A Mobile Learning Overview by Timeline and Mind Map

A Mobile Learning Overview by Timeline and Mind Map

David Parsons (Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/ijmbl.2014100101
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Abstract

Mobile learning has been a research topic for some 20 years. Over that time it has encompassed a wide range of concepts, theories, designs, experiments and evaluations. With increasing interest in mobile learning from researchers and practitioners, an accessible overview of this area of research that encapsulates its many facets and features can provide a useful snapshot of the field to interested parties. This article provides a summary of the field of mobile learning, applying the main analysis categories of research, technology, content, learning and learner. The author presents these categories and subcategories in the form of a mind map, which outlines the details of the major themes in mobile learning. In addition, the author contextualises the key developments in mobile learning in a timeline. The intent of this article is that it may serve as an introduction to the research field of mobile learning, enabling researchers to quickly familiarise themselves with the type of work that has been done in the past, and the potential areas of investigation that might prove fruitful in the future.
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The Concerns Of Mobile Learning Research

A number of authors have attempted to break down the field of mobile learning research into various specific concerns. The ways in which this has been done has, of course, varied depending on the focus of interest of these authors. From a general perspective, for example, Traxler (2009) defined a number of mobile learning categories: technology-driven, portable, connected classroom, informal, personalized, situated, performance support and in the development context. He also outlined some aspects of affordances; infrastructure, sparsity, policy agenda and blended learning modes. Laurillard (2007) provided a slightly different interpretation, pointing to aspects of mobile learning’s uniqueness as a learning mode by referencing learner generated contexts, digital objects co-located with the learner, the three ‘mobilities’ in m-learning (learners, technology objects, and information) and motivation through ownership and agency. While these categories are all relevant and helpful, this article attempts to develop a new overview, based on a broad analysis of the literature up to and including 2013, and provide visualisations of the main themes, concepts and concerns of mobile learning.

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