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Mobile Learning

Posted by Anders Northeved on November 18, 2010


(photo by Gary Woodill)

Some time ago I participated in a webinar by Dr. Gary Woodill from Brandon Hall on the topic Mobile Learning.

Mobile Learning is something we have all been talking about for a long time, but now it seems something is really happening in this field.

He defined a set of categories that will be important to the future of Mobile Learning.

Here is a list of the ones I find most interesting and relevant:

  1. User controlled learning apps – think Apple or Android Apps
  2. Micro-blogging and text messaging – Facebook, Twitter etc.
  3. Mobile research tools and data collection – geotag a picture of a rare flower taken with your mobile
  4. Trend tracking and analysis – HealthMap, Google etc.
  5. Just-in-time Information – your baker twitting when the bread is ready or the manual for your car build into the infotainment system
  6. Augmented reality – Learn about the architect when you point your GPS enabled and direction sensitive phone at an old building
  7. Contextual learning – personalized and location sensitive. Point your phone at a subway station and see when your train leaves
  8. User controlled media production – most phones and even an iPod have a build-in camera these days
  9. Performance support – a doctor operating a patient in a remote area guided by text messages from a colleague
  10. Social networking and communities – Facebook, Wikipedia
  11. Collaboration – made possible by the easy availability of communication devices
  12. Haptic feedback – think Nintendo Wii
  13. Self-organized collective behavior – think smart mobs e.g. recent demonstrations in Iran

To me they paint a very exciting new way of learning in the future – and they point to some interesting trends and truths in learning.

Often it is not technology that is limiting our possibilities but our minds
– only #6, #7 and #12 have been held back by technology – the rest is our minds catching up 

Learning gets embedded in our everyday life
– #2, #3, #5, #6, #7 and #10 are good examples 

The teacher is no longer always the focal point in future learning
– look at #1, #2, #8 and #12 

The old line between gathering information and learning becomes even more blurred in the future
– #2, #5, #6; #10 and #13 are examples of this 

Welcome to the new world of learning!

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