Monday, July 12, 2010

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative > M-Learning and Mobility

Using portable computing devices (such as laptops, tablet PCs, PDAs, and smart phones) with wireless networks enables mobility and mobile learning, allowing teaching and learning to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. Within the classroom, mobile learning gives instructors and learners increased flexibility and new opportunities for interaction. Mobile technologies support learning experiences that are collaborative, accessible, and integrated with the world beyond the classroom.
Questions the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) explores include:

  • What is the rationale for implementing mobile learning technologies?
  • How does ubiquitous access to a wireless network change the dynamics of learning both in and out of the classroom?
  • What are best practices for using mobile learning?
  • What end-user support is important for mobile learning? How can it best be provided?
Get an Overview of the Topic

The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, vol. 8, no. 2, 2007. This special issue addresses some of the issues and challenges of mobile learning, and provides suggestions and recommendations for mobile learning and for research on mobile learning.

• Ellen D. Wagner, "Enabling Mobile Learning," EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no.3, May/June 2005, pp. 40-53.

Laura Naismith et al., Report 11: Literature Review in Mobile Technologies and Learning, Futurelab Series (Bristol, U.K.: Futurelab, 2005).

• Bryan Alexander, "Going Nomadic: Mobile Learning in Higher Education," EDUCAUSE Review, Vol. 39, No. 5, September/October 2004.

Judy Roberts, Naomi Beke, Katharine Janzen, Dawn Mercer, Elaine Soetaert, Harvesting Moments of Time, Mobile Learning Project Consortium, 2003.

Additional Resources

Examples / Podcasts / Presentations / Relevant Web Sites /  Related Writings


EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research: Using Mobile Technology to Enhance Students' Educational Experiences

This ECAR case study examined the educational applications of mobile technologies at three (3) Dutch universities. The universities in the study had explored the use and effects of these technologies on learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. Projects to investigate this were based on location-based learning, network extension through wireless access, and fully mobile users.

ELI 2006 Spring Focus Session, Mobility and Mobile Learning--The Next Phase of Anytime, Anywhere Learning

Two examples are available from the event's application parlors:

Tangible Flags: Collaborative Educational Technology to Enhance Grade School Field Trips, Gene Chipman, Human Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland

◦Duke iPod Project, Marilyn Lombardi, Senior Strategist, Office of Information Technology, Duke University

• Georgia College and State University, iPods @ GCSU

At GC&SU, faculty considered the potential learning applications of the iPod, which led to pilot projects based on well-defined pedagogical goals. In turn, this generated proof-of-concept and broad-based faculty support for further integration of the iPod into the learning environment.

•Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), e-Learning Programme, Innovative Practice with e-Learning

Developed by JISC, a major postsecondary / higher education technology organization in the United Kingdom, this site provides access to a number of resources for understanding and using mobile technologies to support teaching and learning. Among those resources is the publication on which the site is based, Innovative Practice with e-Learning: A Good Practice Guide to Embedding Mobile and Wireless Technologies into Everyday Practice.

• Project Numina at UNC-Wilmington

"The Numina Project promotes the use of mobile computing devices such as handheld PCs and Pocket PCs in teaching college-level science and mathematics, and the development of software for these devices for science and mathematics education."

• Mobile Learning, University of Tennessee – Knoxville:

The Wireless Instructional Initiatives project, involving the University of Tennessee-Knoxville's Innovative Technology Center and faculty, investigates best practices for teaching and learning. Devices with wireless capability, such as wireless laptops, PDAs, and Tablet PCs, are integrated into courses receiving project grants. Faculty are provided with support through individualized training and pedagogical consultation on technology integration.
Source and Cite/Site Links Available At  

1 comment:

  1. For work carried out in Europe, e.g. have a look at the London Mobile Learning Group's website at

    The London Mobile Learning Group has developed a conceptual model of a cultural ecology in which educational uses of mobile technologies are viewed in ecological terms as part of a cultural and pedagogical context in transformation. For details see

    Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010) Mobile learning: structures, agency, practices. New York: Springer. Also available at:

    Members have also been involved in a number of other book mobile learning-related publications:

    Pachler, N., Pimmer, C. and Seipold, J. (eds) (in press) Work-based mobile learning: concepts and cases. A handbook for evidence-based practice. Oxford: Peter Lang

    Vavoula, G., Pachler, N. and Kukulska-Hulme, A. (eds) (2009) Researching mobile learning: frameworks, tools and research designs. Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing

    Pachler, N. (2007) (ed) Mobile learning: towards a research agenda. London: WLE Centre Occasional Papers in Work-based Learning 1. Available at:


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