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Will Mobile Learning Bring a Paradigm Shift in Higher Education?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Abstract

In the light of technology-driven social change that creates new challenges for universities, this paper considers the potential of mobile learning as a subset of e-learning to effect a paradigm shift in higher education. Universities face exponential growth in demand for higher education, significant decreases in government funding for education, a changing in understanding of the nature of knowledge, changing student demographics and expectations, and global competition. At the same time untethered mobile telephony is connecting large numbers of potential learners to communications networks. A review of some empirical literature on the current status of mobile learning that explores alternatives to help universities fulfil core functions of storage, processing, and disseminating knowledge that can be applied to real life problems, is followed by an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of increased connectivity to mobile communications networks to support constructivist, self-directed quality interactive learning for increasingly mobile learners. This paper, written by Lalita Rajasingham, also examines whether mobile learning can align the developing technology with changing student expectations and the implications of such an alignment for teaching and institutional strategies. Technologies considered include mobile computing and technology, wireless laptop, hand-held PDAs, and mobile telephony.

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