Mobile and Pervasive Technology in Education and Training: Potential and Possibilities, Problems and Pitfalls

Mobile and Pervasive Technology in Education and Training: Potential and Possibilities, Problems and Pitfalls

Mark J.W. Lee (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-220-6.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter investigates the use of mobile digital technologies for learning, or mobile learning (mlearning), across a variety of education and training settings. In particular, it focuses on pervasive m-learning, defined as m-learning involving activities that are able to integrate into learners’ lives, coinciding with other actions and tasks in an unobtrusive fashion. It also considers new and emerging pervasive computing, wearable, and ambient intelligence (AmI) technologies that enable implicit, unseen interactions between humans, objects, and their environment. The chapter is primarily concerned with the question of whether, and if so, how mobile and pervasive computing technologies can be used in pedagogically sound ways. Drawing on a number of illustrative examples, the chapter examines the degree to which pervasive m-learning has been achieved, or can be achieved, with current technologies, as well as the resulting benefits. It then raises a number of potential challenges and risk factors, before synthesizing the above into a number of realistic visions and future applications of pervasive m-learning. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications for education and training practitioners and researchers.
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Introduction

Mobile devices are perceived by some as an interference with or even a hindrance to learning. Tales of such devices being used as implements for school bullying abound; mobile phones ringing in classes or lectures are viewed as a distraction; students with iPods and portable gaming consoles in classrooms and lecture halls paint an image of being disengaged from or disinterested in learning. These scenarios all demonstrate the pervasive nature of mobile technology. When mobile technology pervades a learning environment, it is seen as detracting from learning; conversely, however, this also implies that other facets of learners’ lives can be pervaded with timely and flexible opportunities for learning. In fact, claims that the new generation of “digital native” (Prensky, 2001a; 2001b) students in today’s schools, colleges, and universities, and now the workforce, has “… spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age” (ibid, p. 1, para. 3) have prompted some educators to consider the possibilities of “co-opting” (Buchanan, 2003) the technologies learners already use for communication and entertainment, to engage them and help them learn better.

We are also beginning to witness the birth of a new raft of pervasive and embedded computing technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, contactless smart cards, ad hoc and sensor networks, and telepresence technologies that were originally envisioned by Weiser (1991) as those “that disappear ... [and] weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it” (p. 166), which are sensitive to their environment and able to adapt automatically to the needs and preferences of people. As these technologies move slowly but surely towards reaching a critical mass, we are able to consider their potential applications in a education and training landscape that is experiencing the blending and merging of formal and informal learning, and the need to respond to the demands and challenges of providing authentic, relevant learning experiences to millennial learners in the context of and in preparation for life and work in the knowledge age.

This chapter explores the notion of pervasiveness as it applies to the use of mobile digital technologies for learning, or “m-learning” across a variety of education and training settings. It is primarily concerned with the question of whether, and if so, how, these technologies can be used in pedagogically sound ways. Drawing on a number of illustrative examples, it examines the degree to which pervasive m-learning has been achieved, or can be achieved, with current technologies and applications, and the resulting benefits afforded to learners and learning. It also explores a number of potential issues and risk factors facing the development and implementation of pervasive m-learning, before synthesizing into a number of realistic visions and possible applications of pervasive m-learning to harness its potential, given the known limitations and risks. It closes with a discussion of the practical and future research implications.

