What is Mobile Learning?


People increasingly expect to be connected to the Internet and the rich tapestry of knowledge it contains wherever they go. Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, enable users to do just that via cellular networks and wireless power. At the end of 2012, the mobile market consisted of over 6.5 billion subscribers, with a majority living in developing countries. The growing number of users, coupled with the unprecedented evolution of these devices, has opened the door to myriad uses for education. Learning institutions all over the world are exploring ways to make their websites, educational materials, resources, and opportunities all available online and optimized for mobile devices. The most compelling facet of mobile learning right now is mobile apps. Smartphones and tablets have redefined what we mean by mobile computing, and in the past four to five years, apps have become a hotbed of development, resulting in a plethora of learning and productivity apps. These tools, ranging from annotation and mind-mapping apps to apps that allow users to explore outer space or get an in-depth look at complex chemicals, enable users 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 the educational sector you know best?

  • Mobile learning will enable teachers to go out into the world with their students. The mobile devices can be used as measuring devices and to take notes and share. This opens up a lot of possibilities to make education more relevant and engaging. You can go out and do measurement of the noise levels of a road as a part of a science class, and afterwards use the results to write to the local council in the social science class. The use of mobile devices will make this easier. - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 17, 2013 Mobile devices can also be used to give immediate response in the classroom. This is an easy way to check if everyone in class is paying attention. - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 27, 2013
  • Mobile Learning is well linked to the topic: BYOD.
    Students are already using their smartphones or tablets/pads to learn, but so far, mainly outside the classroom. Learning occurs through game-like apps such as Dragon Box.
    Mobile apps are important because our students can access learning concepts from anywhere. Smartphones and pads can be used for input: Pictures, sound, video, temp, speed etc. They allow our students to capture data from fieldwork, document experiments, work progress and make presentations. Another area is art, design and music.
    There is a large and growing variety of Apps and I think we have just seen the beginning. (- rolf.oistein.barman-jenssen rolf.oistein.barman-jenssen Sep 18, 2013)
  • Mobile learning opens up possibilities for linking formal and informal ways of learning. - ola.erstad ola.erstad Sep 29, 2013
  • This will expand and develop learning to be present anywhere and anytime. This will challenge the school's permanent framework for learning in time, space, etc. - heidi heidi Sep 30, 2013

(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 Norwegian K-12 education?

  • Easier access to apps and tools will help the teachers utilize other spaces than the classroom. At the same time it will enable pupils to decide when and where they will do homework or other learning activities. - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 17, 2013 The use of mobile devices to do anonymous questions in class can help teacher student interaction and provide a better education. This could be an easy way to make sure everybody are marching to the beat, or know what the goal of the class is. - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 27, 2013
  • This topic was included in the previous Horizon report, as a key trend, and it has happened - It is important for learning. But the potential is greater than what we see today.(- rolf.oistein.barman-jenssen rolf.oistein.barman-jenssen Sep 18, 2013)

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

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project sharing form.