Mobile Devices Essay

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Mobile devices such as mobile phones, smart phones, palmtops and handheld computers (personal digital assistants (PDAs) and tablet PCs Kukulska-Hulme (2005) add an extra dimension to the technology used in teaching and learning. This change has led to a new concept called m-learning (mobile learning) and there are now a number of examples where mobile devices have been integrated into formal education and/or informal learning (Kukulska-Hulme 2009).
Opportunities such as learner-centred learning and learning outside the classroom are made possible within m-learning due to the number of different attributes that are offered by mobile devices (Kukulska-Hulme 2005). Pachler et al, (2010) elaborate on this, stating that mobile devices have a number of important characteristics that make them attractive from an educational perspective, including increasing portability, functionality, multimedia convergence, ubiquity, personal ownership, social interactivity, context sensitivity, location awareness, connectivity and personalisation. Kukulska-Hulme (2005) noted that personal, informal, contextual, portable, ubiquitous and pervasive nature of mobile devices are particularly useful in learner centred learning. Moura & Carvalho (2008) and Scanlon et al. (2005) conclude that mobility and portability have the potential for making accessing information and interaction more effective in science learning. Further they allow the learner to learn autonomously (Callum & Kinshuk 2006), collaboratively (Eliasson et al., 2010) and also provide opportunities to conduct learning experiences outside the teacher-managed classroom (Naismith et al., 2004), (Corbeil & Valdes-Corbeil 2007) by expanding learning beyond the four walls of the classroom and thus allowing interactions in the real world and new interactions to be brought into the classroom (Hooft & Swan 2007).
Amongst mobile devices, PDAs and mobile phones are the most commonly used technologies for m-learning (Naismith et al.2004). Further, according to Markett et al. (2006) mobile phones have been considered as the most successful technology during the past two decades. New forms of interactions between teachers and learners and amongst learners are offered by the variety of functions of the mobile phones. Marriott (2005) goes so far as to state that present-day mobile phones are complete multimedia centres...

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