The “Reflective Student”

The Use of Mobile Devices Through Seamless Educational Spaces and Authentic Learning Scenarios

Authored by: Maria Cinque

Handbook of Mobile Learning

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415503693
eBook ISBN: 9780203118764
Adobe ISBN: 9781136311536


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The use of mobile devices—mobile phones, MP3 players, Tablet PCs, iPods, and iPads— has grown so much in recent years that their spread now exceeds that of personal computers in most modern professional and social contexts. However, it seems that these tools are used less in learning contexts, and some authors (for example, Herrington, Herrington, Mantei, Olney, & Ferry, 2009; Kukulska-Hulme, 2007) point out that there isn’t a pedagogical theory for ubiquitous learning or m-learning. Although the so-called early adopters are willing to use new technologies for educational purposes, it is still unclear whether there are good theoretical reasons for using mobile devices for learning (Herrington et al., 2009). On the other hand, it must also be considered that the majority of m-learning activity continues to take place on devices that were not designed with educational applications in mind, and usability issues are often reported (Kukulska-Hulme, 2007). As a matter of fact, we must admit that the term “mobile” indicates tools with different features and functionalities, and there is no unifying theory for using them for learning, just an unending parade of tools that sometimes can be puzzling, even for a teacher well acquainted with technologies.

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