Mobile (M)-Learning

I viewed a vodcast in which Rob Power discussed the difficulties in defining mobile learning and why mobile technologies are important in teaching and learning with International Association for Mobile Learning President Dr. Aga Palalas.

One of the ‘bad raps’ e-learning has been burdened with is that it is merely the transference of face-to-face learning to an electronic format; an interaction with technology.  Mobile learning, on the other hand, was never intended to imply mobile technologies; its unique pedagogical advantages and characteristics are not based on the technology. Instead, as Palalas points out, technological tools enable or mediate mobile learning. John Traxler supports this view by suggesting that definitions and descriptions of mobile learning are rather techno-centric, not very stable and based around a set of hardware devices, which serve to draw attention to mobile learning’s technical limitations rather than promoting its unique pedagogic advantages and characteristics.  Notably, Traxler points out that m-learning can provide learning to individuals, communities and countries that were previously too remote, socially or geographically, for other types of educational initiative. A recent example – For the past 3 years, UNESCO has been working to provide advice and guidance to governments and other stakeholders seeking to leverage increasingly ubiquitous and affordable mobile technologies for learning http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/themes/icts/m4ed/.

Items of interest from the class discussion forum on the topic:

  • Your device is an access point. The information you found on Google is the supporting resource that you accessed, because the device enabled you to. The mLearning encompasses why you needed the information, how you accessed it, and then what you did with those resources. (Rob)
  • Posted by Angela (via Gutierrez):

elearning-vs-mlearning

 

References:

John Tranier, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 1(1), 1-12, January-March 2009. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/171500/Learning_in_a_Mobile_Age

Karla Gutierrez, Understanding The Difference Between eLearning and mLearning, 2015. Retrieved from http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/difference-between-elearning-and-mlearning     

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Author: kathleenlegris

I am an academic specialist working with the Centre for Higher Education Research and Development at the University of Manitoba. Interested in teaching and learning and all things EdTech.

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