User:Swarnalata/Concept of ICT

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Role of Mobile Technology in Learning and Teaching

Dr.Swarnalata Harichandan Principal, H.B.B.Ed.College, Vashi, Navi Mumbai-400 703, India E-mail:

This paper provides an introduction to the use of mobile technology in learning and teaching. It describes the role of mobile learning in support of learning and teaching.


Mobile learning is a natural extension to conventional e-learning practice through which mobile technology allows a greater

degree of access to learning resources. Currently most e-learning experiences are based on learner ‘s accessing resources

through fixed notes such as desk top PC to which access is generally restricted by either location ,time of day or both.

Mobile learning, has different meanings for different communities. Although related to e-learning and distance education, it

is distinct in its focus on learning across contexts and learning with mobile devices. One definition of mobile learning is:

Learning that happens across locations, or that takes advantage of learning opportunities offered by portable technologies.

In other words, mobile learning decreases limitation of learning location with the mobility of general portable devices.

The term covers: learning with portable technologies, where the focus is on the technology (which could be in a fixed

location, such as a classroom); learning across contexts, where the focus is on the mobility of the learner, interacti

ng with portable or fixed technology; and learning in a mobile society, with a focus on how society and its institutions can

accommodate and support the learning of an increasingly mobile population that is not satisfied with existing learning methodologies.


Over the past ten 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. The mobile learning community is still fragmented, with different national perspectives, differences between academia and industry, and between the school, higher education and lifelong learning sectors. Current areas of growth include: • Testing, surveys, job aids and just in time learning • Location-based and contextual learning • Social-networked mobile learning • Mobile educational gaming • "Lowest common denominator" mobile learning to cellular phones using two way SMS messaging and voice-based Cell Casting (podcasting to phones with interactive assessments)


The scope of mobile learning includes: • Children and students using handheld computers, PDAs or handheld voting systems in a classroom or lecture room. • Students using mobile devices in the classroom to enhance group collaboration among students and instructors using a Pocket PC. • On the job training for someone who accesses training on a mobile device "just in time" to solve a problem or gain an update. • Learning in museums or galleries with handheld or wearable technologies • Learning outdoors, for example on field trips. • The use of personal technology to support informal or lifelong learning, such as using handheld dictionaries and other devices for language learning. Mobile Assisted Learning Languages (MALL) is a term used to describe application of handheld computers or cell phones to assist in language learning. • Improving levels of literacy, numeracy and participation in education amongst young adults. • To provide audiovisual support in order to enhance training that has been provided in a corporate business or other classroom environment. • Using the communication features of a mobile phone as part of a larger learning activity (e.g.: sending media or texts into a central portfolio, or exporting audio files from a learning platform to your phone) • Class management (especially for distance education or students whose course requires them to be highly mobile), through text SMS notices regarding availability of assignment results, venue changes and cancellations, etc.


Technical challenges include:

• Connectivity and battery life

• Screen size and key size

• Ability for authors to visualize mobile phones for delivery

• Multiple standards, multiple screen sizes, multiple operating systems

• Repurposing existing e-Learning materials for mobile platforms

Social and educational challenges include:

• Accessibility and cost barriers for end users: Digital divide.

• How to assess learning outside the classroom

• How to support learning across many contexts

• Developing an appropriate theory of learning for the mobile age

• Conceptual differences between e- and m-learning

• Design of technology to support a lifetime of learning

• Tracking of results and proper use of this information

• No restriction on learning timetable

• Personal and private information and content

• No demographic boundary

• Disruption of students' personal and academic lives

• Access to and use of the technology in developing countries


Most personal technologies can support mobile learning, including

• Personal Digital Assistant, in the classroom and outdoors

• Tablet PC, UMPC, mobile phone, camera phone and Smart phone.

• Learning Mobile Author, e.g. for authoring and publishing WAP, Java ME, and Smart phone. • Personal audio player, e.g. for listening to audio recordings of lectures

• Handled audio and multimedia guides, in museums and galleries • Handled game console, modern gaming consoles such as Sony PSP or Nintendo DS Technical and delivery support for mobile learning: • 3GP For compression and delivery method of audiovisual content associated with Mobile Learning • Wi-Fi gives access to instructors and resources via internet • GPRS mobile data service, provides high speed connection and data transfer rate

There are many ways in which m-learning is conducted, depending on the device one is using. One of the better devices to use

In m-learning is PDAs. On a PDA, learners can access rich media resources (animation, sound, photography…) which will make

the platform ideal for mobile learning. There are already tools avai lable to create content for PDA devices, one of them being My Learning Author and Learning Mobile Author from Hot Lava Software.


Before taking decision about the application of mobile technology in teaching and learning each institution needs to ask whether it fulfils the following criteria based on action model: Access: How accessible is the technology for the learners? How flexible is it for a particular target group? Cost: What is the cost structure of the technology? What is the unit cost per learner? Teaching and Learning: What kinds of learning are needed? What instructional approaches will best meet these needs? Is this technology best for supporting teaching and learning? Interactivity and User friendliness: What kind of interaction does this technology enable? How easy is it to use? Organisational Issues: What are the organisational requirements and the barriers to remove before this technology can be used successfully? What changes in the organisation needs to be made? Novelty: How new is this technology? Speed: How quickly can courses be mounted with this technology? How quickly materials can be changed?


Clear objectives, good teaching materials relevant to learners need are essential. Professional production and design is essential. All media should be available to teachers and learners. High quality interaction with learning material and interaction between teacher and other learners is essential for effective learning. Teachers and instructors need training in the choice and use of appropriate technology. Team work is essential because subject experts, media specialists and instructional designers are essential on every team. Technology is not the issue but how and what do we want the students to learn and where is the main concern. Therefore we should concentrate on designing the learning experiences and not on tasting the technology. There is more than enough technology around now to allow us to teach in whatever way we choose. Mobile learning is one such means that is accessible virtually from anywhere which provides access to all the different learning materials available. It is collaborative which in turn also leads to receiving instant feedback and tips. It also brings strong portability by replacing books and notes with small RAMs filled with tailored learning contents. In addition this kind of learning is engaging and fun. Mobile access devises are generally used to access electronic learning resources such as e-mail, simple website and virtual learning environment.

Today’s technical and economical environment is developed enough for the broad use of mobile learning. So recommendations for mobile learning should be deepened and broadened the use of mobile learning in more attractive and effective ways. As mobile industry develops, mobile phones are getting more and more powerful. Mobile phones will have better processing capability and better display quality. Mobile learning should take advantage of this developing trend to develop better materials. Mobile has the potential to be used in a big variety of ways for the education purpose. For example, mobile phone can also be used for education administration. Mobile phones can be used to inform students with changed schedules. Suitable and sufficient studying material and contents is one of the key aspects to implement mobile learning successfully. According to our experience, students are fully capable of developing contents and materials for mobile learning. So schools and educational institutes can look to learning mobile author for different ways to encourage students to develop these materials. With more and more learning materials available, mobile learning can make greater and greater contribution to the improvement of education.


Bates, A.W. (1995),”Technology, Open Learning and Distance Education”, London, Routledge. Website: Website: