Increasingly powerful, handheld, networked devices provide an opportunity for educators to explore and implement ubiquitous learning (u-learning) environments through the extension of e-learning environments to include applications and services delivered to mobile devices. U-learning environments should be developed with both an understanding of human learning in general, and the learning of formally structured knowledge through de-structured u-learning environments. This study proposes a learning model for u-learning environments and a system architecture based on this model. The study outlines the features of the Walkabout u-Learning Environment, which has been implemented and trialled in accordance with the proposed model and architecture.
Key Terms in this Chapter
U-Learning: Ubiquitous learning, an amalgam of e-learning and m-learning, allowing learning to take place independantly of time and place.
Mobile Devices: Networked devices, which can access the Internet, such as PDAs, pocket computers or WAP 2 phones.
System Architecture: The software components of a computer system and the inter-relationships between these components.
M-Learning: Mobile learning, which takes place with the assistance of electronic media, typically sourced through the Internet, using mobile devices such as networked PDAs, pocket computers or WAP 2 phones.
Learning Environment: The environment in which learning is taking place, typically used to refer to the learning features of an online learning system.
Walkabout U-Learning: An Internet-based ubiquitous learning environment developed at Monash University, Australia.
Learning Model: A conceptual model used to descibe how learning takes place.
E-Learning: Electronic learning, which takes place with the assistance of electronic media, typically sourced through the Internet, using desktop computers.
Human Interaction: The interaction between learners and teacher and among learners during the learning process, and which may include synchronous and asynchronous modes and face to face and electonic modes.
Marratech: A propriety system for online audio/video synchronous interaction, see www.marratech.com