In this chapter
30 mobile learning initiatives in 2001 are presented and analysed.
They give the background and context to the project and demonstrate
the growing importance of mLearning as a field of educational research
mLearning Wap project
was run in Norway in spring 2001 with four partners:
- Telenor Mobil
- IT Fornebu
Knowation (project leader).
report, written by Tove Kristiansen of IT Fornebu Knowation is divided
into four parts:
- Project description
- The pilot
- User experiences.
gives a definition of mLearning: the use of mobile terminals in
learning and attributes its growth to an in creasing mobility and
the growing need for flexible learning.
given of the expected growth of both eLearning and mLearning with
a quotation from Brandon Hall 'I have the sense when I look at the
Palm VII or a wireless phone that I am staring at the future'.
The aim of the
project was to use some simple WAP solutions as an add-on to an
ordinary course given in a classroom.
The course was
an Ericsson course Introduction to 3G applications which focuses
on UMTS technology and future applications and services.
All the 18 participants
were employees of Telenor Mobil and each was given an Ericsson R380
WAP phone to use during the course.
The phones were
used for demonstrating future services, repetition, a quiz, an idea
box and course evaluation.
were demonstrated by getting each participant to order their lunch
via WAP from a local hotel. Repetition was for the revision of certain
parts of the course outside the course hours. In the quiz a total
of 18 statements were given and the participants had to answer 'true'
or 'false' and submit their answers. Each person could immediately
see their scores, and the scores of the other participants for comparison.
The idea box was set up to allow participants to write down their
thoughts about the mobile internet and the potentials of mLearning.
In the course evaluation the participants were asked to fill in
and submit the questionnaire. The course organizer could then read
the evaluations immediately on the World Wide Web.
The tool for
creating the course for WAP-telephones is presented thus at http://www.insiteint.com/e3g
impression was that the participants experienced the use of WAP
telephones as a very positive supplement to the course. The possibility
of revision while going back home at night was rated highly. The
immediate feed-back to the quiz and the ability to do it anywhere
and anytime were also appreciated.
for improvements is obvious. When broadband multimedia becomes accessible
and mobile terminals get larger colour screens within a few years,
there will be no limitations as to what kind of content is will
be possible to provide. Thus, the challenge for further development
of mLearning lies more within pedagogical and organisational aspects
than with technological ones.
There are two
projects on mobile learning using the title Mobilearn: one, based
at the Viktoria Institute at Gothenburg in Sweden is described here;
the other, a German/Brasilian partnership is presented in section
in the Mobilearn project are:
Radio Systems AB
Microwave Systems AB.
In an article
titled 'Mobilearn: competence development for nomads' the aims of
the project are presented:
in the new economy are dependent on organizational knowledge and
competence. Workers in these organizations are to a large extent
mobile. They need new competence development opportunities unrestrained
by time and space. We have developed and successfully tested models,
applications and activities (e.g. multimedia scenarios) supporting
competence development. We are transferring this competence development
activity to mobile settings to achieve successful competence development
for nomads. The goal is identifying applications and services in
the competence development realm suitable for 3G (third generation
cellular networks). Combining our models and activities with the
new technology we rethink how competence development can be conducted
To be able to
redesign and evaluate multimedia scenarios on handheld devices the
project used Compaq iPAQs Pocket PC and Sony VAIO C1 Picturebook.
iPAQs were used for simulation of the expected small screens of
the 3G - terminals. The Vaio (small size, built in video camera)
is excellent for testing videoconference with a wireless LAN (simulating
future 3G networks).
In another article
'Mobile competence development for nomads' it is stated that the
project is attempting to create a human-computer environment on
handheld devices that encourages and simplifies communication between
groups as well as having support for educational models in order
to facilitate collaborative learning. The project is based on the
availability of 3G technologies for transferring already existing
multimedia scenarios for collaborative learning to mobile multimedia
Here is a
multimedia scenario proposed by the project:
Jack is traveling
by train to meet a customer. He has to get prepared for the meeting
but after reading through the background material of the customer
he has time to engage in some 3G competence development. He connects
to the e-business education that started this week, and views a
short video that introduces the first week's topic (see Figure).
