Monday, September 18, 2006

Book Review-mLearning: Mobile Learning and Performance in the Palm of your Hand

Dr Michael Thomas has a very in depth and insightful review of Dr. David Metcalf's book, mLearning: Mobile Learning and Performance in the Palm of your Hand. I have been planning to write a review for several months now as I was a contributor to one of the case studies in chapter six. After reading Dr. Thomas' review, I felt it best to simply direct my readers to his review.


A great deal of excitement has recently propelled mobile learning or mLearning to the forefront of instructional technology. Much of this enthusiasm
is based on the ubiquity of the mobile phone. In fact market analysts predict that by 2008, there will be more than 100 million mobile devices in the world (Metcalf 2006:103) and over 3 billion mobile phone subscribers (Nokia 2005). One potential problem with this scenario, however, is that the availability of a technology primarily designed for purposes other than learning, may not be as amenable to enhancing learning outcomes as is so often believed.

Mobile learning refers to the use of small, portable hand-held devices (personal digital assistants or PDAs, smart phones, laptops) that usually operate in a wireless environment, and have a connection to the Internet. Current projects including digital audio players (such as Apple’s iPods) could also be considered mLearning, though they have as yet no wireless capability.
These devices promote the use of ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning, allowing users to transcend the limitations of the traditional presence-based classroom, and to fit learning into their daily lives, whenever they have the time or the inclination.

Read the rest here or listen to the podcast of this review.

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