Mobile Technologies


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a laptop, tablet and smart phone“The applications of mobile learning range widely from K-12 to higher education and corporate learning settings, from formal and informal learning to classroom learning, distance learning and field study.” (Park, 2011) 

Mobile Technologies, including smart phones, tablets, and laptop computers, are being used increasingly in educational settings. As the availability of these devices increases, educators are finding new uses for each in their classrooms, both face-to-face and at a distance. Mobile technologies are seen to to help increase the interest of students and allows students to learn anytime, anywhere. Students using mobile technologies can now take their learning outside the classroom, gaining access to information or classroom requirements in the context where the skills and theories are actually being used. However, increased access to information does not constitute the whole of mobile learning. Students are able to use these mobile devices in a social context as well, allowing them to learn from multiple individuals in addition to learning from their instructor adding a new dimension to learning activities and causing learning to be more experiential and multifaceted. Students view mobile devices in a positive view as well seeing these devices as more accessible, portable and newer. 

Many educators believe that the benefit to using mobile technologies in education stems from the ability to use mobile devices as “part of a set of digital (and other) resources, rather than in isolation.” By combining mobile technologies with other strategies, educational opportunities can be expanded beyond the traditional classroom walls and help students to achieve their personal goals. Mobile devices, with the ability to create eTextbooks and design applications (as well as access to a vast array of already created applications) allows the learning experience to be customized to both student and instructor needs. Some mobile strategies suggested include,

… using voice recording software, mobile response system applications, multimedia (images, film, television, animations, audio) viewing, simulations, electronic texts, mobile learning/course management system applications, instant messaging, interactive images, listening to course lectures, and virtual field trips. (Fuegen, 2012)

Mobile apps can be a great addition to any mobile learning strategy. Students and educators need not be coding experts as many helpful applications have already been created and are readily available. A great deal of these applications are available for free or at a small fee and can be used to help increase productivity. Check out the Mobile Apps page for apps in education suggestions.


Fernandez-Lopez, A., Rodriguez-Fortiz, M.J., Rodriguez-Almendros, M.L., and Martinez-Segura, M.J. (2013). Mobile learning technology based on iOS devices to support students with special education needs. Computers & Education, 61, 77-90.

Fuegen, S. (2012). The Impact of Mobile Technologies on Distance Education. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 56(6), 49-53.

Geist, E. (2011). The game changer: Using iPads in college teacher education classes. College Student Journal, 45(4), 758-768.

Jones, A.C., Scanlon, E., Clough, G. (2013). Mobile learning: Two case studies of supporting inquiry learning in informal and semiformal settings. Computers & Education, 61, 21-32.

Park, Y. (2011). A pedagogical framework for mobile learning: Categorizing educational applications of mobile technologies into four types. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(2), 78-102.

Sung, E. (2012). Students’ beliefs about mobile devices vs. desktop computers in South Korea and the United States. Computers & Education, 59(4), 1328-1338.

Ting, Y.L. (2013). Using mobile technologies to create interwoven learning interactions: An intuitive design and its evaluation. Computers & Education, 60(1), 1-13.