili et al., 2017).


The research design of this investigation involves both quantitative and qualitative

methods (Ismaili, et al., 2017). The study compares the features and functions of seven Google

Apps against AT device counter parts used by students with physical and mental disabilities

(Ismaili et al., 2017). The worthiness and effectiveness of the apps were determined through

examining online reviews (Ismaili et al., 2017). The special needs populations considered for the

study include: partial hearing impairment, total hearing impairment, partial visual impairment,

for speech articulation disorder and autism (Ismaili et al., 2017). AT devices examined in the

study include: hearing aid, FM system, UNI by Motionsavvy, electronic magnifier, Tobii

Dynavox i-series, and Tobii Dynavox t-series (Ismaili et al., 2017). Alternative apps available on

mobile devices include: Petraplex hearing aid app, hearing aid with replay medical app, deaf and

hearing impaired medical app, magnifier app, big buttons keyboard standard app, Jab Talk app

and Tap to Talk app (Ismaili et al., 2017).

Key findings of the research suggest, that there is a greater motivation among individuals

with special needs to use mobile apps as they empower students with special needs through

enhancing their sense of inclusion, autonomy, self-sufficiency and self-confidence, and mobile

apps were affordable and reliable in comparison to AT counter parts (Ismaili et al., 2017). The

study makes an important statement towards the end of the article, recognizing that the

development of open source software and applications, that are free to be used over the Internet,

have humanized technology which is otherwise viewed as a for profit industry (Ismaili et al.,



This study, provides important empirical evidence on how mobile learning technology

can be utilized as an alternative to AT devices for some key demographics of individuals with

special needs. The population of individuals with special needs considered in this study is limited

to individuals with visual and hearing impairments, and autism and speech disorder, and thus the

study excludes a whole host of other demographics of individuals with special needs such as

sensory processing disorder, mobility disorders, and other developmental disorders. Therefore, I

believe, the role and function of AT devices should not be undermined in their significance in the

empowerment of individuals with special needs, through the generalization of mobile learning as

an alternative to AT devices in all aspects of special education.

The mobile apps examined in the study, in my view, are of greater relevance to vast

populations of individuals with special needs, especially in the under-developed and developing

world. However, the study only compares seven available software applications, but mentions

there are thousands of available applications that are of relevance to individuals with special

needs (Ismaili et al.,2017), and therefore, there is a need for further research and examination of

other widely available mobile learning technologies and apps in the empowerment of individuals

with exceptionalities.


Ismaili, J. & Ibrahimi, E.H.O. (2017). Mobile learning as alternative to assistive technology

devices for special needs students. Education and Information Technologies 22(3), pp

883-899. Retrieved from

Mobile Learning for Education: Benefits and Challenges


This paper examines the impact of mobile devices on educational practices and the

prospects of using digital media on mobile devices (Mehdipour & Zerehkafi, 2013). The purpose

of the study is to analyze the benefits, challenges and barriers of mobile learning in the current

state (Mehdipour et al., 2013). The research is designed as a bibliographic and Internet research

focusing on the following areas of interest: 1) analysis of mobile learning, 2) differentiation of e-

learning from mobile learning, 3) value and benefits of mobile learning, and 4) challenges and

barriers of mobile learning (Mehdipour et al., 2013).

Based on the findings, mobile learning is viewed as an emerging form of learning in the

field of education (Mehdipour et al., 2013). The study describes mobile learning as a form of

learning that can take place anywhere at anytime with the use of a mobile device (Mehdipour et

al., 2013). The paper incudes a one-on-one comparison of critical aspects of e-learning against

mobile-learning while highlighting some unique features of M-learning such as: anywhere

anytime learning, instant communication, real-time feedback, customized instruction, and

individualized testing etc. (Mehdipour et al., 2013). The authors argue that m-learning is not a

sub-division of e-learning but rather a different and more effective means of technology based

learning (Mehdipour et al., 2013). According to the authors the unique and user-friendly

characteristics of mobile learning such as ubiquity, real time accessibility, portability and

affordability, makes M-learning a viable solution for modern education problems (Mehdipour et

al., 2013).

Benefits of m-learning include: needs based, on demand and instantaneous training;

learner oriented content; industrialization of teaching and learning; decreased training costs; and

improvement of literacy, numeracy and participation in education (Mehdipour et al., 2013).

Challenges of M-learning include: issues to do with network connectivity; screen size and key

size; bandwidth and streaming requirements; support of different file formats; security of content

and copyright issues; limited memory; the risk of obsolescence; digital divide involving

accessibility and cost; assessment of learning; lack of theoretical framework in Mobile-learning;

and the social stigma considering mobile devices as distractive (Mehdipour et al., 2013). Popular

Mobile devices used for mobile learning based on the study include: mobile phones, tablet

computers; personal audio players; e-readers; personal digital assistants; handheld multimedia

guides; and handheld game consoles (Mehdipour et al., 2013).


This article is a good source of literature discussing the benefits and challenges with

regard to Mobile learning technology. Mobile learning, I believe, can be utilized to offer

opportunities for development through education to vast student populations around the world.

This in return would contribute immensely in harnessing the undiscovered human potential

hidden in the remote corners of the globe. However, I strongly believe, further research should

be carried out in exploring M-learning for its relevance and effectiveness as a medium for

expanding formal and informal educational opportunities for the masses.

The elaborate comparison of e-learning against M-learning in this study, highlighting the

benefits of m-learning over e-learning, I believe, is of essence in understanding how unique and

effective of a technology based learning mechanism, m-learning is at the present and could

become in the future. However, this research does not address the impact of mobile learning on

special education and thus, another critical area of interest for further research, in my view, is

evaluating the effectiveness of mobile learning in the education individuals with disabilities.


Mehdipour, Y., Zerehkafi, H. (2013). Mobile Learning for Education: Benefits and Challenges.

International Journal of Computational Engineering Research, 3(6), pp 93-101.