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Mobile Learning Technologies & Educational Applications

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The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
MOBILE LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES & EDUCATIONAL
APPLICATIONS
Ozlem Ozan
Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Turkey
ozlemozan@gmail.com; oozan@ogu.edu.tr
Gonca Telli Yamamoto
Okan University, Turkey
gonca.telli@okan.edu.tr
Uğur Demiray
Anadolu University, Turkey
udemiray@anadolu.edu.tr
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
Ozlem OZAN, MA
Ozlem Ozan has been a Research Assistant in Department of
Computer Education & Instructional Technology at Eskisehir
Osmangazi University in Turkey. She is also a PhD student in
the Distance Education Program of the Social Sciences Institute
at Anadolu University. She received her B.S. degree in the
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and
Master’s degree in Distance Education. Her research interests
are distance education and instructional technologies.
Gonca TELLI YAMAMOTO, PhD
Gonca Telli Yamamoto is an associate professor in the School
of Applied Sciences at Okan University, Turkey. She is the
Director of Okan University Distance Education Center. She
was formerly the founder and director of Social Sciences
Institute, Business Administration Department and several
other departments of Okan University. She is interested in
broader implications associated with emerging information
society. She has some books and chapters related in sales,
integrated and mobile marketing and IT Ethics. She has also
received two outsanding paper awards from the International
Academy of E- Business.
Uğur DEMIRAY, PhD
Dr. Demiray was born in 1955, in Turkey. He graduated from the
Cinema and TV Department, School of Communication Sciences,
Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey, in 1981. The same year he
became a research assistant, received his PhD. degree in 1986. He
became an associate professor in 1989 and Professor in 1995. His
studies are focused on Distance Education field and scholarly online
journalism especially on DE. He has many articles, which has been
published national and international journals. He speaks fluent English. He has
publishing TOJDE since January 2000
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
Abstract
Mobile learning has been one of the reflections of the widespread adoption of wireless
technology and Internet access from any place and anytime if requested. Technology
and pedagogy are two main elements in mobile learning platform to identify in terms of
educational process. Technology defines the platform and pedagogy defines the learning
approach.
There are two basic factors defining mobile learning technologies: mobile devices and
mobile operating systems. Typical examples of mobile devices are mobile phones
smartphones, palmtops and handheld computers, Tablet PCs, laptop computers and
personal media players. Mobile operating systems are Nokia's Symbian OS, Apple's
IOS, RIM's BlackBerry OS, Microsoft's Windows Phone OS, Linux, Palm WebOS,
Google's Android, Samsung's Bada and Nokia's Maemo.
There are various mobile learning applications in literature. According to Stead and
Colley (2008) these applications can be evaluated with three main approaches: (a)
Supportive (Supplementary) Applications: school or teacher has to offer other activities
supporting the podcast, vodcasts, and mobile games that could be considered as
individual applications. (b) Focused Applications: Content delivery with a focus on
traditional e-Learning applications for mobile. (C) Indepth (deep) Applications: Social
learning processes in the context of learning and retention of customers and consumers
in addition to being the creator and producer is also enriched with a variety of mobile
technology applications.
In this study, mobile learning applications are examined within the context above and
previsions about the future of mobile learning are shared.
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
1. Introduction
Mobile learning is a new concept that has some different connotations. It has different
meanings for different communities. Although it focuses on learning with mobile and
portable communications devices, it is certainly concerned with learner mobility in the
sense that learners should be able to engage in educational activities without the
constraints of tightly delimited physical location. Besides, the term covers learning that
reflects a focus on how society and its institutions can accommodate and support an
increasingly mobile population (Wikipedia (a), 2010). According to Kukulska-Hulme
(2005), what is new in ‘mobile learning’ comes from the possibilities opened up by
portable, lightweight devices that are sometimes small enough to fit in a pocket or in the
palm of one’s hand These devices can be carried around with relative ease and used for
communication and collaboration, and for teaching and learning activities that are
different from what is possible with other media.
In today’s mobile society two main elements of mobile learning are technology and
pedagogy. Technology defines the platform which learning occurs on and pedagogy
defines the learning approach.
