Learning on the Move in the Web 2.0: New Initiatives in M-Learning

Learning on the Move in the Web 2.0: New Initiatives in M-Learning

Carlos Baladrón (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain), Javier M. Aguiar (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain), Lorena Calavia (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain), Belén Carro (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain) and Antonio Sánchez-Esguevillas (Universidad de Valladolid, Spain)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4502-8.ch097
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Abstract

This work aims at presenting the current state of the art of the m-learning trend, an innovative new approach to teaching focused on taking advantage of mobile devices for learning anytime, anywhere and anyhow, usually employing collaborative tools. However, this new trend is still young, and research and innovation results are still fragmented. This work aims at providing an overview of the state of the art through the analysis of the most interesting initiatives published and reported, studying the different approaches followed, their pros and cons, and their results. And after that, this chapter provides a discussion of where we stand nowadays regarding m-learning, what has been achieved so far, which are the open challenges and where we are heading.
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Background

While there are some differential concepts and features among them, m-learning and e-learning could be considered technological siblings in some way. Both are trends evolving around the idea of applying new technologies to the educational plane, with e-learning focused on computers and m-learning focused on mobility.

The theoretical fundamentals of m-learning have been widely studied in the literature. For instance, Caudill (2007) presents a detailed theoretical study of the different definitions given traditionally for m-learning (Frohberg, 2006) and the existing differences with e-learning, concluding that m-learning is a new educational method, made possible thanks to mobile computing technologies, but going further than a simple technological change. M-learning allows learning on the move, facilitating many knowledge acquisition applications and methodologies that will remain valid even if the technology is updated and that do not only represent an update of e-learning applications.

The main conclusion at which most authors arrive is that m-learning is always e-learning, but e-learning is not necessarily m-learning, as it is the case that e-learning is always distance learning (d-learning), but d-learning is not necessarily e-learning (Georgiev, Georgieva, & Smrikarov, 2004). The differences between e-learning and d-learning are originated in the application of a new set of technologies to the traditional principles of d-learning, but during its evolution e-learning has become its own paradigm, with its own methodologies and applications. The same is true for m-learning: the differences from e-learning have been originated by a technological breakthrough, but its application has given birth to a new set of tools and methodologies.

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