Informal learning using mobile devices
1 / 20

Informal Learning using Mobile Devices - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Updated On :

Informal Learning using Mobile Devices. Gill Clough [email protected] Handheld Learning Conference – Oct. 2006. Informal learning. Informal learning can be defined as:

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Informal Learning using Mobile Devices' - EllenMixel

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Informal learning using mobile devices l.jpg

Informal Learning using Mobile Devices

Gill Clough [email protected]

Handheld Learning Conference – Oct. 2006

Informal learning l.jpg
Informal learning

  • Informal learning can be defined as:

    • Learning in which both goals and processes of learning are defined by the learner, and where the learning is “situated rather than pre-established” (Vavoula, 2004)

  • Up to 98% of adults engage in informal learning(Tough, 1979)

  • Adults spend an average of 15h per week on informal learning projects (Canadian Study: Livingston, 2000)

Research questions l.jpg
Research Questions

  • Are mobile devices used to support informal learning?

  • Does the collaborative potential of mobile devices translate into collaborative learning?

Method l.jpg

  • PDA and Smartphone enthusiasts recruited from web forums

    • PDAStreet at

    • Wormhole Creations PocketPC and Smartphone forums at

    • PocketPC Forums at

    • Handheld Learning forum at

    • Laptop and PDA User Forum on the OU student web site

  • Participants invited to complete a web questionnaire

Responses l.jpg

  • Over 200 responses

  • Of these responses, over 100 described informal learning with mobile devices

  • Are mobile devices used to support informal learning?

    • Yes

Research Question 1

Mobile learning framework l.jpg
Mobile Learning Framework

Based on functional framework for mobile learning - Patten et al., 2006

Intentional informal learning l.jpg
Intentional informal learning

  • Retrieving reference material relating to specific context

    • “Downloadable online or onsite: -Museum, zoo or aquarium tour narrative and expanded exhibit information. -Sightseeing, same thing.”

    • “Researching information on locations I intend to visit on holiday.”

    • “Downloading web sites and other documentation to have while out with family for reference.”

  • Parallels formal research scenarios such as the electronically guided museum visits described by Hsi (2003).

Intentional informal learning cont l.jpg
Intentional informal learning (cont.)

  • Access to learning material to use while out

    • “Have downloaded OU course material to my PDA and used it when travelling”

    • “Ebooks, I download music theory books and philosopy books to keep with me and read on the bus or when I’m out.”

    • “I use it to download papers that I may be interested in from specialist apps (Merck Medicus Mobile, Avantgo etc) and from RSS feeds. This is automated every morning and I check it all on the train to work.”

Intentional informal learning cont11 l.jpg
Intentional Informal Learning (cont.)

  • “I make flashcards using the notes application. To do this, i first write out the question or "front side of the flashcard" on the note. Then i make a recording of the "back side of the flashcard" and put a link to the recording right next to the first part. Then, you look at the first part, say your answer, then check it with the voice recorded correct answer.”

  • “Writing an onboard compiler … and most of my applications directly in my device, as a hobby and a never ending learning process in programming knowledge. The ultimate knowledge being for me to write a compiler ("an application to build other applications").

Intentional informal learning cont12 l.jpg
Intentional informal learning (cont.)

  • Recording notes, audio, images for later reflection

    • “Take pictures of diagrams, models and participants to aid retention of knowledge from a workshop/seminar”, or “pictures of electronic components showing connection layouts”

    • “took pictures of the textile designs with treo, wrote notes....”

    • “Making notes, keeping information with me so i can revise it often”.

Unintentional informal learning l.jpg
Unintentional informal learning

  • Mobile connectivity provides situated access to information

    • “I also frequently look things up with Google if something piques my interest. eg finding out about a band I hear, or about a place I saw on TV.”

    • “This week I looked up the bitter history of Pink Floyd while watching Live8 on TV.”

    • “I do a lot of informal learning through (and that includes using it on my smartphone). I may be thinking about a subject and then I can quickly get out my phone and look the subject matter up on the internet”

Unintentional informal learning cont l.jpg
Unintentional informal learning (cont.)

  • “I learned the history of soft drinks after checking who owned 7-UP during dinner. I learned about the Ironman Triathlon after watching the Tour de France. I looked up the greatest cowboy in the world after seeing something on TV (Ty Warner). Whenever a question comes up somewhere, I whip out my pda and look it up.”

  • “Surfing the web where a laptop is impractical (e.g. in bed - how sad!).”

Research question 2 l.jpg
Research Question 2

  • Does the collaborative potential of mobile devices translate into collaborative learning?

  • Asked if they used their device to communicate with others:

    • 100% Smartphone users responded “yes”

      • Of which 19% said they did collaborative informal learning

    • 80% PDA users responded “yes”

      • Of which 21% reported collaborative informal learning

Collaborative activities l.jpg
Collaborative activities

  • Weblogs

    • Can be updated by more than one person

  • Wikis

    • Group website, collaboratively maintained

  • Web forums

    • Themed websites maintained by administrators containing threads to which members may contribute

  • Beaming

    • F2F information sharing using infra-red

Collaborative activities17 l.jpg
Collaborative activities

  • “I regularly contribute, also, to Palm PDA forums (at; again to learn from others and also to add my own experience to the community's knowledge”

  • “...forums are also a great resource for pooling collective knowledge and experiences”

Future directions l.jpg
Future Directions

  • Devices have more powerful capabilities:

    • GPRS & wifi for internet & communication

    • GPS for location-based activities

    • Higher quality cameras

  • Does the mobile connectivity, location-awareness and powerful communicative features support learners in informal science learning, and if so how?

  • What is the role played by co-operatively createdvirtual knowledge repositories in informal science learning?

Slide19 l.jpg
Gill CloughInstitute of Educational TechnologyThe Open UniversityWalton HallMilton KeynesMK7 6AA

[email protected]

Supervisors: Professor Eileen ScanlonDr Ann JonesDr Patrick McAndrew

Bibliography l.jpg

  • Hsi, H. (2003) 'A Study of User Experiences Mediated by Nomadic Web Content in a Museum', Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, vol. 19,pp. 308-319.

  • Livingston, D. (2000) 'Exploring the Icebergs of Adult Learning: Findings of the first Canadian Survey of Informal Learning Practices', [online]. Available from: (Accessed October 10, 2006)

  • Patten, B., Arnedillo Sanchez, I. and Tangney, B. (2006) Computers & Education,46, 294-308.

  • Tough, A. (1979) The Adult's Learning Projects, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Ontario.

  • Vavoula, G. (2004), 'KLeOS: A Knowledge and Learning Organisation System in Support of Lifelong Learning.' PhD Thesis, Birmingham, University of Birmingham.