The video raises
some interesting points. Jack is especially interested in the point
about customer relations' management (CRM). He decides to initiate
a videoconference with a colleague in his group to discuss the issue
right away. The 3G platform indicates that his colleague will accept
incoming videoconference calls related to the e-business education.
Jack makes the call and they talk for five minutes and reach the
opinion that CRM seems to be a fad. Jack decides to share their
thoughts with the rest of the group and posts a short written message
in the common discussion area.
use of the English word 'nomads' for 'mobile workers' or 'mobile
people' seems unfortunate as the English word is not usually regarded
as synonymous with the other concepts.
From 31 May
2001 to 1 June 2001 there was an international conference at Gothenburg,
Sweden with European Commission participation on all aspects of
e-Mobility. A number of the papers dealt with mobile learning, including
a presentation of the Viktoria Institute MobiLearn project. This
was the conference presentation:
shows the growing importance of mobile solutions and of mobile learning
for the first time at the e-Mobility conference was the mLearning
project Ultralab described in no 12 below. This is a United Kingdom
IST (Information Society Technologies) project which will develop
two prototype microportals; one for use with WAP/3G phones, and
one for palmtop PCs and similar devices.
(University of Helsinki/ICL)
The aim of the
UniWap project is to develop educational use of mobile technology
and to find out pedagogical applications to be of benefit in the
virtual university. The project deals with the WAP technology to
be tested, piloted and completed in order to facilitateteaching
and learning in the university. An environment of activities will
be developed in order to provide services for flexible learning
and to discover new forms of publishing of learning material.
The UniWap project
is a joint venture of the Helsinki University and ICL Invia. The
mCastor technology has an essential role in the project. This technology
enables the user, who may have several terminals like WAP, PC or
Communicator, to use the same information service or system adapted
to the actual user environment.
The first stage of the project will concentrate on discovering new
ideas and pedagogical applications in which mobility could be of
benefit in the in-service education of university teachers.
At the second stage, the Educational Centre for ICT will support
departments and multi-disciplinary research groups by training and
consulting. The centre will make efforts to network different academic
fields together in order to create collaborative development projects
during 2001 to 2002. Also contacts to companies will be fostered
in this process. The companies will provide the project with equipment,
software and information systems.
The third stage focuses on diffusion of innovation by training and
commofidication throughout the Helsinki University and, perhaps,
to be also used in the Finnish Virtual University.
Mobile Computing in Learning Environments
This is a project
in mobile computing funded by the German DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer
Austauschdienst) and the Brasilian CAPES (Fundacao Coordenacao de
Aperfeicoaments de Pessoal de Nivel Superior).
There are two
Universitat Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brasil.
The aim is to
enable students to interact through a computer-supported learning
environment not just from conventional desktop computers, connected
to high-speed networks, but also from mobile terminals with low-speed
started on 1 January 1999 and ended on 31 December 2000.
goal of the project is to develop and to study forms of integrating
appropriate mobile computing capabilities into computer-supported
learning environments. The project intends to evaluate the effectiveness
of portable computers (such as light-weight notepads and laptops),
connected to information servers, either through a terrestrial network
or through lowspeed wireless connections, as delivery terminals
for courses with multimedia and hypermediacontents.
It intends to
exploit the adaptability of multimedia and hypermedia information
(e.g., the form of presenting the content material, user interactivity,
and information structuring) to the resources available at the user
terminals and to the communication network conditions.
plan is to apply intelligent mobile agents in order to offer a context-sensitive
resource utilization and suitable data access within the learning
AvantGo is a producer of mBusiness products for palmtops and pocket
pcs. Here is their presentation of their product for producing a
mobile version of Lotus Notes.
IBrite has developed
an authoring product for putting content together for the Palm PC.
Global Knowledge, the leading US IT training provider, it has developed
two courses for the PC Palm, Telecommunications Fundamentals 1 and
Telecommunications /fundamentals 2. Both of these courses are offered
by Global Knowledge as classroom offerings but these new developments
as PalmOS software enable the courses to be taken at any time anywhere.