2. Mobile Technologies
There are two basic factors defining mobile learning technologies: mobile devices and
mobile operating systems. Typical examples of mobile devices are mobile phones (also
called cellphones or handphones), smartphones, palmtops and handheld computers
(Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs); Tablet PCs, laptop computers and personal
media players can also fall within its scope (Kukulska-Hulme A., 2005). Mobile
operating systems are Nokia's Symbian OS, Apple's IOS, RIM's BlackBerry OS,
Microsoft's Windows Phone OS, Linux, Palm WebOS, Google's Android, Samsung's
Bada and Nokia's Maemo. Entertainment and games, web browsing and search, VOIP,
voice, messaging, Mobile TV, IPTV, mobile video, social networking and augmented
reality applications are possible though the mobile ecosystem.
2.1. Mobile Devices and Mobile Ecosystem
Mobile information and communication technologies are important enablers of the new
social structure; we are experiencing the first generation of truly portable information
and communications technology (ICT) with the relatively recent advent of small,
portable mobile devices that provide telephone, Internet, and data storage and
management in products (Peters, 2009). These products combine mobile telephony,
removable memory chips, diaries, email, Web, social networking, basic word
processing and spreadsheets, data input, storage, and transfer. According to Jaoka &
Gatti (2009) today mobile ecosystem covers entertainment and games, web browsing
and search, VOIP, voice, messaging, Mobile TV, IPTV, mobile video, social
networking and augmented reality applications as shown in Figure 1.
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
Figure 1: Mobile Ecosystem
As mentioned earlier mobile learning focuses on mobility of learner rather than devices.
Hence, any devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, palmtops and handheld
computers (Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs); Tablet PCs, laptop computers and
personal media players can be used for mobile learning to engage learner in educational
activities without the constraints of tightly delimited physical location, Figure 2.
Figure 2: Mobile Devices
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
2.2. Mobile Operating Systems
A mobile operating system (Mobile OS) is a mobile platform, or a handheld operating
system is the operating system that controls a mobile devicesimilar in principle to an
operating system such as Mac OS, Linux or Windows that controls a desktop computer
or laptop (Wikipedia (b), 2010). However, they are currently somewhat simpler, and
deal more with the wireless versions of broadband and local connectivity, mobile
multimedia formats, and different input methods.
Operating systems that can be
found on mobile communication
devices are Nokia's Symbian OS,
Apple's IOS, RIM's BlackBerry OS,
Microsoft's Windows Phone OS,
Palm WebOS, Google's Android,
Samsung's Bada and Nokia's
Maemo. Android, Bada, WebOS
and Maemo are in turn built on top
of Linux, and the iPhone OS is
derived from Unix.
Market share of these operating
systems is shown in Figure 3
(Gartner, 2010).
Timeline of Mobile Operating
Systems (McLean, 2009) is given
in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Market Share Of Operating Systems
Symbian OS: Symbian OS is one of Nokia's mobile operating systems for mobile
devices and smartphones, with associated libraries, user interface, frameworks and
reference implementations of common tools, originally developed by Symbian Ltd
(Wikipedia (c), 2010). Current Symbian-based devices are being made by Fujitsu,
Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson.
BlackBerry OS: BlackBerry OS is developed by Research In Motion for its BlackBerry
line of smartphone handheld devices. This OS is focused on easy operation and was
originally designed for business.
iOS (Apple): iOS is Apple's mobile operating system. It is developed originally for the
iPhone; it has used on the iPod Touch and iPad as well. Apple does not permit the iOS
to run on third-party hardware. Applications can be downloaded through iTunes.
Android: Android is an open source operating system for mobile devices such as mobile
phones, tablet computers and netbooks. Android is developed by Google and is based
upon the Linux kernel and GNU software. Android is along with major hardware and
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
software developers such as Intel, HTC, ARM, and eBay that form the Open Handset
Alliance
Figure 4: Timeline of Mobile Operating Systems (McLean, 2009)
Microsoft Windows CE: Windows Mobile is a mobile operating system developed by
Microsoft for use in smartphones and mobile devices. It is supported by HTC, Samsung,
LG, Toshiba, Sony Ericson, Dell, Acer, etc.
