Lots of activity in the mobile learning arena over the summer. Here is a sampling of some of them:
Gerry McKiernan has accumulated a large number of mobile learning related resources and news items in a short amount of time on his Mobile Libraries blog. Some are a little bit older than others, but nevertheless, he’s got plenty of stuff to choose from. Some of my favorites include posts about iPhone children’s books and mobile learning research. Not a lot of original writing, but a great compilation of mobile resources.
In contrast, Rob deLorenzo at the Mobile Learner has some great pieces of thoughtful writing about mobile learning. His two most recent ones that are must-reads are Addressing Some Critiques of Mobile Learning and Addressing Some More Critiques of Mobile Learning.
Related news on mobile learning:
…The mobile Web in the United States, unfortunately, isn’t as far along in the game as some Europeans believe. The U.S. telecom carriers have had closed networks for years….
The mobile phone is gaining momentum in the lives of developing world children. Already classrooms in major cities and elite schools have a chorus of ring tones throughout the day. Soon, this sound may be ubiquitous even in rural and poor schools, like it already is in the developed world. A change almost inconceivable just a few short years ago. But is this change beneficial to the educational objectives of school systems, especially when compared with the capabilities of computers, a technology only just recently embraced? …
Are cellphones and other mobile devices powerful learning tools or intolerable classroom distractions? For Elliot Soloway, the answer is a no-brainer. Cellphones, hand-held gaming gadgets, and netbooks—all relatively cheap, seemingly ever-present mobile devices used (and often abused) by today’s teenagers—can engage middle and high school students in learning inside and outside of school, he and other advocates of mobile learning say.
In addition, there are some new papers and reports available, including:
The purpose of this study is to give an overview of children’s and young people’s reported access to content when using mobile phones, games consoles and portable media players, with a particular focus on experiences of “inappropriate content” when using these devices to go online. The study was a quantitative survey conducted in March/April 2009 in the UK, comprising 797 face-to-face interviews with children aged 7-16 and their parent/carer. This report presents findings relating to:
- Ownership and use of mobile phones, games consoles and portable media players among children and young people;
- Parents’/carers’ concerns, rules and restrictions about their children’s use of these devices;
- Parents’/carers’ awareness of the existence of and use of access controls;
- Children’s and young people’s experience of encountering inappropriate content; and
- Children’s and young people’s sources of information about staying safe online and what information they feel is needed; and any further help/support that parents/carers think they need to help keep their children safe online.
Nothing really earth shattering reported here, but interesting nonetheless.
John Traxler’s paper, Learning in a mobile age, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 1 (1), 1-12.
The launch of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning is one of several indicators that mobile learning globally is reaching a critical and sustainable momentum and identity. The past six or seven years have seen a host of pilots and initiatives across sectors and across countries and these have established firstly that mobile learning takes learning to individuals, communities and countries where access to learning was challenging or problematic and secondly that mobile learning enhances, enriches and extends how learning is understood. Environmental factors have meant that this development has been haphazard. The mobile learning community is now faced with broader challenges of scale, durability, equity, embedding and blending in addition to the earlier and more specific challenges of pedagogy and technology, but these developments take place in the context of societies where mobile devices, systems and technologies have a far wider impact than just mobile learning as it is currently conceived. This paper looks at the definition and evolution of mobile learning as the starting point for a discussion of this wider impact.
Good overview piece on developments in mobile learning.