Fundamentals 1 is 9 chapters long and has 48 graphics which work
on colour and black and white Palms. It has 417 pages of text.
Fundamentals 2 is also 9 chapters long and has 65 graphics, both
for colour and black and white Palms. It has 524 pages of text.
Ademo version of 1 chapter, 34 pages and 6 graphics can be down
loaded from http://www.ibrite.com/download_software.htm.
this definition of mLearning: 'With the power and functionality
of Sun LearnTone LMS extended to mobile devices, Sun enables enterprises
to offer a seamless, blended learning experience extending from
classrooms and desktops, to PDAs, two-way pagers, mobile phones
and hybrid devices'.
It claims that
mobile learning or mLearning, is resulting in a paradigm shift in
the way people learn. Learning has moved from the classroom, onto
your desktop and with mlearning, into your pocket. Acknowledged
by industry experts for its superior standards-based technology
platform, Sun LearnTone LMS is the only eLearning infrastructure
in the marketplace that offers both eLearning and mLearning capabilities
delivered entirely using Java.
On 29 March
2001 Isopia announced that anytime, anywhere learning materializes
with courses available on PDAs, cell phones, and handheld devices.
With oibkly a cell phone, hand-held device, Personal Digital Assistant
or hybrid unit (combination cell/PDA) users can access administrative
functions, download courses, and review their learning history through
Isopia's Integrated Learning Management System (ILMS) or Learn Tone.
solution is designed for flexibility, incorporating Sun Microsystem's
Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME). Unlike the Wireless Application Protocol
(WAP) and Wireless Markup Language (WML), J2ME enables the user
to take courses without being connected to the network. It also
supports more complex courseware than the standard wireless protocol.
solution allows the user to upload the mobile course edition from
the online learning path, whether connected to or disconnected from
the internet, and take courses on any device, then upoload information
about their course progress and test scores to the ILMS the next
time they reconnect to the network.
Isopia presents the following scenario:
You are checking
in at the airport. The line is long - So how do fill your time?
Before leaving for the airport you had downloaded a course on your
PDA from your computer at the office. In the line-up, you now pull
out your PDA and decide to brush up your knowledge on your company's
latest product offerings. At the end of this course you take a short
quiz to test your knowledge.
When you arrive
at your destination, you check into your hotel room and set up your
laptop. Setting your PDA into its cradle, you link up to your learning
portal through the Internet. You connect- "hot-synch"-directly
with your company's learning management system, ILMS, which
will read the results of your completed courses and automatically
update your learner profile. You then decide to download a number
of reference materials and courses for study on the road and at
In this real-life
scenario, as you synchronize your device using a wireless or wireline
connection, the latest mobile versions of designated courses are
loaded from Sun LearnTone LMS onto your device. You are then free
to take the courses or manage your training at leisure when disconnected
from the network. The next time you connect to your learning environment
to synchronize the information on your device, all the course progress
and assessment scores are passed to the Learning Management System,
updating your profile.
On 19 June 2001
Sun Microsystems bought Isopia and integrated it into its education
division. There does not seem to be a link from the Sun home pages
to the Isopia material.
have published a white paper titled Mobile eLearning Systems which
promotes its Calypso product. Calypso enhances current technologies,
it is said, that do not adequately exploit the potential of the
internet for learning. Calypso allows learning any time, any place,
any where without constant access to, or persistent use of, the
The system is
designed to run on virtually any platform and bring the power of
web-based eLearning to the learner in either online or offline mode,
with the advantage of offline tracking. One connects to the internet
only long enough to download the web-based courses from the central
server of learning management system. Then, one disconnects and
the system gives one complete browser functionality, along with
learning aids, progress checks, and testing features all the actions
are stored for later retrieval.
The basis of
the mobile eLearning system is Calypso, a 100% Java-based application
built by Experient Technologies. Calypso is a software engine designed
to manage both the deployment and retrieval of distributed, rapidly
changing data and functionality across differing client hardware
including wireless. it can run on handhelds using Windows CE and
the Mobile eLearning System with a robust database for gathering
data on learners whether a network connection is maintained or not.
