Engaging students with Mobile Learning Dr. Mohamed Ally Professor, Centre for Distance Education Researcher, Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute Athabasca University Canada
Outline • What is mobile learning • Why engage students with mobile learning • Benefits of mobile learning • Challenges implementing mobile learning • How to engage students with mobile learning • Sample mobile learning projects • What the future holds for mobile learning • Questions and discussion
Definition of Mobile Learning • Learning using information and communication technologies in mobile contexts - ISO/IEC 29140-2 (TR) • Other definitions • Mobile learning is the delivery of electronic learning materials on mobile computing devices to allow access from anywhere and at anytime (Ally, 2004). • m-learning can be defined as learning using mobile and wireless computing technologies in a way to promote learners’ mobility and nomadicity nature (Shon, 2008)
What is the Future of Education Because of mobile and ubiquitous technology • Community, parents, extended family will responsible for educating students • Learners can access learning materials from anywhere • Experts in the community will mentor/tutor learners • Extensive use of communication technology • Role of the teacher will change to tutor/facilitator.
Why Mobile Learning to Engage Learners? • Remove barriers to learning • Access from remote locations • Learners can learn in context • Cater to different learning styles • Learning is more learner-centered • Many learners already have the digital technologies
Ideal Scenario • All students will achieve mastery (100%) in all courses.
Problems with the current education system • Teacher centered rather than learner centered • High drop-out rate • Not enough qualified teachers in some areas • Course materials not appropriate for different cultures • Learning materials not developed for different learning styles • Not all citizens have access to education • Large percent of resource spent on infrastructure rather than on learning
Are Faculty Ready for Mobile Learning? • Corbeil et al. (2007) conducted a study where they asked students and faculty whether they are ready for mobile learning. • Of the 107 students who responded, all students owned a smart phone or cell phone and 94 percent of the students said that they are ready for mobile learning; however, only 60 percent of faculty said that they are ready for mobile learning.
Individual Differences • Students learning preference during the learning process. This include student learning style and the way students approach the learning process.
Individual Differences • Creativity • Personality – Extrovert and Introvert • Motivation • Learning Style • Cognitive Style • Interests • Cultural
Tutoring Skills of Teachers • Manage the learning process • Facilitate learning • Motivate learners • Moderate synchronous and asynchronous sessions • Solve content problems • Conduct formative evaluation of learning materials • Evaluate learner performance • Solve basic technology problems • Model and enforce appropriate ethical behaviour
Learning has to be interactive to engage learners(Deep and Meaningful Learning)
Learner Interaction • Learner-teacher interaction • Learner-learner interaction • Learner-expert interaction • Learner-content interaction
Benefits of Mobile Learning Klopfer & Squire (2008) • Portability – learners can take the technology to different sites and move around within a location. • Social interactivity – learners can exchange data and collaborate with other learners and the teachers. • Context sensitivity – can gather data unique to the current location, environment, and time, including both real and simulated data. • Connectivity – can connect mobile technology to other devices and to a common network that creates a true shared environment. • Individuality – can provide unique scaffolding that is customized to the individual’s path of investigation.
Barriers to Mobile Learning • Limited Connectivity • Teachers do not have the expertise to implement mobile learning • Educators attitude towards mobile learning • Many different types of mobile devices • Limitations of mobile technology
Current Research Projects • ESL training for Canadian workers • Use of mobile devices by older adults • Learners use of mobile devices in distance education • Mobile technology in libraries • Mobile English as a Second Language (ESL) training • Mobile learning in Canada
Quotes from Organizations • “Mobile technology is the most ubiquitous devices in the world; it’s not an option – we have to use them for the 21st century education” • “We need to realize the power of mobile learning.” • “We have the technology but we’re not using it well enough” • “Need a national mobile research institute” • “What I love about mobile learning is that it brings the learning to you whenever and wherever” • “We can deliver quality material that is inclusive and accessible 24/7 and we can communicate with students by meeting them where they are”
Recommendations for Canada • A national agency should be established or an existing agency should be used to coordinated mobile learning activities across Canada so that mobile learning developers, researchers, and mobile device manufacturers can communicate with each other to share best practices and research results. • Develop standards for mobile learning so that learning materials can be developed and shared between organizations. • Include mobile learning as a stream in the Tri-council research grant programs. • Develop training programs specializing in mobile learning for delivery across Canada.
Recommendations for Organizations • Integrate mobile learning in strategic, business, and educational plans. • Create partnerships between industries and educational institutions to collaborate on the mobile learning research and the development of learning materials. • Develop a research agenda for mobile learning. • Publish research studies so that all Canadians can have access to the results of the studies.
Trends Virtual devices Immediate assembly of learning materials Intelligent agents to adapt the interface for the learner Intelligent learning materials (e.g. learning objects) to cater for individual learner needs Open Education Resources (OER) Less use of textual materials – more multimedia
Mobile learning is learner-centered and dynamic and will empower learners to learn
Students 21st Century Skills (Ally, 2010) A. Communication B. Personal Skills C. Project Management D. Continuous Improvement E. Conflict Resolution F. Problem Solving G. Information and Communication Technology H. Team Work I. Interpersonal Skills J. Emotional/ Social Intelligence K. Personal Well-being L. Leadership M. Globalization N. Research O. Critical Thinking
More Information on Mobile LearningDownload of Mobile Learning Book at No Cost
Ally, M. (2009) Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Traininghttp://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120155