Sultan Qaboos University
College of Education
Department of Instructional & Learning Technologies
Done by: Ekhlas Alsaadi
What is mobile learning?
M-learning, or "mobile learning", now commonly abbreviated to "M-Learning", has
different meanings for different communities. Although related to e-learning and
distance education, it is distinct in its focus on learning across contexts and learning
with mobile devices.
“… M-learning is the exciting art of using mobile technologies to enhance the
learning experience. Mobile phones, PDAs, Pocket PCs and the Internet can be
blended to engage and motivate learners, any time and anywhere. …”
1990s: Universities in Europe and Asia develop and evaluate mobile learning for
2000s: The European Commission funds the major multi-national M-Learning
Companies were formed that specialize in three core areas of mobile learning.
Authoring and publishing
Delivery and Tracking
The International Association for Mobile Learning: The International
Association for Mobile Learning has been formed as a membership organization
to promote excellence in research, development and application of mobile and
2008: Assistant Professor Matthew Kam from Carnegie Mellon University
developed mobile phone learning games for children in rural India.
Why Mobile Learning?
According to Attewell (2005) as quoted by Yousuf (2007) and Becking et al (2008),
There are several advantages inherent in mobile learning over Internet:
Helps learners to improve literacy and numeric skills
Helps learners to recognize their existing abilities
Can be used for independent and collaborative learning experiences
Helps learners to identify where they need assistance and support
Helps to overcome the digital divide
Helps to make learning informal
Helps learners to be more focused for longer periods
Helps to raise self-esteem and self-confidence
It is portable form one place to another.
More wide spread and popular than Internet
Not much technological pre-requisites
Cost is pretty affordable as comparatively less recurring cost and one-time
Provides real time and location independency
Features of mobile learning system:
Allows users to have access to course resources impendent from time and
Allows authenticated users to have access to the system.
Allows users to have access to the resources in different formats (voice, text,
picture and video)
Allows the reuse of material
Allows users to carry out the functions defined as an education component.
Offers flexible environment in which other services and components can be
However we have to keep in mind that content of the mobile devices is based
on their capabilities.
Advantages of M-learning:
Students have access to test and assignment results, and may obtain lecture
notes and sample spreadsheets electronically, allowing for more focused in-
Students use e-mail, Web sites, online discussion groups and other chat
forums to collaborate with peers, faculty and experts in their area of study.
Learning can be done anytime and anywhere.
An instructor can get immediate feedback on the lesson
Student’s can be assessed on multiple choices, true/false questions in the
Real-time experiments can take place in classrooms.
Instructors can provide examples such as simulations and web based
Small screens limit the amount and type of information that can be displayed.
There are limited storage capacities for mobiles and PDAs.
Batteries have to be charged regularly, and data can be lost if this is not done
They can be much less robust than desktops.
Limitation/challenges of M-learning:
M-learning challenges are divided in tow type:
1/ Technical challenges:
Small Screen size
Small key size
Limited Performance, in terms of processor capability, available memory, and
storage space and battery life.
Slow Connectivity of the internet
Multiple standards, multiple screen sizes, multiple operating systems
Repurposing existing e-Learning materials for mobile platforms
Left- to-right scrolling, web sites too big to see effectively on small screen
Risk of theft, rain, mud, breakability, and so on.
2/ Social and educational challenges:
How to assess learning on mobile phone
Developing an appropriate theory of learning for the mobile age
Tracking of results and proper use of this information
No demographic boundary
Mobile communication is still expensive – especially from abroad
Support and Delivery:
Most personal technologies can support mobile learning, including:
Personal Digital Assistant, in the classroom and outdoors
Tablet PC UMPC mobile phone, camera phone and Smartphone
Learning Mobile Author, e.g. for authoring and publishing WAP, J2ME and
Personal audio player, e.g. for listening to audio recordings of lectures
Handheld audio and multimedia guides, in museums and galleries
Handheld game console, modern gaming consoles such as Sony PSP or
Technical and delivery support for mobile learning:
3GP For compression and delivery method of audiovisual content associated
with Mobile Learning
Wi-Fi is popular wireless technology used in home networks, mobile phones,
video games and other electronic devices.
GPRS mobile data service, provides high speed connection and data transfer
Concerns and issues:
Learning Across Contexts:
Mobile learning is not just about learning using portable devices, but learning
Focus should be on the learner and the learning, not on the systems behind the
Designing for mobile learning becomes a critical challenge, we need to
develop theory, strategies and techniques.
How can we effectively measure learning in mobile environments?
Evaluation overlaps with design. Mobile learning is often blended with other
types of learning.