Mobile Educational Technology

Mobile Educational Technology

Chris Houser (Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan) and Patricia Thornton (Kinjo Gakuin University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch205
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Abstract

Mobile devices such as laptop computers, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and cell phones offer many features useful for learning both inside and outside classrooms. These devices offer access to Web pages and e-mail, and provide other functions such as textual noting and video cameras. They promise a single, easily learned device that can be useful in a variety of educational settings. When used appropriately, these devices can enrich the learning experience by connecting learners with each other, their environment, and with information providers. They can enable collaborative problem solving by providing easy face-to-face sharing of data through IR (infrared) beaming or distance sharing through e-mail and Web interfaces. For learners who require repetitive practice for skills development, mobile devices offer a personal tool that can be used anytime, anywhere for quick review. Because of their low cost and ease of use, mobile devices have the potential to bring the power of a computer to every learner.
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Introduction

Mobile devices such as laptop computers, PDAs (personal digital assistants), and cell phones offer many features useful for learning both inside and outside classrooms. These devices offer access to Web pages and e-mail, and provide other functions such as textual noting and video cameras. They promise a single, easily learned device that can be useful in a variety of educational settings. When used appropriately, these devices can enrich the learning experience by connecting learners with each other, their environment, and with information providers. They can enable collaborative problem solving by providing easy face-to-face sharing of data through IR (infrared) beaming or distance sharing through e-mail and Web interfaces. For learners who require repetitive practice for skills development, mobile devices offer a personal tool that can be used anytime, anywhere for quick review. Because of their low cost and ease of use, mobile devices have the potential to bring the power of a computer to every learner.

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Why Mobile Education?

Mobile devices can profitably replace desktop computers in the classroom, conferring several advantages.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Beam, IR (Infrared), IrDA (Infrared Data Association): Wireless communication technology, similar to that used in TV remote controls. Used by PDAs to exchange data over a distance of at most a few meters. Competes with Bluetooth and 802.11

RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification): Small chip used to identify hardware (such as exhibits in a museum or products in a retail store) by a radio in a PDA. Competes with printed barcodes.

Flash, SWF (ShockWave Flash): Program used to create animation, movies, and interactive graphical programs such as quizzes and games. Playable on some cell phones, many PDAs, and all desktop computers

Java: Programming language designed to be portable, used to create programs that will run on mobile phones and PDAs, as well as Macintosh, Windows, and Unix desktop computers

Wireless Network, WiFi, 802.11, Hot spot, WLAN (Wireless Local-Area Network): Medium-power radio communication technology, similar to cordless phones, used to connect computers over a distance of several dozen meters. These networks can be either ad hoc groups of peers or a set of mobile clients connecting to the Internet through a hardware access point. Competes with IR and Bluetooth

WWAN (Wireless Wide-Area Network): The cell phone’s high-power cellular radio network, used for access to the Internet over the entire cell-phone coverage area

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), Mobile Web: World Wide Web for cell phones and other mobile devices. Competes with HTML (hypertext markup language)

Ad Hoc Network: Peer-to-peer 802.11 network formed automatically when several computers come together without an access point. Such computers can exchange data within the network, but cannot access the Internet

Mobile Phone, Cell Phone: Originally a portable wireless telephone, but now extended to a wireless Internet device supporting Web, mail, and other features in addition to voice

SMS (Short-Message Service), Texting, Mobile E-Mail: E-mail for cell phones. Now largely compatible with computer e-mail

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant): A handheld, pocket-sized computer, typically operated by tapping and writing on its screen with a pen-like stylus. Often used to carry personal information such as schedules, notes, e-mail, and telephone numbers

Bluetooth: Low-power radio communication technology similar to cordless phones, used to connect up to eight peripherals with a computer over distances of a few meters. Typically used in cordless keyboards or to connect laptops or PDAs with cell-phone modems. Competes with IR and 802.11

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