Mobile Learning

Sharples, Mike, Arnedillo-Sánchez, Inmaculada, Milrad, Marcelo and Vavoula, Giasemi (2009) Mobile Learning. In: Technology-Enhanced Learning. Springer Netherlands, pp. 233-249. ISBN 978-1-4020-9826-0, 978-1-4020-9827-7


Over the past 10 years mobile learning has grown from a minor research interest to a set of significant projects in schools, workplaces, museums, cities and rural areas around the world. Each project has shown how mobile technology can offer new opportunities for learning that extend within and beyond the traditional teacher-led classroom. Yet, the very diversity of the projects makes it difficult to capture the essence of mobile learning or to show how it contributes to the theory and practice of education. This chapter attempts to address the central issues of what is mobile learning and how can it be designed and evaluated. Drawing on a theory of mobile learning as “the processes of coming to know through conversations across multiple contexts amongst people and personal interactive technologies” (Sharples 2007 p. 225), we discuss how learning contexts are created through interaction and how portable and ubiquitous technologies can support effective conversations for learning. We draw on the findings from recent major projects to show how people artfully engage with their surroundings, peers and technology to create impromptu sites of learning and to carry their conversations from place to place, from time to time, from topic to topic.

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