Any sort of learning that happens when the learner is not at a fixed,
predetermined location, or learning that happens when the learner
takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile
Learning that happens across locations, or that takes advantage of learning opportunities offered by portable technologies.
Mobile Learning is a relatively new area of TEL and it has different meanings for different communities. It covers:
- learning with portable technologies, where the focus is on the technology (which could be in a fixed location, such as a classroom);
- learning across contexts, where the focus is on the learner, interacting with portable or fixed technology;
- learning in a mobile society, with a focus on how society and its institutions can accommodate and support the learning of an increasingly mobile population.
A first step in postulating a theory of mobile learning is to distinguish what is special about
mobile learning compared to other types of learning activity. An obvious, yet essential,
difference is that it starts from the assumption that learners are continually on the move. We
learn across space as we take ideas and learning resources gained in one location and apply or
develop them in another. We learn across time, by revisiting knowledge that was gained earlier
in a different context, and more broadly, through ideas and strategies gained in early years
providing a framework for a lifetime of learning. We move from topic to topic, managing a
range of personal learning projects, rather than following a single curriculum. We also move in
and out of engagement with technology, for example as we enter and leave cellphone coverage.