mLearning, phones and lifelong learning

eLearn Magazine has published an interesting piece: Lifelong-Learning Support by M-learning: Example Scenarios. Among other things it argues:

Norris & Soloway argue that handhelds should support project-based learning in context, that is, using the handheld as an integral part of a learning activity; most of all: ongoing assessment and possible feedback [19].

Converse to the approach of using handhelds or personal digital assistants (PDAs), we propose in this paper the support of pupils at scondary schools and universities by use of mobile phones: Whereas mobile devices including PDAs, handhelds or small laptops are relatively expensive and consequently lack availability especially amongst pupils—the core advantage of mobile phones is the high availability of such devices. The market penetration of mobile phones in Austria is currently at a level of 81 percent and the numbers are still increasing [28]. It can be emphasized that the majority of the population in general and the younger in particular have a mobile phone available, which they have at hand most of the time.

Considering this fact, m-learning can be an important instrument for lifelong learning, which is for example, a central aim of the European Union [7], thus a challenge for research and development in the area of mobile computing.

The general thrust of the argument about the widespread availability of mobile phones and their consequent value for just in time learning seems to make good sense. I don’t think I would want to read substantial amounts of text on a mobile phone but being able to access information to support other activity need not involve large amounts of text.

(Via elearnspace.)