Mobile Learning

What is Mobile Learning?

The pervasiveness of mobile devices is changing the way humans interact with information and their surroundings. Smart devices, including phones, tablets, and watches, are now capable of acting as miniaturized computers; their storage space and processing power has increased dramatically with each subsequent release. Mobile learning, or m-learning, leverages this technology to make learning portable, meaning a learner can have access to materials virtually anywhere. The first wave of m-learning came in the form of apps, which are small, low-cost software extensions to devices. Proving to be a hotbed of development, numerous educational apps have been created, including: language learning apps, math and science tutorials, and more. Since their release, mobile apps have become adopted into the mainstream, seemingly plateauing the trajectory of m-learning. Although recently educators have witnessed the revival of m-learning through a subsequent demand for more online learning opportunities and an increase in BYOD initiatives across institutions. Overtime, m-learning continues to gain traction in education because it is particularly useful for learning as it enables people to learn and experience new concepts wherever they are, often across multiple devices.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • As online course delivery becomes increasingly popular, libraries supporting learners should investigate similar delivery methods for student support, collections, and engagement. The standard library info lit course should be available in multipole formats and channels, for example. Providing opportunities to gain knowledge—either formally within networked courses delivered across multiple channels by the university, or via services, collections, and access made seamless and available to anyone wherever they may be—is key for both LIS professors and librarians. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 10, 2016 I agree, as different types of students (commuters, older students returning to school, students with families) all rely on different formats and channels and may rely on mobile more frequently. - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 12, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • I see a trend away from developing apps (too costly and difficult to keep current and across too many platforms) and trending toward responsive design, unless the app is something more robust like an LMS and takes advantage of smartphone capabilities. - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 12, 2016
  • Apps are used widely in many training activities, such as driver lisence training and orientaion activities, users enjoy use them. However, there are still many problems for apps usage.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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