Hear From IGI Global Experts Dr. David Parsons and Dr. Kathryn MacCallum

Adapting to New Mobile and Blended Learning Technologies

By Anne Long on Sep 3, 2019
ijmbl New forms of technology are being adopted by institutions and educators in order to improve the classroom learning experience, whether that is face-to-face or online. Yet, despite these advances, more has yet to be discovered in terms of recognizing and redefining the aspects and dimensions of mobile and blended learning, as well as continuing to innovate and improve within the educational sphere. To further expand on this area of discovery, educational experts Dr. David Parsons, from the Mind Lab by Unitec, New Zealand, and Dr. Kathryn Mac Callum, from Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand, Editors-in-Chief of the IGI Global publication, the International Journal of Mobile and Blending Learning (IJMBL), shared their insight into the field of mobile and blended learning and how they are striving to publish new, emerging research in the following IGI Global interview.

What research inspires IJMBL?

We are mainly looking for research that pushes the boundaries of what people think of as mobile and/or blended learning. There are many well-worn definitions of each. For example, mobile learning is anywhere, anytime learning, or blended learning is a combination of online and face to face learning. What inspires our journal are new ideas that radically challenge these simplistic definitions.

As an expert within your field of research, what would you say you have learned so far?

From editing the journal, we have learned what a broad and diverse area of research mobile and blended learning encompasses. In every issue, we are publishing work in specialist areas that we were previously unaware of.

Why are the respective areas of research in IJMBL important to the field at large?

If we regard learning in the digital age as being a simple choice between face-to-face and online learning, or believe that online learning is the future and face to face learning is an anachronism, then we miss all the power and synergy of integrating multiple modalities of learning using a blend of technologies both inside and outside of the face-to-face learning experience. This understanding is crucial to the future of education.

In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of IJMBL to its community of users?

The main benefit of the journal is that it constantly introduces new ideas about how mobile and blended learning can be used across the curriculum and across contexts. We avoid publishing research that simply re-treads old ground, however well-executed and rigorous, and favor new ideas and exploratory research in unusual areas.

How does the research in your journal differ from other journals in the field?

There are some other journals that cover mobile or blended learning but the synergy between these two is what makes this journal special. Blended learning as a broad concept is increasingly dependent on mobile learning to be effective. IJMBL was the first and only journal to truly understand this important relationship between the two concepts.

What are some other evolving research trends you have observed in your industry/field over the past several months and what would you say are some of the innovative research directions you foresee in the future? How do you feel your publication sets the pace for these innovations?

The key driver in mobile and blended learning is the way that researchers continually seek to explore the potentials of developing technologies in learning. Areas that have seen much recent interest include mixed reality, robotics, 3D printing and the increasing sophistication of messaging tools. As the official journal of the International Association for Mobile Learning, we believe that we are leading the field in research innovation in this area by engaging directly with leading researchers.

What are the future directions of IJMBL and the research areas it covers?

Future directions will be dictated by the work of our contributors. We rely on their imagination and inspiration to take our field of research into unfamiliar areas. Fortunately, the continual development of technology provides new opportunities all the time.

What has your experience been like publishing with IGI Global?

After more than 10 years of working with IGI global, we can say that there have been some great people supporting us all the way through and enabling us to produce a high-quality journal that is consistently increasing its status in the research community.
IGI Global would like to thank Dr. Parsons and Dr. Mac Callum for sharing their insight into their journal, mobile technologies and learning, and the future of educational technology research. Additionally, IJMBL is continuously seeking submissions, and invites researchers and academicians to submit their work to IJMBL, here.
Dr. Parsons’s and Dr. Mac Callum’s journal, the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL), is a 2019 Core Journal Title in Education and is available in print and electronic format through IGI Global’s Online Bookstore, as well as featured in IGI Global’s InfoSci®-Journals, a database of 25,000+ peer-reviewed articles with 1,000,000+ citations source from 185+ scholarly journals.

With an annual subscription (2000-2020) offered as low as US$ 5,350 (one-time perpetual purchase for the current copyright year (2020) offered as low as US$ 5,450*), InfoSci-Journals hosts key features such as full-text PDF and HTML format, no DRM, unlimited simultaneous users, and no embargo of content (research is available months in advance of the print release). Spanning across 350+ topics in 11 core subject areas, including computer science, education, media and communications, social sciences and humanities, and more, this robust research database is ideal for academic and research institutions.

Additionally, when a library invests in IGI Global’s InfoSci-Journals database, they can take advantage of IGI Global’s Open Access (OA) Fee Waiver (Read and Publish) Initiative to provide their institution with an additional source of OA article processing charge (APC) funding. Through this transformative initiative, IGI Global matches the library’s investment with a fund of equal value to go towards subsidizing the OA article processing charges (APCs) for their faculty patrons at that institution when their work is accepted under OA into an IGI Global journal.**

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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