Palm webOS: It is developed by Palm Inc (closed source, proprietary). Palm webOS is
Palm's next generation operating system. PalmSource traditionally used its own
platform developed by Palm Inc.
Bada: Bada is Samsung Electronics operating system. It is still in development, and
Samsung expects handsets to be available in the second half of 2010. The first device to
run Bada is called 'Wave' and was unveiled to the public at Mobile World Congress
2010, Wave is a fully touchscreen phone running the new mobile operating system. The
vision of Bada is “Smartphone for Everyone”. Bada’s main goal is not to compete with
other existing smartphone platforms. Instead, bada will turn Samsung’s conventional
customers into smartphone users by providing cost-effective smartphones (Samung
Bada, 2010)
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media 2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University,
Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
Table 1: Feature Comparison of Operating Systems (Wikipedia (d), 2010)
Feature
iOS
Android
webOS
Windows
Mobile
Windows
Phone 7
BlackBerry
OS
Symbian
MeeGo
Bada
Maemo
Company
Apple
Open Handset
Alliance(Google)
HP/Palm
Microsoft
Microsoft
RIM
Symbian
Foundation
Intel and
Nokia
Samsung
Nokia
Current Version
4.1
2.2
1.4.5
6.5.3
Not yet
released
6.0.0
9.5
1.99
1.0.2
5.0
OS Family
Mac OS X/Unix-like
Linux
Linux
Windows CE
5.2
Windows
CE 7
Mobile OS
Mobile OS
Linux
Linux
Linux
Supported CPU
Architecture
ARM
ARM, MIPS, Power
Architecture, x86
ARM
ARM
ARM
ARM
ARM, x86
ARM, x86
ARM
ARM
Programmed in
C, C++, Objective-C
C, C++, Java
C
C++
C++
Java
C++
C++
C++
C/C++
License
Proprietary EULA
except for open
source components
Free and open
source except
closed source
components
Free and open
source except
closed source
modules
Proprietary
Proprietary
Proprietary
Eclipse
Public
License
Free and
open source
Free and open
source
Default Web
Browser/Engine
Webkit
Webkit
Webkit
Internet
Explorer
Mobile
Internet
Explorer
Mobile
Webkit
Webkit
Webkit
Webkit
(Dolphin
Browser
2.0)
Gecko
3rd Party Application
Store
App Store
Android
Marketplace
App Catalog
Windows
Marketplace
for Mobile
Windows
Phone
Marketplace
App World
Symbian
Horizon
Samsung
App
maemo.org
Email Sync protocols
supported
POP3, IMAP,
MAPI,
POP3, IMAP,
MAPI,
POP3, IMAP,
MAPI,
POP3, IMAP,
MAPI,
POP3,
IMAP,
MAPI
BES, BIS,
Push e-
mail
POP3,
IMAP
POP3,
IMAP
POP3,
IMAP,
POP3, IMAP
Tethering
Bluetooth, USB
(carrier dependent),
Wifi (with 3rd party
software and "jail
break")
Wifi, USB,
Bluetooth
Wifi
USB,
Bluetooth,
Wifi (with
3rd party
software)
USB,
Bluetooth,
Wifi
USB,
Bluetooth,
Wifi (with
3rd party
software
microUSB,
Bluetooth
3.0, Wifi
microUSB,
Bluetooth,
Wifi
Official SDK
platform(s)
Mac OS X
Multiplatform
Multiplatform
Windows
Windows
Windows
Windows
GNU/Linux
Windows
GNU/Linux
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
3. Mobile Learning Applications
Mobile learning is a new way of learning in contemporary education and it is one of the
latest stages information society has reached. Mobile phones/PDA’s which are start up
as the most enhanced instruments of mobile systems posses certain peculiar
characteristics compared to existing computers in terms of accessing, sharing and
creating information, and they become a part of life in a much faster way (Yamamoto,
2009a).
According to Sharples, Taylor, & Vavoula (2005) , there is a need to re-conceptualise
learning for the mobile age, to recognise the essential role of mobility and
communication in the process of learning, and also to indicate the importance of context
in establishing meaning, and the transformative effect of digital networks in supporting
virtual communities that transcend barriers of age and culture.
