By: Carly Pietrzyk, M.Ed.
George W. Semich, Ed.D.
John E. Graham, Ed.D.
Donna Cellante, Ed.D.
World population is approximately 6.8 billion
The ITU (Int. Telecommunications Union)
predicted that 5 billion people would be cellular
phone subscribers by the end of 2010.
This equates to 75% of the world population with
access to mobile technology!!! Why not use it to
The 2008 Mobile Learning Report defines it as “any
activity that allows individuals to be more productive when
consuming, interacting with, or creating information
mediated through a compact digital portable device that
the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable
connectivity and fits in a pocket or purse” (Wexler et al.,
“learning that happens across locations, or that
takes advantage of learning opportunities offered
by portable technologies” (Chuang, 2009, p. 51)
“m-learning” = mobile learning
Distance learning or e-learning: began in the
1990s with post-secondary institutions and then
moved into secondary ed. (e.g. cyber charter
Advent of smart phones has made ubiquitous
learning a reality = “anytime, anywhere learning”
The educational system has long been resistant to
Requires movement from the traditional fixed
school model to a more flexible, dynamic learning
Roblyer (2009) summarizes this by stating:
“ the current conflict is less about the technologies
themselves than the assault on the traditional
ways of knowledge construction, teaching, and
learning they represent.”
Anytime, anywhere learning
Capitalizes on student motivation and gets them
to buy into the learning process- STUDENT-
CENTERED LEARNING PROCESS
Can synchronize with students preferred learning
Changes the learning environment from passive to
Students are comfortable communicating in this
Less expensive than laptops and other technology
with similar capacity.
Most significant issue is the potential for cheating
Most instructors consider ringing cell phones the
biggest distraction in their classrooms (this is
mostly in post-secondary ed).
Academic misconduct is a large concern for
schools (pictures, texts, etc.)
Impersonal aspect of mobile phones can lead to
less interpersonal relationship exposure.
Schools need to “embrace a fluid, networked
structure rather than the linear, hierarchical
structure of old” and “be reconstructed to facilitate
and take advantage of the technologically
connected student”(Selwyn, 2009).
Need to establish clear pedagogical guidelines,
cost analysis, teacher & staff training, and
continued tech support.
Here are 5 ways that mobiles are used in education
◦ 1. Audience Response Systems
◦ 2. Camera: Stills/Videos
◦ 3. Voice Recorders: Podcasts, etc.
◦ 4. Applications
◦ 5. Research via the internet (Google, Wiki’s, blogs, etc.)
Large dearth of literature on mobile learning.
2009 study investigated the use of the TEXT-2-LRN
system which connects an instructors laptop and
mobile phone to an SMS system.
This system allowed students to text their instructors
concerning content during class.
The study found that students felt the devices
increased the interactivity of the classroom.
Students preferred the SMS system to other forms of
communication. Scornavacca, Huff, and Marshall
New studies being conducted as we speak!
Milrad and Spikol (2007), explored the use of
smart phones and mobile services in classrooms
at two universities.
Instructional materials were delivered to the
phones in the form of podcasts, videos, and word
In general, students found that the mobile devices
were most useful when they were incorporated
with the course content.
This finding expresses the importance of meshing
pedagogical practice with device capabilities.
The age of mobile learning is here to stay!
“The traditional notion of the student/subject as the
passive consumer of information and knowledge in
school is replaced by autonomous, dynamic, and free
roaming individuals forming harmonious communities
and intelligent collectives of learners unfettered by
constraints of time or distance” (Selwyn, 2003).
Need much more empirical evidence to support the use
of mobile learning and help to successfully incorporate it
into the education system.
“Instead of spending time, energy, and money
creating policies to fight cell phone use in schools,
educators could spend their time finding useful
ways to integrate these devices as knowledge
construction, data collection, and collaborative
communication tools to help students become
more competitive in the digital world”
Toys to Tools….(Kolb, 2008)
Kolb, Liz, 2008: Toys to Tools: Connecting Student
Cell Phones to Education
Brooks-Young, Susan, 2010: Teaching with the Tools
that Kids Really Use: Learning with Web and Mobile
Hanson, Jarice, 2007: 24/7 How Cell Phones and the
Internet Change the Way we Live, Work, and Play
Ling, Rich & Donner, Jonathan, 2009: Mobile
Communication (Digital Media Series)
Crystal, David, 2008: txting the gr8 db8
Coming this fall: -Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb present:
Teaching Generation Text
How do you think mobiles can be used in the
What problems would you anticipate occurring
with the implementation of mobiles in the
Would you consider using mobiles in the
classroom (or do you already use them)? How?
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Chuang, K. (2009). Mobile technologies enhance the E-learning opportunity. American
Journal of Business Education, 2(9), 49-53.
Milrad, M., & Spikol, D. (2007). Anytime, anywhere learning supported by smart phones:
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Roblyer, M. D. (2009). At war with change: The tension between technology and
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Scornavacca, E., Huff, S., & Marshall, S. (2009). Mobile phones in the classroom: If
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CNet Reviews. Retrieved from http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-10454065-