What is Mobile Learning?

For several years now, a revolution has been taking place in software development that parallels similar shifts in the music, publishing, and retail industries. Mass market is giving way to niche market, and with it, the era of highly priced large suites of integrated software has shifted to a new view of what software should be. Mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS have redefined mobile computing, and in the past three to four years, the small, low-cost software extensions to these devices — apps — have become a hotbed of development. Simple but useful apps have found their way into almost every form of human endeavor, and a popular app can see millions of downloads in a very short time. The huge market for apps has spawned a flood of creativity that is instantly apparent in the extensive collections available in the app stores. Online app marketplaces provide an easy and highly efficient way to deliver software that reduces distribution and marketing costs significantly. Mobile apps continue to gain traction in education because they are particularly useful for learning as they enable people to learn and experience new concepts wherever they are, often across multiple devices.

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  • (1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

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    • Apps are popular ... however, I have seen several apps developed by Extension fade away from lack of marketing. Also, it is very expensive to develop an app and then to pay yearly for it to be made available. It is not a situation of "build it and they will come." I think these issues need to be addressed. - ahenneman ahenneman May 8, 2016
    • I think using phones and tablets for learning and receiving communication is something that we need to to continuously address long term. This is important in sectors from Agriculture to health and nutrition. I've heard it many times from people that work in our health and nutrition institute that many of their low-income clients may not have continuous access to Internet - but they do have a smart phone. - heyboerg heyboerg [Editor's Note: Added here from RQ3.]
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    (2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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    (3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

    • Apps that use AR or VR can be transformational ways of learning - jreich jreich!
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    (4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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