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m-learning or mobile learning is defined as

"learning across multiple contexts, through

social and content interactions, using personal
electronic devices. [1] :page 4 A form of elearning distance education , m-learners can
use mobile device educational technology in
many locations at their time convenience. [2]
M-learning technologies include handheld
computers, MP3 players, notebooks, mobile
phones and tablets. M-learning focuses on the
mobility of the learner, interacting with
portable technologies. Using mobile tools for
creating learning aids and materials becomes
an important part of informal learning .[3]
M-learning is convenient in that it is
accessible from virtually anywhere. Sharing is
almost instantaneous among everyone using
the same content, which leads to the reception
of instant feedback and tips. This highly active
process has proven to increase exam scores
from the fiftieth to the seventieth percentile,
and cut the dropout rate in technical fields by
22 percent. [4] M-learning also brings strong
portability by replacing books and notes with
small devices, filled with tailored learning
Mobile learning delivers e-learning on small
form factor.
New mobile technology, such as hand-held
cellular based devices, is playing a large role in
redefining how we receive information. The
recent advances in mobile technology are
changing the primary purpose of mobile
devices from making or receiving calls to
retrieving the latest information on any subject.
"Numerous agencies including the Department
of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), Intelligence community, and
law enforcement are utilizing mobile
technology are utilizing mobile technology for
information management." [5]
The use of mobile learning

in the military is becoming

increasingly common due
to low cost and high
Classroom applications combine the use of
handheld computers , PDAs , smartphones or
handheld voting systems (such as clickers)
with traditional resources. ( Tremblay 2010 ).
Class management
Mobile devices(such as a Pocket PC) in the
classroom can be used to enhance group
collaboration among students through
communication applications, interactive
displays, and video features. [6]
Existing mobile technology can replace
cumbersome resources such as textbooks,
visual aids, and presentation technology. [7]
Interactive and multi-mode technology
allows students to engage and manipulate
Mobile Device features with WIFI capabilities
allow for on-demand access to information. [7]
Access to classroom activities and
information on mobile devices provides a
continuum for learning inside and outside the
classroom. [8]
In a literature review conducted by FutureLab,
researchers found that increased
communication, collaboration, and
understanding of concepts was a result of
mobile technology applications. [8]
Class management
Mobile devices are used both in the brick-andmortar setting as well as in the online setting
to enhance the education experience.
The mobile phone (through text SMS
notices) can be used especially for distance
education or with students whose courses
require them to be highly mobile and in
particular to communicate information
regarding availability of assignment results,
venue changes and cancellations, etc. It can
also be of value to business people, e.g. sales

representatives who do not wish to waste time

away from their busy schedules to attend
formal training events.
Mobile devices facilitate online interaction
between instructor and student, and student to
Blended learning takes the classroom out of
a traditional brick-and-mortar setting.
Students become part of virtual communities
used for collaboration. Blended learning
transitions away from a traditional teaching
environment to a customized and interactive
web platform for the user [8]
Podcasting consists of listening to audio
recordings of lectures. It can be used to review
live lectures ( Clark & Westcott 2007 ) and to
provide opportunities for students to rehearse
oral presentations. Podcasts may also provide
supplemental information to enhance
traditional lectures ( McGarr 2009) ( Steven &
Teasley 2009 ).
Psychological research suggests that university
students who download podcast lectures
achieve substantially higher exam results than
those who attend the lecture in person (only in
cases in which students take notes ) ( Callaway
& Ewen 2009 ).
Podcasts may be delivered using syndication ,
although this method of delivery is not always
easily adopted ( Lee, Miller & Newnham 2009).
At work
M-learning in a workplace can be very different
from a school's context. Although employees
do occasionally attend face to face training
events, the majority of work-based learning
happens on the job, often at the moment of
need. Because of this, m-learning is being
used in a wider range of modes:
On the job training for someone who
accesses training on a mobile device.
Just in time training to solve a problem or
gain an update.
Performance support. Immediate access to

tools to streamline a work-task

Reference guides and ebooks
Due to the very diverse training needs across a
large organisation, self-serve learning is more
common than is found at the school, or
college level. Mobile is seen as an effective
way to reach a large number of employees
easier and more effectively. [9]
Lifelong learning and self-learning
Mobile technologies and approaches, i.e.
Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL),
are also used to assist in language learning .
For instance handheld computers, cell phones,
and podcasting ( Horkoff Kayes2008 ) have
been used to help people acquire and develop
language skills.
Improving levels of literacy, numeracy, and
participation in education amongst young
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.
Developing workforce skills and readiness
among youth and young adults. [10]
The value of mobile learning [11] Tutors who
have used m-learning programs and
techniques have made the following value
statements in favor of m-learning.
It is important to bring new technology into
the classroom.
Devices used are more lightweight than
books and PCs.
Mobile learning can be used to diversify the
types of learning activities students partake in
(or a blended learning approach).
Mobile learning supports the learning
process rather than being integral to it.
Mobile learning can be a useful add-on tool

for students with special needs. However, for

SMS and MMS this might be dependent on the
students specific disabilities or difficulties
Mobile learning can be used as a hook to
re-engage disaffected youth.
Benefits [2][12]
Relatively inexpensive opportunities, as the
cost of mobile devices are significantly less
than PCs and laptops
Multimedia content delivery and creation
Continuous and situated learning support
Decrease in training costs
Potentially a more rewarding learning
Technical challenges include
Connectivity and battery life
Screen size and key size[13]
Meeting required bandwidth for nonstop/fast
Number of file/asset formats supported by a
specific device
Content security or copyright issue from
authoring group
Multiple standards, multiple screen sizes,
multiple operating systems
Reworking existing E-Learning materials for
mobile platforms
Limited memory[14]
Risk of sudden obsolescence [15]
Social and educational challenges include
Accessibility and cost barriers for end users:
Digital divide .
How to assess learning outside the
How to support learning across many
contexts [16]
Content's security or pirating issues
Frequent changes in device models/
technologies/functionality etc.
Developing an appropriate theory of learning
for the mobile age