Mobile applications generally allow users to control or filter information flow and
interaction through the handheld devices (Liaw , Hatala , & Huang, 2010). BenMoussa
(2003) identified several benefits for mobile connectivity: First, mobile devices offer
personalized or individualized connectivity. Second, mobile connectivity improves
collaboration via real-time or instant interactivity that may lead to better decision
making. And third, mobile connectivity enhances users’ orientation or direction.
These are like taking advantages of mobile devices opportunities that occur as a result
of a learning format. The increase and expansion of the use of mobile devices have
caused this kind of opportunities. As a result, the technical capacities of the small size
but at less cost mobile devices throughout the community.
Mobile learning will be one of the main bodies for the brand new educational system.
There should be an approach developing and deploying mobile learning ethically and
equitably. This system supplies and enables information collection, analysis, audio-
visual presentations etc. at the same time plus flexible learning. This also impacts the
way presentations form the supplier side and learning from the learners‟ side
(Yamamoto, 2009b).
With the simplest definition, m-learning is learning offered by mobile devices and the
programming of the mechanisms which activate it. According to O’Malley et al. (2003)
mobile learning, or m-learning, has been defined as learning that takes place via such
wireless devices as mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or laptop
computers. According to Ally (2009), mobile learning is a type of learning through the
use of wireless mobile technology that allows anyone to access information and
learning materials anywhere and at anytime. O’Malley et al. (2003) also gives a wider
definition as any sort of learning that happens when the learner is not at a fixed,
predetermined location, or learning that happens when the learner takes advantage of
the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies. There are various definitions
of mobile learning in literature. Some of them focus on mobile devices; some of them
focus on learning outside the classroom, and some of them focus on the mobility of the
learner. In more general, the mobile learning can be defined as a learning process which
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
occurs in mobile ecosystem. According to Kukulska-Hulme and Traxler (2005), we can
see some categories of mobile learning such as:
Technology-driven mobile learning
Miniature but portable e-learning
Connected classroom learning
Informal, personalized, situated mobile learning
Mobile training/ performance support
Remote/rural/development mobile learning
Stead & Colley (2008) categorize approaches to mobile learning within three broad
approaches (Stead & Colley, 2008):
Shallow or supplementary learning: Typically, these may be SMS prompts, School
generated podcasts, and mobile games. They are good as a supplement to other
activities.
Focused Learning: Typically these resemble a mobile-friendly version of classic “e-
Learning”, with targeted nuggets of learning that can be engaged with while on the
move - possibly context aware.
Deep Learning: Deep learners are immersed in a mix of mobile technologies, as
creators or originators as well as the more common consumers of mobile media,
following a constructivist model.
According to Cochrane (2010), pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning
environments range from teacher-centred (instructivism)to student-centred collaboration
(social constructivism). The use of Wireless Mobile Devices (WMDs) as part of the
teaching and learning environment requires changes in pedagogy and integration into
the teaching and learning processes. Changes in pedagogical strategies, content
(reformatted for small screens and lower data bandwidths), and contexts (beyond the
face-to-face classroom environment) are required.
A pedagogical framework for networked and mobile learners can be developed by using
and revealing constructivism (Bruner, 1966; Piaget, 1973), social constructivism
(Vygotsky, 1978), communities of practice (Wenger, 2005), a conversational model of
learning (Laurillard, 2001), the social construction of technology (Bijker, 1995),
connectivism (Siemens, 2005), activity theory (Leont'ev, 1981), media richness theory.
(Daft & Lengel, 1986). Thus a mobile (mlearning) pedagogical model will focus upon
enhancing communication and collaboration within a dynamic learning environment,
and will be student-centred (Cochrane, 2010).
Supplementary Learning Examples
The ‘Handy’ project was realized by a teacher, in a Swiss private secondary school and
grammar school with a specialism in sports. The mobile phone was used as learning tool
as well as a topic of inquiry. Multimodal content creation (transformative; knowledge
building), microlearning, m-maturity/technical literacy, archive, peer-teaching are
important activities of project (MoLeaP - The mobile learning project database, 2007).
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
xTasks (Ketamo 2003) is a platform for using mobile devices as a multi-user text editor.
