What is Mobile Learning?
Mobile learning is when teachers and students take advantage of educational content online through portable devices such as iPods, iPads, iPhones and Laptops. The devices are seen as portable tools and resources available to be used as alternatives to the notepad and computer (Sharples et al., 2009). These devices are also used as a means to connect to the world via the Internet and run a range of Applications and Programs for many reasons, especially for educational purposes.
What are the benefits of Mobile Learning?
Rather than assuming that learning only occurs within a fixed location, such as a classroom, over a bounded period of time (Sharples et al., 2009). Mobile devices will allow for learning ‘on the go’ to travel to and from school and be happening both inside and outside of classroom at any time (Dale & Pymm, 2009).
Most children have access to at least one or more mobile device at home whether it be their parents or their own. Using the technology that is otherwise used for entertainment and socializing does not reduce its value as a tool for learning, but instead helps to bridge the gap between institutional and personal learning (Sharples et al., 2009).
Children will be more motivated to learn and engage with a topic if they are able to interact with it using something they enjoy. There is an incredible range of Applications, videos or even Podcasts available for educational purposes available online.
Find out more about the possibilities by clicking Education - Apps
What are the Possible Limitations of Mobile learning?
Your probably thinking now… “This is fantastic! Why aren’t all schools getting involved in the classroom?!” At this early stage of the introduction of mobile learning, being able to monitor the students Internet access and activity on devices is probably the biggest factor that is preventing schools from participating. It will require upgrades in the technical infrastructure
provided by the school and this is not a cheap exercise (Dale & Pymm, 2009). Is it a Sacrifice that schools are willing or able to face? Even if the technology department investigates an update in Internet security and monitoring. There is no way to prevent students in using their personal Internet for inappropriate behaviors at school.
Some ways to get around this would be to use Classroom iPads/ iPods that are connected to the school Internet. If the Internet security restricts inappropriate use, then it will just be left up to the teacher to carefully monitor students. If students are working in pairs or groups rather than individually, they should be able to monitor students work more closely.
How should it be used in the Classroom?
Teachers should use Mobile technology “not only to ‘deliver’ learning but to facilitate it, making use of the facilities in current mobile devices for voice communication, note-taking, photography, and time management.” (Sharples et al., 2009)
Transforming Education with Mobile Learning
Dale, C. & Pymm, J. M. (2009). Podagogy: The iPod as a learning technology. Active Learning in Higher Education,10(1), 84 -96. Retrieved from http://alh.sagepub.com/content/10/1/84
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
Sharples, M., Arnedillo-S’anchez, Milrad, M., & Vavoula, G. (2009). Mobile learning small devices, big issues. In Balacheff et al. (Eds.), Technology-Enhanced Learning (pp. 233-249). doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-9827-7 14