Course:ETEC522/2010ST1/MobileTechnologies/Leading Learning Applications

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Leading Learning Applications

Are your students demanding, grades, list of campus events, library resources, assignment and syllabus?

Today’s learners are exposed to different types of technology. Prensky (2001) has called these learners digital natives they operate in an instant mode. They expect quick responses to their demands. This type of behaviour has been attributed to the digital era in which the learners have been exposed.

These natives are now ardent users of not just digital technologies but digital mobile technologies. This is supported by Levine in Trotter (2009, p.1) who claimed that “mobile devices are part of the fabric of children’s lives today: They are here to stay”. It is therefore important and imperative that the educational experiences of the learners include the use of mobile technology which can advance the learning experiences.

What is m-learning? Wikipedia defines m-learning as learning that happens when the learner takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies. Mobile learning has entered the education field only recently. While e-learning has been a feature of flexible learning for half a decade, m-learning is a relatively recent innovation.

Advantages of using m-technology in education

  • Encourages collaboration (constant interaction)
  • Encourages cooperation (team/group work)
  • Informal learning
  • Enliven lessons
  • Learning occurs outside of the schedule class period
  • Increase in retention
  • Increase in the quality of learners
  • Increase in graduation rates

Challenges of using m-technology in education

  • Cost for end users
  • Connectivity
  • Size of device (key, screen, etc)
  • Copyright issues
  • Security
  • Acceptance of m-technologies as teaching tools
  • Teacher readiness
  • Frequent changes to mobile devices

Some mobile learning tools are

Smart Phones:

These are cell phones with more than an address book. They allow users to do the following and more; create and edit Microsoft Office document, download applications, access the internet at a faster speed, or edit photographs



These are portable media player for storing and playing audio files. It was designed and marketed by Apple and launched on October 23, 2001

Ipod u2.jpg

E-Book Readers:

E-Book Readers

by doug larsen

An e-book is an electronic device that is primarily designed for the purpose of reading digital content – books, magazines, new papers, journal articles etc. What is the potential influence of the mobile technologies, such as the iPad, Kindle etc. on the publishing industry and consequently post secondary education? Do ereaders have the potential to create a paradigm shift in the publishing industry that will impact students at post secondary institutions? What are the potential influences of ereaders (ebooks) on learning in post secondary institutions?

In 2001 Bell University launched an experiential demonstration research project to determine the uability of e-reader technology in a learning environment. They had a large group of students use e-books for course work as well as write quizzes. In short, a 100% of the students that used the black and white version would not recommend a e-reader to friends and 50% of those that used the colour version would not recommend it to a friend. The research team made the observation that the students could not be blamed for their perspective because the text representation was a poor quality (Bellaver, & Gillette). What has changed since 2001?

  • Sony revealed that 300,000 Sony Readers had been sold globally since device launch in October 2006 as of December 2008
  • At Amazon on a title by title basis of the 130,000 titles available on Kindle and in physical form, Kindle sales now make up over 12 percent of sales for those titles (July 2008)
  • iRex Technologies is doubling iLiad (iRex eBook reader) sales every 12 months (January, 2009) (van der Velde & Ernst, 2009)
  • Since the introduction of Amazon Kindle 2007 devices have become more durable, more colorful, and multifunctional (Kho, 2010)
  • Kindle DX can hold more than 3500 titles
  • Goodle has produced thousands of free literacy classics. As a result of free content, the consumer's value for on the initial investment is high.

For a detailed comparison click on‘’’E-book readers’’’ E-readers are now coming into main steam and demonstrating significant potential to fundamentally change the publishing industry, especially those targeting post secondary institutions. Joe Murphy, Yale University science librarian in the context of discussing the influence of mobile technologies stated “the only time print is relevant is when it’s not yet available digitally”(Hadro, February 2010) Do you agree with this statement?

In 2009, Amazon Kindle DX was piloted at six American universities and colleges. Princeton University participated in the pilot over three courses for approximately 50 students. One siginificant improvement over the 2001 study was students noted that they like the “legibility of the screen, and the fact it could be read in full sunlight” (Princeton Final Report, 2010, pg.3). However, the tool was not conducive to scholarship because PDF documents could not annotated or highlighted, and it was hard to look at more than one document at once. These limitations were particularly challenging for conducting research for paper assignments.

To quote one student, “For me reading the less essential readings on the Kindle was fine but when there were readings that I was really interested in and really wanted to retain, wanted to read over and over again [it] made it a little frustrating to be doing [them] on the Kindle and for those particular readings, it would have been nice to have printed off an electronic version…especially when you’re writing a research paper”(Princeton, pg.4). On the overall, the students gave the Kindle a positive assessment pertaining to the “reading aspects of the …e-reader”, but indicated the “experience of writing and studying could be improved” by having better tools such as highlighting in multiple colours, and a method to enable students to skim read – flip through the readings (Princeton, pg.6)

An added bonus, classes that used a e-reader reduced their paper usage by approximately 50% over the semester. A clear winner for the environment.

In conclusion, e-readers have made considerable advancements over the last decade, and seem effective for certain types of reading, whereas, there needs to be improvements to maximize its utility in a academic context.

Report Card

Mobile technologies are here to stay. They can engage and empower the learner in an informal learning environment. It is appropriate then that a B+ is awarded for the contribution that m-technologies can make in the teaching and learning process.


Bellaver, R. & Gillette, J.(2001) The Usability of E-book Technology Retrieved from

The Trustees of Princeton University.2010) The E-reader pilot at Princeton Final Report. Retrieved from

Hadro, J.(2010).Top Tech Trends: User Expectations and Ebooks. Library Journal, 135(3), 18-20. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Kho, N. (2010). E-Readers and Publishing's BOTTOM LINE: The Opportunities and Challenges Presented by the Explosion of the E-Reader Market. EContent, 33(3), 30-35. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

van der Velde, W., & Ernst, O. (2009). The future of eBooks? Will print disappear? An end-user perspective. Library Hi Tech, 27(4), 570-583. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Manzo, K. K. (2009). Making the case for mobile computing. Education Week Digital Directions. Retrieved from

Troter, A. (2009). Mobile devices seen as key to 21st-century learning. Education Week Digital Directions. Retrieved from