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The Research on E-book-oriented Mobile Learning System Environment Application and Its Tendency

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  • 1. The Research on E-book-oriented Mobile Learning System Environment Application and Its Tendency Fang Haiguang Department of Educational Technology Capital Normal University Beijing, China Ufanghg@yahoo.cnU Gao Chenzhu Liu Pan Department of Educational Technology Capital Normal University Beijing, China liupan1988@sina.cn Jiao BaoCong Department of Educational Technology Capital Normal University Beijing, China cnzhuzi@126.com Department of Educational Technology Capital Normal University Beijing, China jiaobc3093@126.com Abstract—The appearance of e-book makes learning environment easier to move up, and it is one of the essences of mobile learning environment, which has great effect on mobile learning environment construction. Its research and applications are more popular in recent years. Based on the analysis of e-book learning system environment and the roadmap of system environment of mobile learning, this paper researches on three cases of e-book-oriented mobile learning system environment, which includes the fifth grade Chinese text Yarlung Zangbu Grand Canyon, the research of one-to-one self-regulated learning e-schoolbag system, and the application of Interactive Response System in class. Then, this paper analyzes the mobile learning typical modes, constructs the learning-service-supported system environment and illustrates the typical applications. In the end, this paper summarizes four features of the e-book-oriented development tendency of system environment of mobile learning, which are usability, environment interactivity, green supporting and background service. Keywords—Mobile Learning, E-book, E-schoolbag, Interactive Response System, Roadmap I. INTRODUCTION The current trends of Mobile Learning technology are integrated, universal, portable and networking. In the next five to ten years, powerful computing and communication capabilities will be integrated into a networked handheld portable media device. Handheld devices will record location, weather, individuals, and knowledge around you or even integrated context awareness capability to change your daily life. Mobile technology has a considerable impact on learning which will be moved outside and into learners’ authentic and virtual environment. Mobile technology can facilitate learning environment, learning resources and learners to construct a multi-level and multi-topic integrated network connection, and with its development, digital learning environment is gradually used in traditional instruction. E-book, e-schoolbag and interactive response system as new instruction or learning methods will break through the limits of traditional instruction, and in a sense, which represents the future of mobile learning. II. OVERVIEW We could comprehend the trends of mobile learning from the early famous article As We May Think written by Vannevar Bush, which mentioned “a future device for individual use, which is a sort, mechanized private file and library” [1], to the idea of Dynabook proposed by Alan Kay in 1968 [2]. After decades of developments, the cognitions of e-book, e-schoolbag and mobile learning environments in classroom has been gradually clear. In the light of categories, there are three kinds of definitions of e-book: a) digital books read through Internet, special readers and reading software or the digital version of books; b) according to General Administration of Press and Publication of China, e-book refers to the text, images, audio, video and information content of digital publications that are implanted or downloaded into a handheld reader which is a set of storage media and display device; and c) e-book is more than digitalized contents, and includes carrying devices, interfaces and systems which to read and integrate information. In summary, definition c) is more meaningful and thus this article adopts it as the definition of e-books. This article considers e- book, which in the light of standards, includes a set of digital text, images, video and other multimedia content, and is integrated with its end user devices. With the development of e- book, e-schoolbag has emerged and the definitions of it are classified into two categories: a) some e-books integrated into one instruction resource package in a scientific way, which includes textbooks, textbook supplements, reference books and other kinds of resources[3], and b) to consider e-schoolbag as a kind of future electronic educational products and most of which are portable mobile devices and have two major capabilities which are reading and Internet communication [4] . From the view of the relationship between instruction and learning, mobile learning environments construction in future will be far more than simply teaching, but emphasis on the interaction between instructors and students. E-textbook will become the core of mobile learning environments and replace textbooks. 978-1-4673-0242-5/12/$31.00 ©2012 IEEE The 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE 2012) July 14-17, 2012. Melbourne, Australia 1333 MoA2.3