Once the learner goes online, the Mobile eLearning System automatically
synchronizes the learner with the central LMS and an asynchronous
exchange of data takes place. At the same time as the learner is
receiving automatic eLearning updates, the data is collected on
the learner and transmitted to the main LMS.
Calypso product is built in 5 layers: user interface layer; content
layer - for the course content; toolkit layer - including testing,
studying and scoring; network layer - for connectivity; engine layer
- provides a single interface to information so that other layers
can read from or write to the internet of the computer.
Inc, a leading developer of customized web-based continuing education
programmes, and Experient have agreed to integrate LearnSomething's
ASP-based learning management system with Experient's mobile learning
access technology. Clients and partners of both companies will be
able to create and download complete Web-enabled courses to a variety
of mobile devices, such as laptop computers, pocket PCs, PDAs and
other hand-held equipment. Learners will be able to complete those
courses offline using their browser features. The software allows
for comprehensive testing and offline tracking, enabling a complete,
efficient, and mobile learning management solution.
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. The course,
eBusiness on the Move, was developed to make use of both WAP (wireless)
and Web (wired) technologies, allowing participants to access content
via phone and computer.
tracking learner progress revealed that WAP technology delivered
an average level of coaching support and higher than average level
of technical support.
Based on an
INSEAD classroom course, eBusiness on the Move offered an introductory
look at current and future use of the Internet in business,
comprised reading material, bulletin board discussions,
multiple-choice quizzes, and writing assignments. Learners linked
to video clips, PDFarticles, and Websites. In addition, the course
required two coaches to facilitate and track learner progress. For
example, one coach provided feedback on an interactive bulletin
board while the other coach used email to provide direct assistance
to learners about course content and procedural matters. There was
significant peer-to-peer and peer-to-coach interaction via bulletin
boards, direct email, and voice applications.
The course was
approximately 20 hours, and learners were expected to complete it
over a period of four to five weeks. Participants received an INSEAD
certificate upon successful course completion.
The WAP/ Web
used two delivery formats: Web and WAP. The WAP format requires
short text, additional screens, and more titles than the Web version,
resulting in a multilevel hierarchical menu system. An MS Word document
that cross-referenced WAP chunks and Web topics was provided as
a navigational aid.
percent of the course was WAP-only accessible, 80 percent of the
overall course was accessible via phone, including links to WAP
sites, multiple-choice questionnaires, and quick reminders and alerts
from the coaches. Likewise, approximately 20 percent of the course
was Web-only, but nearly 90 percent of the overall course content
was on the Web, including digital video clips, bulletin board discussions,
email, and links to Websites. Obviously there was some redundancy.
accessed about 40 percent to 50 percent of WAP-delivered material
and 70 percent to 80 percent of Web-delivered material. Reasons
for accessing the course via the Web rather than WAP included small
screen size, slow connections, and limited graphics.
Prior to taking
the course, most learners believed they would make little use of
the phone. In fact, only five of the 14 participants said they expected
to like using WAP-enabled phones for learning. Their opinion was
based primarily on the notion that the phone's screen size was too
small to be useful.
course, participants reported that WAP-delivered content added value
to the learning experience, saying that anywhere, any time access
provided a high level of convenience.
development focuses on integrating data and voice functionality
in a single device. Whether a mobile phone with Internet access
or a handheld data device with phone capability, the goal is forindividuals
to have wireless access to data applications. Handheld digital devices
are becoming more common, and their quality and capability is increasing
due to technological breakthroughs in miniaturization and advancements
in wireless bandwidth and data networks.
in the project were the Palm Pilot IIIc and the Nokia 6210 WAP Phone:
been slow to grow because most wireless devices have small screens,
low resolution, slow processing, and limited storage capabilities.
