From Dawn Sweet at IntegrateIT
Mobile computing technologies—wireless or ubiquitous computing technologies— such as wireless access points, laptops, tablet-PC’s, PDA’s, cell phones, Bluetooth enabled devices, and fusion devices are those devices that have the capabilities to offer learning experiences that can effectively engage and educate contemporary learners in a variety of new ways not typically allowed by conventional desktop computers.
There’s no doubt about it, mobile learning is on the rise. Mobile learning, or M-Learning, is learning that happens across locations, or that takes advantage of learning opportunities offered by portable technologies such as cell phones, iPods or PDAs. Mobile learning allows students to access and view instructional content while on the move.
Mobile Computing + eLearning = M-Learning
Five Characteristics of Mobile Learning Technologies
- Portability Ability to move a device within a learning environment or to different environments with ease.
- Social Interactivity Allows for data sharing and collaboration between users.
- Context Sensitivity Ability to gather and respond to real or simulated data unique to a current location, environment, or time.
- Connectivity Ability to be digitally connected for the purpose of communication of data in any environment.
- Individuality Ability to use the technology to provide scaffoldng on difficult activities and lesson customization for individual learners.
These characteristics allow mobile computing technologies to produce unique learning experiences, such as, authentic environment; recognition and reflection on accidental learning; enhanced capabilities to correspond with subject matter experts from the classroom to the field; the ability to share data over diverse geographic locations; and the ability to be individually intrigued by the learning at hand that traditional computing environments don’t typically allow for. In addition, the personal nature of these devices provides opportunities for seamless integration of the unit into everyday lifestyles encouraging continuous learning opportunities regardless of time sensitivity and location.