  • 2. In traditional PC period, there are some common formats such as pdf, dox or docx, txt, chm which are not appropriate for e-books standards in future. The popular e-book formats include ePub, DAISY-ANSI/NISO Z39.86 , Azw, CEBX etc, which are classified into two categories: a) free and open standards, for instance, ePub and DAISY; and b) unopened standards such as Azw and CEBX. Epub, which is proposed by the International Digital Publishing Forum, is designed for reflowable content using XHTML or DTBook to present text and packaged by Zip format and replaced Open eBook standard. DAISY-ANSI/NISO Z39.86 is an official standard based on some other standards recommended by W3C and popular in America, which supports multimedia, navigation, synchronous and familiar with ePub standard including XML and SMIL. CEBX is a format designed by Founder Group, which has certain impact on e-book development based on CEB format. This format use XML and is designed for reflowable content, dynamic interaction and DRM (short for Digital Rights Management). III. APPLICATION PATTERNS BASED ON THE ROADMAP OF SYSTEM ENVIRONMENT OF MOBILE LEARNING Based on article the Roadmap of System Environment of Mobile learning, the roadmap is divided into three levels which are device environment (DE), learning support environment (LE) and service environment (SE). It can be classified into four patterns, namely: a) DE+LE mode, b) DE+SE mode, c) DE+LE+SE mode and d) LE+SE mode. The typical patterns are b) and c) [5]. The applications of e-book or e-textbook, e- schoolbag and interactive response system are DE+LE+SE mode. They are shown in table I and table II. TABLE I. THE TYPICAL APPLICATIONS OF E-BOOK AND E-SCHOOLBAG The Typical Application of E-book and E-schoolbag DE Terminal Device e-reader or other intelligent terminal devices Network access wireless or wired network LE Platform Development e-book development and management tools Resources construction according to different standards or formats SE Content choice and design digitized text, images, videos and other multimedia contents Activity design based on real activities TABLE II. THE TYPICAL APPLICATION OF IRS The Typical Application of IRS DE Terminal Device responders used by teachers and learners Network access access Internet through PC LE Platform Development lesson preparing system, teaching system and learning record system Resources construction external resources provided by teachers SE Content choice and design digitized text, images, videos and other multimedia contents activity design interactive activities, quick answer In the light of three levels and its six elements of the roadmap of system environment to mobile learning, the applications of e-book, e-schoolbag and IRS are illustrated as following: 1) Terminal devices: IRS generally use PC as its terminal devices. There are numerous terminal devices that are used to reading digital publications such as e-readers, PDA, smart mobile phones, Tablet PC, laptop, E-book, iPod/iPad etc. Popular e-readers at present are Kindle by Amazon, Sony Reader by Sony, Wefound by Founder Group and WISEreader by Hanvon etc. 2) Network access: Mobile learning terminal devices acquire a variety of learning resources with mobile learning networks. At present, there are three main network access modes: a) to connect PC through data cable or wireless (infrared, Bluetooth, etc.), and access Internet via PC; b) through GPRS, GSM or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications to access Internet; and 3) through wireless interface card to connect wireless router so as to access Internet. 3) Platform development: Despite popular e-book formats, there are too many formats that still lack uniform standards, and which lead to too many e-book development tools. The ePub standard, for instance, has numerous development platforms: Indesign by Adobe, epubBuilder, eScape and ePubstar. Using these tools, we can transform XML, HTML, txt, docdocx and pdf into e-book formats. For reading e-books, there are also considerable tools such as Stanza, Editions, iBooks for ePub standard, Amazon Kindle for amz format and Apabi for CEBX format. 4) Resources construction: The pursuit of practicality is the most significant feature of mobile learning [6]. The contents are better only when the learning contents are coordinated with standards and meet the learning needs. The design of these contents would meet requires of instantaneous and practicality better [7], which means to facilitate learners to achieve their learning objectives and help them to solve real problems in daily life. To develop a format or a standard for resource construction of e-books is convenient for co-construction with users. Teachers can provide suitable learning resources by themselves for IRS. 5) Contents choice and design: To consider the needs of teachers and learners is appropriate when e-books are used for instruction or learning. If made into e-textbooks, learning contents are not only integrated closely with teaching objectives, but also concentrate on the use of rich media so as to enrich the teaching contents, and enhance authentic experience for the results of learning. 6) Activity design: In formal learning, teachers select proper learning contents and design learning activities so as to construct a ubiquitous, continuous and seamless learning experience for better learning effectiveness [8][9]. To design learning activities with ideas and methods of instructional design, teachers should take fulfilling the needs of learners and enhance effectiveness of learning as objectives and interactive learning activities as main part, and based on the features of e- books, use rich media so as to enrich learners’ authentic experience. IV. E-BOOK-ORIENTED APPLICATIONS IN MOBILE LEARNING A. E-books and E-textbooks E-textbooks are a set of e-books used for learning or the specific forms of e-books in particular learning circumstance 1334 MoA2.3