Likewise, difficulty connecting various types of devices to the
same network is a real limitation. It seems likely that m-learning
is better suited to such specific content areas as sales or language
skills. Also, current WAP technology makes it best suited to particular
aspects of e-learning courses, such as:
- quick reminders
with peers and managers
quizzes with immediate feedback
- daily tips
e-learning course material
for specific information within a topic
- links to
- course registration.
The course system
for the project was illustrated thus:
of Birmingham HandLeR project
Technology Research Group at the University of Birmingham runs the
HandLeR programme whose aim is to develop mobile technologies for
HandLeR developed by the student group employs an animate mentor
as the main interface metaphor and method of interaction. Figure
5 shows two screen displays from the implemented system. The mentor,
shown as a cartoon rabbit, acts as an alter ego that could offer
assistance with capturing events, solving problems and managing
learning (these functions were not implemented in the demonstrator).
The mentor also provides icons for the main tools of HandLeR, based
on the mentor's body functions and displayed objects. Thus, clicking
the mentor's eyes shows an image from the HandLeR's video camera,
the palette brings up a set of drawing tools, the book opens the
user's topic book, and the heart opens a profile of the user.
Basic functions provided by the system include still and video image
capture, drawing, and text input through a screen keyboard or handwriting
recognition. Data from each of these sources can be tagged by time
and location (demonstrated using a GPS position location card).
The user can copy and organise the images, drawings and text in
the topic book.
the mentor's "brain" opens up a map (shown at the right
of Figure 5)
showing linked concept words, named topics created by the user (from
the topic book),and items of external information including web
pages and documents. If the topic item is not available on the HandLeR
then it automatically initiates a cellular phone connection to a
web server and downloads the web page identified for that topic.
For example, clicking on the "hurricane" topic item opens
the web page http:\\www.hurricanehunters.com. The aim for future
versions of HandLeR is to enable the user to create new nodes in
the topic map for drawings, notes or camera images, linked together
by title, keywords and time and place of origin.
The user can
navigate through the topic map either by clicking on one of the
outer ovals, which brings it to the centre and displays the topics
related to it, or by clicking "search" and writing a keyword
or phrase that identifies the topic. Much further work is needed
to enhance the navigation and search facilities and to provide other
views such as a timeline that orders events by time of creation.
The main interface
to the demonstrator system also provides a means to connect to other
HandLeRs. Clicking on the face at the lower right of the screen
opens a list of known contacts and selecting one brings up an image
of that other person's mentor. The user can then click on the other
mentor's body parts, such as the heart (to show the person's sharable
profile). A click on the mouth or ears initiates a direct cellular
phone connection that person's HandLeR.
HandLeR runs on a Fujitsu Stylistic tablet computer with a Nokia
GSM card phone. All the functions described above have been demonstrated
on a handheld device consisting of a Fujitsu Stylistic pen-based
tablet computer running Windows 95, a Nokia GSM card phone, a PCMCIA
card GPS receiver, and a Kodak DVC 323 miniature digital video camera
IST project (Ultralab)
a European Commission IST m-learning project addressing social and
educational problems in young adults.
project addresses 3 social/educational problems relating to many
young adults in the EU:
literacy/numeracy - see e.g. Improving Literacy and Numeracy: A
· Non participation in conventional education/training
· Lack of access creating ICT "haves"/ "have
nots" resulting in inequality of opportunity
develop prototype products to provide information and modules of
learning via inexpensive portable technologies which are already
owned by, or readily accessible for, the majority of EU young adults.
The design of the prototypes will be informed by research including:
into the use of mobile phone technology: needs, preferences, attitudes
and habits of young adult mobile phone users.
· Research into computer game design and their users' preferences.
· Research and development seeking appropriate knowledge
representation, learner models and standards, including metadata
standards to provide a framework for development and description
which can be practically applied to very small modules of basic
skills learning delivered via mobile communications technologies.
of the work
of m-learning will include:
of current standards in the field of learning object representation
to inform development of an intelligent tutor and to inform development
workpackage managers' decisions as to appropriate standards to apply.
