Efficient Mobile Learning in Classroom Settings through MLE

Efficient Mobile Learning in Classroom Settings through MLE

Nitzan Elyakim (School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and Iris Reychav (Ariel University, Israel)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch577
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The emergence of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and its pervasiveness in educational systems are not new. However, when innovative features or new technologies emerge, the balance between technology, pedagogy and learning content (Koehler & Mishra, 2009) is disrupted and reconsideration is required. Since its introduction into different education systems in the last decade, research has explored whether the integration of mobile technology should be seen as a different kind of learning; namely, mobile learning. The definition of m-learning covers attitudes toward mobile device use and relates to people's mental models of technology.

Technology Mental Models

This debate is complex, because it reflects attitudes linked to previous perspectives on technology. As McLuhan and Fiore noted (1967, p. 75), “We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.” As we encounter a new and unknown artifact, we try to evaluate it and understand its functionality by implementing mental models. When interacting with the environment, people form internal representations of themselves and the artifact with which they are interacting. These subjective models are not necessarily technically accurate, but must be functional. A mental model consists of (1) people's belief systems (reflecting their beliefs and expectations from the artifact), (2) the correspondence between parameters and the observable state of the artifact, and (3) predictive power and functionality of the artifact (Norman, 1983). Mental models of mobile devices may thus affect the definition of m-learning.

Kukulska-Hulme et al (2009) divided the evolution of mobile learning into three phases: (1) focus on devices, (2) focus on learning outside the classroom, and (3) focus on learners' mobility while connected to both the Internet and other ambient information.

Mobile learning refers to the use of handheld, portable and wireless devices for the purposes of learning activities while on the move (Park, 2011) or while learners are mobilized across contexts (Walker,2006). Winter (2006) re-conceptualized the essence of mobile learning, and emphasized learning: “(intention) mediated learning through (means) mobile technology.”

Although most research on mobile learning has dealt with outside activities, this study examined learning in a classroom setting by taking advantage of the unique affordances of mobile devices.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mediated Learning Experience (MLE): a quality interaction of the organism and its environment. This quality is created by changes caused by human mediator who places himself between stimulus and organism learner: mediator selects, organizes, allocates time, and determines the strength and importance of the stimulus.

Mental Models: Internal representation of reality, both concrete and abstract - or, alternatively, a representation of reality in thought. Mental model is an explanation of the thought process of a person, and it refers to the way we perceive what is happening in the real world.

Mobile Learning: Learning process that take advantage of handheld devices and enable learners to promote their needs anywhere and anytime.

Ubiquitous: Having the ability to be everywhere - at once. When using mobile technologies, we tend to use in them without thinking about the tool. Instead, we focus on the task at hand, making the technology effectively invisible to us.

Efficient Learning: Using a minimum of resources to achieve a desired result in the learning process.

Transactional Distance: cognitive space between teachers and learners in an educational setting that may produce a pedagogical, psychological or communicational gap. It occurs, especially in distance online education, where learners are separated from their teacher and from each other.

Affordance: Is a characteristic related to the message received from a virtual or physical object that implies its specific manner of use.

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