  • 3. [10]. Applications of e-books for mobile learning include device environment (DE), learning support environment (LE) and service environment (SE), in which have their specific modules. LE level requires that developers edit and integrate proper resources into qualified e-textbooks; DE level focuses on e-textbook readers which contain integrated standards textbooks by particular software, and provide learners’ behavior records, clustering contents and learning functions to fulfill the instruction and learning needs; SE level shows learners interact with learning contents through e-textbook readers individually and teachers analyze learning records through behavior records. With learning resources design and supported by LE level, SE level provides learning service for teachers and learners to accomplish instruction and learning. Figure 1 illustrates the architecture of learning service system: Figure 1. Learning support system architecture based on e-books. 1)Learning support: developers select, edit and integrate digital materials or paper resources and relevance into which conform to one e-book standards. These standard textbooks are integrated into e-textbook readers, and provide supports for learners. 2)Learning equipments: E-textbook readers as mobile learning equipments include edited standard textbooks and clustering contents for learners. E-textbook readers also include behavior records which can help teachers analyzing learners’ learning behavior and be regarded as learning records. Another significant part of e-textbook readers is learning function which is much more than simple learning module, and to fulfill interactive between teachers and learners. 3) Learning service: With learning activities and contents, e- textbooks offer mobile learning service for learners by e- textbook readers. During learning, learners interact with learning function module to complete learning activities, and teachers analyze learning process through learners’ behavior record. Based on the illustrated above, this article did research on e-textbooks, for instances, the Chinese text “Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon” of fifth grade uses iPod and iPad as terminal devices, which are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3. The resources of “Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon” are in accordance with ePub standard. We digitalized text first, and then, according to ePub standard, edited it with adapted images, audios, videos and other relevance for increasing learners’ authentic experience. Exercises of the “Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon” can interact with learners by the way of showing they are correct or the right answers and explanations immediately after answering. Figure 2. Exercises of “Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon” in iPod. Figure 3. Multimedia text of “Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon” in iPad. B. E-schoolbag E-schoolbags and e-books have many similarities. For example, both of them are mobile learning terminals that take teaching in classrooms as the core of learning resources construction and learners as users [11]. They also have differences: for e-books, it based on certain standards and paper publications, and regard digital publications as main part; for e-schoolbags, it emerged e- books and incline to use rich media to offer numerous learning supports [4]. The program “one-to-one digital self-regulated learning e-schoolbag” we did based on e- schoolbags to construct mobile learning environment in classroom, and used rich media, learning resources and evaluation system to provide support service for learners. 1335 MoA2.3
  • 4. This e-schoolbag’s architecture has three levels which are device environment (DE), learning support environment (LE) and service environment (SE). They are described in Figure4. Figure 4. Learning support system architecture based on e-schoobals. 1) Learning support: Learning resources in e-schoolbags include edited e-textbooks, support tools for learners and relevant supplements, and which are built in a self-regulated learning management platform. Regarding these resources, the platform has functions such as learning, evaluation and feedback for personalized learning. 2) Learning equipment: E-schoolbag as a kind of mobile learning equipment includes variety learning support resources and network access. 3) Learning service: By learning functions of e-schoolbags, learners interact with e-schoolbag by the means of selecting learning contents according to their own needs and finishing personalized quizzes. E-schoolbags provide personalized feedback based on learners’ circumstances, and which will be the basis of next learning. Figure 5 and Figure 6 show the evaluation and feedback and the personalized excises of e- schoolbag’s self-regulated learning platform. Figure 5. Evaluation and feedback functions Figure 6. Personalized exercises C. Interactive Response Sysetem Figure 7. Learning support system architecture based on IRS 1) Learning support: There are differences in construction between IRS and e-books and e-schoolbags. IRS learning resources usually offer by teachers or other relevance and its main contents cannot be inseparable from digital resources which are not part of IRS, but together they construct mobile learning system environment. IRS platform includes lesson planning system, instruction system (response system) and learning records, as entirety system, to provide a more complete learning solution for teachers and learners. 2) Learning equipment: IRS have terminal device that are responder for teachers and learners, receiver and wireless receivers, and which support teachers and learners interactive activities. Learners usually install IRS platforms in their PC. 3) Learning service: Teachers interact with learners through IRS and its responders. Under proper circumstances, teachers can use quick answering mode to connect with learners. Besides, learning process in IRS is the basis of analyzing learners. Teachers can check learners’ answerers immediately 1336 MoA2.3
