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M-learning

Overview

Just when you thought elearning made sense...along comes...(insert Jaws theme) - m-learning! M-learning (mobile learning) is the process of accessing learning materials using PDA's. M-learning has value in a mobile and fast paced work force.

Typically, elearning is described as being "anytime, anywhere learning". While this is mostly true, a "student" still needs access to a computer and to an Internet connection. M-learning, however, cuts those ties. All a student needs is a PDA and a wireless network. Learning can happen in an airport, in a coffee shop, or during lunch in a park.

Performance support is possibly the most exciting element of m-learning. When a salesperson needs product specifications, or a repair person needs to access to inventory, mobile connectivity has great value. What previously took hours can now occur in minutes. Information is available when it's needed...incredibly valuable aspect of an information era.

Essentially, m-learning is an aggregation of existing, established technologies - elearning, PDA's (in many cases), wireless networks, and cellular communication. The infrastructure and tools are in place for m-learning...content creation and social uptake are the next two hurdles.

Resources

Get Ready for M-learning
Good overview article. Lists several resources to pursue for m-learning hardware.

Goin' Mobile
"Its screen is tiny and its capacity limited, but the personal digital assistant is about to step into the limelight as a valuable member of the e-learning troupe. Vendors are scrambling to make it happen by reformatting content into compatible bite-sized chunks for handheld units."

Can a Handheld Replace a Laptop?
"If you think notebook computers have yet to catch on, spend some time at the airport. Once, it was fun to see if anyone else carried a laptop, but now it's hard to avoid being jostled by someone's overstuffed Targus bag. Laptops have enabled people to free themselves from the desktop, work on the road, and stay connected via email and the Web from nearly any location.
However, even a compact laptop weighs heavily on the shoulders when you're carrying it all day at a trade show or switching planes in a large airport where your gate is always as far away as possible. An increasing number of people in search of a lighter alternative have asked me if it's possible to leave the laptop at home and just carry a Palm organizer."

Mobile Computing for Teaching and Learning
Archived presentation. Extensive resources included.

Handsprings to Learning
"The Handsprings to Learning program at East Carolina University enhances the teaching and learning processes by deploying handheld computers and wireless connectivity technology -- for faculty and student use alike."

EduPalm
Great resource page. Links to software, hardware, accessories, etc.

Handheld Learning
"Teachers can improve their teaching and professional skills with handheld computers as well as enhancing their classrooms. Palms are great tools for keeping track of and organizing information, and can interact with student Palms by beaming information." Part of EducatorsPalm site.

Learning on the Go
"Once just a device to access online and offline data (contacts, calendars, enterprise sales), incredible leaps in technology are providing PDA users the opportunity to interact with data - from manipulating and transforming data through script-enabled web pages, to streaming video and real-time chat." Part of the pdaED site - an excellent resource.

Lectora
"Lectora Publisher for Palm OS® and for Pocket PC are innovative new authoring tools from Trivantis that instantly bring interactive development from your desktop computer to PDA devices."

iPresentation
"The iPresentation Mobile Client is the industry's first solution for mobile professionals to not only create PowerPoint® presentations, but also allow them to view and hear the presentations on their Pocket PC mobile devices."

NAIT - Mobile Learning
"The Mobile Learning project is designed to provide industry-relevant curriculum in a new leading-edge fashion. Students involved in this exciting new initiative will have access to learning materials, fellow learners and instructors anytime, anywhere."

M-learning Case Study
"Recently, INSEAD, NOKIA, and ICUS formed an Asia-Pacific consortium to pilot m-learning. The initial result of their endeavor was the development and deployment of an e-course delivered via WAP-enabled NOKIA phones."

Wireless Software - Palm
Software resources for business, communication, entertainment, travel, and more.

Palm - Education
Obviously sales focused...but offers valuable information.

 

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