2.An initial investigation followed by a continuously updated technology
watch service toidentify, review and select from current and emerging
mobile communications technologiesthose with potential for use as
delivery vehicles for m-learning information and learning modules,
taking into account medical research into possible health hazards
associated with excessive use of mobile phones.
3.A survey of young adults use of mobile technologies exploring
needs, preferences, attitudes, habits and experiences. Followed
by research focussing on the potential ofm-learning for specific
groups e.g. those with sensory impairments.
4.Research into the use of computer games consoles by young adults
5.Work with groups of learners to identify design approaches for
internet micro portal user interfaces to m-learning modules which
will encourage independent exploration of on-line resources and
empower learners to exercise choice whilst facilitating ease of
use and making m-learning enjoyable.
6.Initial and on-going desk research to identify other relevant
research projects which might inform m-learning developments. Development
work with m-learning will include:
7.Design, development and trialing of a prototype multi-agent "intelligent"
tutor system to evaluate learner knowledge and preferred learning
styles/strategies and assist with personal development planning
including tailoring of micro-courses to suit individual needs.
8.Design, development and trialing of prototype multimedia modules,
incorporating speech technology functionality , for use via mobile
technologies to deliver aspects of literacy and numeracy skills
learning. Incorporating advanced speech and languages technologies
functionality to maximise the potential of handheld devices.
9.Development of microportals and interfaces tailored to the needs
of specific groups of users within m-learning's target audiences
and to different levels of technological sophistication in the handheld
10.Translation of prototypes and microportals developed to achieve
both English and Italian versions.
It is expected
that commercial m-learning products will be developed based on the
prototype literacy and numeracy modules and microportals developed
by this project. The capability of mobile communications devices
to deliver aspects of learning, and the design principles which
motivate users to use such devices, will have been investigated
Partner is The Learning and Skills Development Agency whose office
is at Citadel Place, Tinworth Street, Vauxhall, London SE11 5EH,
UK. LSDA are also a Principal Contractor in the m-learning project.
Other partners are:
CRMPA (Principal Contractor), Via Ponte don Mellillo, 84084, Fisciano,
CTAD (Principal Contractor), Lincoln House, The Paddocks, 347 Cherry,
Hinton Road, Cambridge, CB1 8DH
The Learning Kernel (TLK) (Assistant Contractor), Sint-Krispijnstraat
7, 8900 IEPER, Belgium
Ultralab at Anglia Polytechnic University (Principal Contractor),
Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, CM1 1LL
Forum is an initiative of Peter Bates, manager of P.J.B associates
at Ely, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom.
on m-learning on his website at http://www.pjb.co.uk one is taken
to a listing of various activities related to m-Learning. There
is a rationale for establishing a European m-Learning forum, details
of a conference on the theme organised for 31 October to 1 November
2001 in Paris, presentations from the first meeting of the m-Learning
forum on 24 September 2001, and a comprehensive listing of useful
papers and articles.
the first meeting of the forum included:
- developing m-learning - the time is right?"- Peter Bates,
"Market Trends in Mobile and Wireless Developments - opportunities
for m-learning" Phil Kendall, Director Strategy Analytics Global
"Developing m-learning - Pedagogical and Design Perspectives"
- Prof. Mike Sharples, Kodak/Royal Academy of Engineering Professor
of Educational Technology, University of Birmingham (UK)
"Opportunities for European Research and Development in m-learning"
Joseph Bremer, European Commission. DG Information Society (Luxembourg)
learning in your palm by Audrey Choden
In an article
posted on 28 December 2000, Choden draws attention to a study by
she writes, has a vision that he calls mobile or mLearning. If his
vision comes true, learning will no longer be confined to the desktop
of Cognitive Systems at KnowledgePlanet, Quinn's vision involves
using mobile computational devices or information appliances (IA),
such as a Palm Pilot or a digital cell phone, to support learning
and performance on the job. This pocket-sized computer would combine
content, interactive practice activities and personalized feedback
with a means of tracking performance, updating records and providing
certification. It would be connected to a network (always on, no
need to dial-up). You could input data with a pen, keyboard and/or
There are two
problems with m-Learning:
· managing learning through intermittent connection - today's
devices are limited by dial-up access to a network, small screens,
slow processing and limited storage capacities.