A teacher or tutor gives a task to a group of students and they can use the device for
further discussion and the fulfilment of the task. The system supports them with several
functions like text sharing, cooperative writing, and outline and structure support
(Frohberg, Göth, & Schwabe, 2009).
The ‘Learning Lab’ project is conducted in Bangalore, India, at a government school
(Pachler, Bachmair, & Cook, 2010). The projects consisted of two assignments:
‘Curricular Learning Outside the Classroom’ and ‘Exploring Locative Media’. The first
assignment was related to a problem-oriented and problem-solving task from
Mathematics and sciences, as well as to data collection, collaborative learning and
location awareness. The second assignment, ‘exploring locative media’, was composed
of different non-curricular activities.
Focused Learning Examples
Merrill Lynch found it was rare for employees to finish any online training they started,
mostly because of time constraints. They looked to m-learning and implemented
training courses via BlackBerry. The result was a 100% course completion rate
(Swanson, 2008).
The project ‘From e-learning to m-learning’ (Keegan 2002) was initiated by Sony
Ericsson and focused on the technological challenges when delivering prepared course
material to a mobile phone. This was one of the first pathfinding m-learning projects.
The researchers demonstrated how it is possible to provide access to e-learning content
on a mobile phone (Frohberg, Göth, & Schwabe, 2009).
Deep Learning Examples
The MOBIlearn project (Bo, 2005) developed a context awareness system that delivered
content to museum visitors depending on the museum exhibit they were currently
viewing (location) and the time spent in front of the exhibit (thought to reflect personal
interest).
In ImagiProbe project (Vahey & Crawford 2002), a PDA with several sensors was
provided, e.g. a sensor for temperature, magnetic fields, light intensity, amperage, etc.
Thus, students could explore an environment by themselves and use the tool for data
collection to reflect on it.
The ButterflyWatching Learning System (Chen et al. 2004) helps students to identify
butterflies and learn about them. In the field the students created a picture of a butterfly
with a camera and the system presented a selection of considerable butterflies. A
butterfly database contained typical characteristics of the butterflies, and it was up to the
students to finally identify the right one/s.
Homewood Suites (by Hilton) unveiled mobile training by providing video iPods in
every location in an effort to improve performance and development in areas likes sales
communications and brand messaging (CorpU, 2008). Each iPod program contains a
variety of two-minute modules highlighting specific brand skills that are both essential
and valuable.
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
4. Prevision about the Future of Mobile Learning
The number of advanced mobile devices, mobile Internet access, development and
diversification are expected to become more prevalent and cheaper. Because of the
development of technical specifications like 3G, 4G, GSM, GPRS and satellite
technologies that enter into our daily lives has also affected the mobile learning, its
instructional design and application possibilities. These possibilities are rich and
powerful for the societies and individuals.
Below most of the mobile applications have spread over the world and these are just the
beginning applications for the learners.
Mobile Social Media
o Mobile blogging
o Mobile photo blogging
o Mobile video blogging
o Mobile voice blogging
Mobile Bookmarking / Social Tagging
Mobile RSS (online or via downloadable client applications)
Mobile Social Networking
o SMS Messaging Networks
o Friend/Community Networks
o Personal Content Networks (Photos and Blogging)
o Location-Based Social Networks
Mobile Maps Applications
Augmented reality applications with social interaction
Podcasting (Student generated)
5. Conclusion
Mobile learning has been one of the reflections of the widespread adoption of
wireless technology and Internet access as required from personal and or social. 3G,
4G, GSM, GPRS and satellite technologies that enter into our daily lives has also
affected the mobile learning, its instructional design and application possibilities.
Mobile devices are widely available to reach a wide audience of learners with
different learning styles and individual characteristics. This means the educational
environment has to be ready for this kind of learners.
On the other hand the smaller mobile devices have made mandatory the presentation
of information in small groups and/or individual even small size. Therefore
The International Symposium on Open and Distance Learning and International Council of Educational Media
2010 Joint Conference and Media Days, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey; 10/2010
information processing theory and other learning theories of education issues
frequently highlighted in the form of a small piles of presentations and so on. This
means pedagogy and technology should work together and urgent need of the new
design criteria.
In this study we stated some of the mobile applications have spread over the world
and these are just the beginning applications for the learners.
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