Mobile devices and mlearning in 2011

Just a quick post to share a video I came across while reading digitalbuzz.

In case you had any doubts about where mobile technology stands, this video points to the tremendous increase in mobile device and app sales and forecasts what 2011 will look like.

  • In January to March of 2010 alone,  314.7 million phones were sold and 54.3 million of these were smart phones.
  • A somewhat depressing statistic is also noted: while 85% of children own a mobile phone, only 75% are likely to own a book.
  • The most common data sharing “app” reported is SMS (perhaps not surprising, since people who don’t own smartphones remain the majority of mobile device users).
  • The video predicts that the Android OS (with a growth rate of 886% year on year) will be the leading smart phone OS in 2011.

The rapid growth of mobile devices means that a majority of learners will be accessing the internet via their mobile phones.  This also means there’s a tremendous opportunity to connect people to resources and capabilities at time of need via their mobile devices.

As noted by Pachler, Bachmair & Cook (2010), mlearning  “is about understanding and knowing how to utilize our everyday life-worlds as learning spaces.” This doesn’t mean that mlearning is always the best way of providing instruction and/or performance support, but mobile devices certainly extend the reach of teaching and learning.

Mobile device affordances include: 

  • on demand learning
  • opportunistic, context-dependent learning
  • one-on-one, personalized learning (pull-based)
  • location-based learning
  • decision-making, performance support
  • authoring
  • communication (and connectedness to personal learning networks)
  • collaboration

The “range” of these affordances will very much depend on the type of mlearning device used (e.g., mobile phone, smartphone, or tablet). Thus, the range of learning is also very much subject to a digital divide between those who can afford devices with enhanced capabilities and those who cannot, and between those who are more confident about the use of technology and those who are not. While exploiting the promise of mlearning, we shouldn’t leave behind those who have less access to mobile devices for whatever reason.

Previous posts on mlearning

Additional resources

There are many more I could add, but these are some of my go-to resources.

Bookmark lists (on Diigo)

Wikis about mobile learning

Blogs about mobile learning

Other resources

Pachler, N., Bachmair, B., & Cook, J. (2010). Mobile Learning. Structures, Agency, Practices. New York USA: Springer.


3 responses to “Mobile devices and mlearning in 2011

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