Environments for Mobile Learning

Environments for Mobile Learning

Han-Chieh Chao (National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan), Tin-Yu Wu (National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan) and Michelle T.C. Kao (National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 4
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch131
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Abstract

As we enter the electronic age, technologies enabling e-learning have increased flexibility of learning location. Wireless communication technologies further increase the options for learning location (Johnson & Maltz, 1996; Wu, Huang & Chao, 2004). Advances in wireless communication technologies have recently provided the opportunity for educators to create new educational models. With the aid of wireless communication technology, educational practice can be embedded into mobile life without wired-based communication. With the trend of the educational media becoming more mobilized, portable and individualized, the learning form is being modified spectacularly.
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Introduction

As we enter the electronic age, technologies enabling e-learning have increased flexibility of learning location. Wireless communication technologies further increase the options for learning location (Johnson & Maltz, 1996; Wu, Huang & Chao, 2004). Advances in wireless communication technologies have recently provided the opportunity for educators to create new educational models. With the aid of wireless communication technology, educational practice can be embedded into mobile life without wired-based communication. With the trend of the educational media becoming more mobilized, portable and individualized, the learning form is being modified spectacularly. The mobile learning environment possesses many unique characteristics (Chen, Kao & Sheu, 2003):

  • Urgency of learning need: The wireless applications can be used for an urgent matter of learning, such as linking problem solving and knowledge. Otherwise, the learner may record the questions and look for the answer later in the library, on houseline with a computer or from the experts.

  • Initiative of knowledge acquisition: Frequently, information provided by wireless applications are based on the learners’ requests; that is, information on demand. Being based on the learners’ requests, together with the help of current state-of-the-art I/O devices, such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Voice Extensible Markup Language (VXML) and so forth (Page, 1993; Andersson, 2001), interactive personal information can be communicated between learners and the databases so that the wireless application can provide closely related information in time and in need.

  • Mobility of learning setting: Wireless devices are developed to be more and more portable. Therefore, the educational practice can be performed at any time and any place and always on, such as on a tour bus, camping area, exhibit room, and so forth. All kinds of field trip situations can be facilitated. This kind of learning setting can be preplanned or be opportunistic in nature.

  • Interactivity of the learning process: Through the interfaces of voices, pointing, mails, icons, even videos, the learner can communicate with experts, peers or other materials effectively in the form of synchronous or asynchronous communication. Hence, the expert is more reachable and the knowledge is more available.

  • Situating of instructional activity: Via wireless applications, the learning could be embedded in daily life. The problems encountered, as well as the knowledge required, are all presented in authentic context, which helps learners notice the features of problem situations that make particular actions relevant.

  • Integration of instructional content: The wireless learning environment integrates many information resources, and supports learners to do non-linear, multidimensional and flexible learning and thinking. It especially facilitates complex and ill-structured learning content, such as cross-subject, theme-based learning activities.

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