Conceptual differences between e-learning

and m-learning
Design of technology to support a lifetime of
learning [17][18]
Tracking of results and proper use of this
No restriction on learning timetable
Personal and private information and
No demographic boundary
Disruption of students' personal and
academic lives[19]
Access to and use of the technology in
developing countries [20]
Risk of distraction [2]
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 m-learning community is still
fragmented, with different national
perspectives, differences between academia
and industry, and between the school, higher
education and lifelong learning sectors. [21]
Current areas of growth include:
Testing, surveys, job aids and just-in-time
(J.I.T.) learning
Location-based and contextual learning
Social-networked mobile learning
Mobile educational gaming
Delivering m-Learning to cellular phones
using two way SMS messaging and voicebased CellCasting (podcasting to phones with
interactive assessments) [21]
Cloud computer file storage [12]
See also
Instructional simulation
International Journal of Mobile and Blended
Offline mobile learning

1. ^ Crompton, H. (2013). A historical
overview of mobile learning: Toward learnercentered education. In Z. L. Berge & L. Y.
Muilenburg (Eds.), Handbook of mobile
learning (pp. 314). Florence, KY: Routledge.
2. ^ a b c Crescente, Mary Louise; Lee, Doris
(March 2011). "Critical issues of m-learning:
design models, adoption processes, and future
trends". Journal of the Chinese Institute of
Industrial Engineers 28 (2): 111123.
doi: 10.1080/10170669.2010.548856 .
3. ^ Trentin G. & Repetto M. (Eds) (2013).
Using Network and Mobile Technology to
Bridge Formal and Informal Learning,
Woodhead/Chandos Publishing Limited,
Cambridge, UK, ISBN 978-1-84334-699-9 .
4. ^ Saylor, Michael (2012). The Mobile Wave:
How Mobile Intelligence Will Change
Everything . Perseus Books/Vanguard Press.
p. 176. ISBN 978-1593157203 .
5. ^ Chet Hosmer, Carlton Jeffcoat, Matthew
Davis, Thomas McGibbon "Use of Mobile
Technology for Information Collection and
Dissemination" , Data & Analysis Center for
Software , March 2011
6. ^ Murray, Orrin; Nicole Olcese (November
December 2011). "Teaching and Learning with
iPads, Ready or Not?". TechTrends 55 (6).
doi: 10.1007/s11528-011-0540-6 .
EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative . May 4, 2010.
8. ^ a b c Naismith, Laura; Lonsdale, Peter;
Vavoula, Giasemi; Sharples, Mike (2004).
"Literature Review in Mobile Technologies and
Learning". FutureLab Series (11).
9. ^ Kahle-Piasecki, Lisa; Miao, Chao; Ariss,
Sonny (2012). "Managers and the Mobile
Device: m-learning and m-business -

Implications for the United States and China".

Journal of Marketing Development and
Competitiveness 6 (1): 5668.
10. ^ "Youth Unemployment: Can Mobile
Technology Improve Employability?" . Global
Development Professionals Network . The
Guardian. February 26, 2013. Retrieved August
4, 2013.
11. ^ Mobile learning in Practice: Piloting a
Mobile Learning Teachers Toolkit in Further
Education Colleges. C. Savil-Smith et al.
(2006), p. 8
12. ^ a b Elias, Tanya (February 2011).
"Universal Instructional Design Principles for
Mobile Learning". International Review of
Research in Open and Distance Learning 12
(2): 143156.
13. ^ Maniar, N.; Bennett, E., Hand, S. & Allan,
G (2008). "The effect of mobile phone screen
size on video based learning". Journal of
Software 3 (4): 5161. doi: 10.4304/
jsw.3.4.51-61 .
14. ^ Elias, Tanya (February 2011). "Universal
Instructional Design Principles for Mobile
Learning". International Review of Research in
Open and Distance Learning 12 (2).
15. ^ Crescente, Mary Louise; Lee, Doris
(March 2011). "Critical issues of m-learning:
design models, adoption processes, and future
trends". Journal of the Chinese Institute of
Industrial Engineers 28 (2).
16. ^ "Whats Holding Back Mobile Phones for
Education?" . Stanford Social Innovation
Review Blog . Standford Social Innovation
Review. February 11, 2013. Retrieved August 4,
17. ^ Sharples, M. (2000). "The design of
personal mobile technologies for lifelong
learning". Computers & Education 34 (3-4):
177193. doi: 10.1016/
S0360-1315(99)00044-5 .
18. ^ Moore, J. (2009). "A portable document
search engine to support off-line mobile
learning" . Proceedings of IADIS International

Conference Mobile Learning . Barcelona, Spain.

19. ^ Masters, K.; Ng'ambi D. (2007). "After
the broadcast: disrupting health sciences
students' lives with SMS". Proceedings of
IADIS International Conference Mobile
Learning . Lisbon, Portugal. pp. 171175.
ISBN 978-972-8924-36-2 .
20. ^ Masters, K. (2005). "Low-key mlearning: a realistic introduction of m-learning
to developing countries" . Seeing,
Understanding, Learning in the Mobile Age .
Budapest, Hungary, April 2005.
21. ^ a b Singh, Mandeep (2010). "M-learning:
A New Approach to Learn Better". International
Journal of Education and Allied Sciences 2 (2):