Mobile Applications in Higher Education: Implications for Teaching and Learning

Mobile Applications in Higher Education: Implications for Teaching and Learning

Benjamin KS Khoo (New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2019010107


Distance education or learning has been around for a long time and with the advent of mobile devices like the smart phone, it is inevitable that mobility impacts the distance education arena. Mobile learning in this article is defined as the “mobile” state of the learner. In theory, this amplifies the flexibility of distance and online learning, reducing the significance of geographic location while increasing that of contextuality. The affordances of mobility empower students to participate as part of context-aware ubiquitous learning. There are a diversity of contexts, methods, and technologies used. There is a need to have a stronger connection between mobile technology integration and a learning-theoretical framework to guide research, practice, and policy. It is important to integrate mobile and emerging technologies with education through an appropriate evidence-based learning design framework.
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2. Current State Of Mobile Learning

The Gartner Hype Cycle (or Curve) was developed by Gartner Inc. to illustrate the life cycle of modern technologies. Gartner Hype Cycles graphically represent the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and they can be relevant to solve genuine business problems and to exploit new opportunities. The Gartner Hype Cycle provides a view of how a technology or application can evolve over time and can provide insight to manage its deployment within the context of business goals. The hype cycle has 2 axes, a vertical axis that represent Expectations and a horizontal axis that represent Time. There are different tasks/activities/events along the technology’s life cycle in each phase as illustrated in Figure 1 (adapted from Date retrieved: February 22, 2017). The use of mobile technology in teaching and learning is currently in the “Slope of Enlightenment” phase of the Gartner Hype Cycle. This is a semi-matured stage.

Figure 1.

Tasks/activities/events along the mobile learning’s life cycle

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