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Table of Contents
Foreword
Jeffrey Soar
Preface
Varuna Godara
Chapter 1
Varuna Godara
Pervasive computing is trying to make the dreams of the science fiction writers come true—where you think of some type of convenience and you have... Sample PDF
Pervasive Computing: A Conceptual Framework
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Chapter 2
Varuna Godara
The need for more and more flexibility (in terms of time and location) in business operations, contextbased services, decentralization of business... Sample PDF
Pervasive Business Infrastructure: The Network Technologies, Routing and Security Issues
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Chapter 3
Deo Prakash Vidyarthi
The proliferation of the capable mobile devices has given the opportunity to utilize these devices for various purposes. The mobile devices being... Sample PDF
Computational Mobile Grid: A Computing Infrastructure on Mobile Devices
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Chapter 4
Mark J.W. Lee
This chapter investigates the use of mobile digital technologies for learning, or mobile learning (mlearning), across a variety of education and... Sample PDF
Mobile and Pervasive Technology in Education and Training: Potential and Possibilities, Problems and Pitfalls
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Chapter 5
Gaya Prasad
Microorganisms are ubiquitous in their presence. They are present in air, soil, water, and all kinds of living creatures. Varieties of microbes have... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Computing for Microbial Forensics and Bioterrorism
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Chapter 6
Jonathan G.M. Pratt
This chapter presents the major findings of case study research investigating uncritical assessment of an institution-wide learning management... Sample PDF
Falling Behind: A Case Study in Uncritical Assessment
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Chapter 7
Yvonne Lee, Martin Kornberger
In the rapidly changing digital marketplace, firms increasingly try to look for new ways to acquire, engage, and retain their consumers. In doing... Sample PDF
Strategizing in the Digital World: Aligning Business Model, Brand and Technology
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Chapter 8
Helena Halas, Tomaž Klobucar
This chapter explores the influence of pervasive computing on companies and their businesses, with the main stress on business models. The role of... Sample PDF
Business Models and Organizational Processes Changes
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Chapter 9
Te Fu Chen
To date, identifying barriers and critical success factors (CSFs) and integrating business model in implementing e-business for SMEs, have not been... Sample PDF
The Critical Success Factors and Integrated Model for Implementing E-Business in Taiwan's SMEs
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Chapter 10
Lawan Ahmed Mohammed
The change in physical structures of computing facilities into small and portable devices, or even wearable computers, has enhanced ubiquitous... Sample PDF
Security Issues in Pervasive Computing
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Chapter 11
Grace Li
Pervasive computing and communications is emerging rapidly as an exciting new paradigm and discipline to provide computing and communication... Sample PDF
Deciphering Pervasive Computing: A Study of Jurisdiction, E-Fraud and Privacy in Pervasive Computing Environment
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Chapter 12
Reima Suomi, Tuomas Aho, Tom Björkroth, Aki Koponen
Accurate identification of individuals is a cornerstone of any modern society. Without identification, we cannot recognize the parties of different... Sample PDF
Biometrical Identification as a Challenge for Legislation: The Finnish Case
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Chapter 13
Antony Glambedakis
This chapter sets out to inform the reader about the impact of pervasive computers in aviation passenger risk profiling. First is an overview of the... Sample PDF
Pervasive Computers in Aviation Passenger Risk Profiling
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Chapter 14
Penny Duquenoy, Oliver K. Burmeister
There is a growing concern both publicly and professionally surrounding the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and... Sample PDF
Ethical Issues and Pervasive Computing
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Chapter 15
Phillip W.J. Brook
This chapter explores the implications of knowledge sharing in an era of pervasive computing, and concludes that, perhaps counter-intuitively... Sample PDF
Knowledge Sharing and Pervasive Computing: The Need for Trust and a Sense of History
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Chapter 16
Patrice Braun
In view of the fact that women are playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, this chapter examines business skilling in the... Sample PDF
Advancing Women in the Digital Economy: eLearning Opportunities for Meta-Competency Skilling
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Chapter 17
B.K. Mangaraj, Upali Aparajita
The future of pervasive computers largely depends upon culture studies of human societies. This forms a challenging field of social research because... Sample PDF
Cultural Dimension in the Future of Pervasive Computing
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Chapter 18
Genevieve Watson
Pervasive computers cover many areas of both our working and personal lives. This chapter investigates this phenomenon through the human factors... Sample PDF
Outline of the Human Factor Elements Evident with Pervasive Computers
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Chapter 19
Kalawati Malik
This chapter analyses the impact of computer and video games on the development of children. First introductory part of this chapter informs its... Sample PDF
Impact of Computer and Video Games on the Development of Children
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About the Contributors