  • 5. or discuss and analyze instruction after class. IRS responds images are shown in Figure 8: Figure 8. IRS respond environment. V. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK The three illustrations above represent the future trends of e- book-oriented to mobile learning environment which will has more extensive meaning. What these illustrations bring are much more than new methods of learning, and they are new learning concepts. Mobile learning in future will change learning process in two aspects. From cogitation perspective, mobile learning is gradually changing learners’ thinking manners and cogitation patterns; from the roadmap of system environment perspective, mobile learning will have four features in future: usability, environment interactive usability, environment interactivity, green supporting and background service, which are shown in Figure 9: Figure 9. Features of mobile learning future developments. The cogitation of learning will tend to be more personalized and active, and gradually apart from unified management of traditional instruction. Learners are acquiring more knowledge than before and that requires flexible learning method to limit time and improve efficiency. Mobile learning is which use fragmented time to learn in a self-regulated way. Learners will not passively accept information from others, but to choose learning content according to their own needs and learning goals. From the view of the roadmap of system environment, mobile learning trends in DE, LE and SE level includes: 1) In DE level, usability, environment interactive and green supporting will be main signatures of future mobile leaning. Usability of mobile devices reflects “usability” of mobile learning. With the developments of mobile communication devices, there are more individuals who consider these kinds of devices as essential objects in their life. E-books, e-schoolbags and IRS for teachers and students have entered modern classroom. These devices are portable and intelligent, so that there is a growing trend by teachers and learners that accept these new learning means. Usability of mobile learning can eliminate barriers in learning process and to achieve seamless learning result; interactive environment are based on wireless mobile networks and communication equipments. Under this circumstance, learners communicate with each other without difficulties and interact with environment. Green support is another feature of mobile learning: mobile learning terminal devices are widespread and inexpensive and that make mobile learning consumption lower with more resources; e-book readers contain numerous e-books and other resources without wasting plenty of natural resources; Personalized and fragmented learning improve learners’ performance and avoid repeated learning. 2) In LE level, platforms and resources are the main part of background service that to facilitate learners personalized learning. Teacher-centeredness and textbook-centeredness are the biggest features of traditional class and what teachers teach in class cannot meet all requirements of their students. E-book- centeredness platforms and learning resources support learners with intelligent service and cloud service. 3) In SE level, learners access network through mobile learning terminal and background service support to acquire numerous types of e-books. E-books and e-schoolbags connect background by Wi-Fi, and IRS or other terminals connect with PC or Tablet-PC to access Internet for personalized micro- course or learning support service. This service eliminate defects of uniform process and uniform contents in traditional class, and which is a step towards personalized and digital learning public service system. REFERENCES [1] Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may- think/3881/ , July 1945. [2] Jiaqing Lu, Renwei Chen, et al, “A Comprehensive Strategy Framework for e-Textbook in the Coming Digital Society for Learning,” ICDS 2011, vol.2, pp. 63-70, 2011. [3] Gao Zhi-li, “E-schoolbags will become main learning tools,” Information on Publication, pp.11, March 2010. [4] Zhu Zhi-ting and Yu Xiao-hua, “E-schoolbag system and its function modeling,” e-Education Research, pp.25-28, 34, April 2011. [5] Fang Hai-guang, Wang Hong-yun and Huang Rong-huai, “A Roadmap of Mobile Learning System,” Modern Educational Technology, pp.14-20, January 2011. [6] Gu Xiao-qing and Gu Feng-jia, “Microlearning Strategy:Design for Mobile Learning,” China Educational Technology, pp.17-21, March 2008. [7] Fang Hai-guang, Wu Shu-ping and Li Yu-shun, “Research on Development of Mobile Learning Resource Object Unit Based on Educational Modeling Language,” Modern Educational Technology, pp.75-79, December 2009. [8] Wong Lungh-siang, Chen Wen-li, Lv Ci-jie, et al, “Analysis of Attributes of Mobile Learning Activities: Two Case Studies of M- 1337 MoA2.3
  • 6. Learning Design,” China Educational Technology, pp.7-15, Febrary 2010. [9] Chan, T.-W., Roschelle, J., Hsi, S., Kinshuk, Sharples, M., Brown,T., et al, “One-to-one technology-enhanced learning: An opportunity for global research collaboration, Research and Practice in Technology- Enhanced Learning,’’ pp.3-29, January 2006. [10] Luo Rong and Shao Yu, “Design and Developments of E-textbooks. China Educational Technology,” pp.75-78, Febrary 2006. [11] Ryan McFall, “Electronic textbooks that transform how textbooks are used,” Electronic Library, Vol. 23 Iss: 1, pp.72 – 81, 2005. 1338 MoA2.3