What is Mobile Learning?


People increasingly expect to be connected to the Internet and the rich tapestry of knowledge it contains wherever they go. Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, enable users to do just that via cellular networks and wireless power. At the end of 2012, the mobile market consisted of over 6.5 billion subscribers, with a majority living in developing countries. The improvement of mobile networks and affordability of smartphones and tablets is pointing to a future where every individual will have access to the world wide web via their handheld computer or phone. The unprecedented evolution of these devices has opened the door to myriad uses for education. Learning institutions all over the world are exploring ways to make their websites, educational materials, resources, and opportunities all available online and optimized for mobile devices. The significance for teaching and learning is that these devices can facilitate every manner of educational experience, allowing learners to access remote laboratories and conduct experiment, and organize virtual video meetings with peers all over the world, and collaborate on shared documents or projects in the cloud among other things. Over the past several years, mobile learning has earned its place as a top priority for entrepreneurs and educators that are exploring mobile learning solutions and researching their supporting pedagogies.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • With overall smart phone sale rising by 20% in 2014 and Apple reporting a 46% rise in sales in the last quarter from 2013, the smart phone has become the first point of entry to the World Wide Web in everyday life. Though 57% of smart phone owners are over 45, 48% over 55 and 25% over 65, the highest (%) age group to own a smart phone is the 18 – 24 year old group.
    A survey by Thinkhouse on smart phone usage in Ireland indicates 80% of 18 – 24 year olds own and use their smart phone 2 – 4 hours a day. Type of usage includes texting, whatapps, and snapchat.
    Students mostly use their phone for communication. The first step to integrating mobile phone use to teaching and learning is exploring new design models to engage students in communication for learning, peer to peer, tutor to student and within a community.
    http://thinkhouse.ie/downloads/mobilereport/Full-Report-Thinkhouse-Mobile-Youth-Survey.pdf- Teresa.Logan-Phelan Teresa.Logan-Phelan Jan 29, 2015
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  • Although not specifically a mobile issue, using social media and in particular Twitter has great potential in terms of sharing documents and communication and there is no doubt that mobile technology is an important platform through which to access social media particulatrly when in class where social media can be used a s teaching tool.~
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Reviewing design models to promote and motivate collaborative and networked learning via mobile devices.- Teresa.Logan-Phelan Teresa.Logan-Phelan Jan 29, 2015
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  • In Ireland we are still lagging behind other developed countries in terms of the availability and speed of Internet connectivity in the form of Broadband and 4G.
  • The issues around implementing mobile technology. Good report on technology issues
    from Educause at http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/top-10-it-issues-2015-inflection-point - anne.walsh anne.walsh Feb 13, 2015

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on third-level education in Ireland?

  • There is great potential for integrating mobile devices to social and community learning, there is a need for a 'cultural' change among students to encourage the use of such devices for active learning. Lecturers to lead in the change.- Teresa.Logan-Phelan Teresa.Logan-Phelan Jan 29, 2015
  • There is great possibility of using this technology to create a more engaging learning experience particularly in the large theatre style sessions. Besides the technical issues which can prevent the seamless use of this technology the cultural issues are more significant and take time to overcome. Perhaps when second level schools make more use of these types of technologies and approaches students would come to expect this type of interaction as pat of their learning environments. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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  • I have recently been advising fellow lectures of the applicability of Apps and how they might be implemented in their teaching and learning. One particular App that I have used and demonstrated to other lecturers ishttp://socrative.com/. In my college we found it too expensive to buy 'clickers' that could be used to provide real-time interactive feedback in class. The use of socrative has enabled me and colleagues to overcome this financial difficulty.
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