· Device-independent delivery.- Quinn sees a solution in
Technologies, The mobile learning era
Technologies begin their presentation of their products with a list
is overwhelming that mobile learning is beginning to take hold:
50 percent of all employees spend up to half of their time outside
· More than 75 percent of all Internet viewing will be carried
out on wireless platforms by 2002.
· Mobile devices will outnumber landline PCs by 2002 and
exceed the 1 billion mark the following year.
· More than 525 million web-enabled phones will be shipped
· Worldwide mobile commerce market will reach $200 billion
· There will be more than 1 billion wireless internet subscribers
worldwide by 2005.
plans to develop courses for the Palm V and offers this example:
This is an experiment
in Espoo, Finland in which students prepared a series of quizzes
in the subjects they were learning and published them to be answered
via WAP phones or the internet. 'Making learning fun' is the motto
in developing new solutions for mobile learning. The project used
Codeonlines technological platformand solutions for creating and
publishing question sets via any wireless end-user device, WAP phones
provided by Ericsson and mobile connections by Radiolinja.
Associates latest news
provided by Pjb Associates (see Chapter 13 above) is a listing of
latest news on mobile communications and learning. Items of relevance
to mLearning on 20 October 2001 included:
use Palm OS
Inc., a technology solutions provider for education, and Palm, Inc.
have announced AlphaSmart has licensed the Palm OS ® platform.
The flagship AlphaSmart 3000 is a low-cost, portable technology
solution used in thousands of classrooms in the United States and
by millions of students throughout the world. A highly useful writing,
keyboarding and test-taking tool, the AlphaSmart 3000 addresses
a broad range of needs in K-12 education. It is offered at a fraction
of the price of a full-featured computer, so an entire class can
be economically outfitted with AlphaSmart 3000s, enabling students
to learn and advance at their own pace. (see press release)
Embrace Wireless Tools of Future
the Wake Forest University School of Medicine are packing handheld
IBM WorkPads with an array of special applications to give them
an extra edge as they enter their clinical rotations.The clinical
rotations are the point in the students' academic studies when they
begin interviewing and examining patients and making diagnoses based
on their observations. (see article)
in the US to actually require the use of PDAs
students at Forsyth Country Day School in Lewisville, N.C., will
pick up more than books with their registration packets when school
starts. Each student will get a Palm handheld loaded with educational
software and a Palm portable keyboard. Forsyth, the first K-12 school
in the nation to require the use of Palm handhelds, plans to use
them throughout its curriculum. (see press release)
Its Own Advice, Offers M-Learning
the market potential, AvantGo (Nasdaq: AVGO - news) has used some
of its own technology to offer mobile, Web-based training to wireless
developers throughout the world. (see press release) (see article)
in Classroom Annoying?
Article in MSNBC
that addresses the issue of wireless internet access during meetings
and classes (see article)
future is mobile
by NOP during January 2001 shows that nearly half of all 7-16-year-olds
in Britain now have their own mobile phone. (see press release)
mobile phone for Dutch university
an article in the Wall Street Journal the University of Twente in
Enschede, Netherlands, is piloting a project called M-poort that
"will create the first common wireless standard in Europe designed
to support educational applications. Unlike many European academic
institutions, the University of Twente is willing to work closely
with businesses, particularly high-tech concerns such as KPN, Ericsson,
and Lucent Technologies, to have cutting-edge technology. KPN has
distributed free WAP-enabled mobile phones to the university's 10,000
students, who are able to contact teachers and fellow students and
access such information as exam grades. Services are presently provided
by WAP-5, a company founded by four students with seed money from
the university, as the larger companies wait for newer technologies
that will allow mobile phones to offer e-learning systems available
for laptops and personal computers. This could include the university's
Web-based e-learning software, Teletop, which is built on IBM's
Lotus Learning Space program. The university's departments are working
to make all classes available through the Teletop software."
and APTE are sponsoring a new pilot programme designed to introduce
wireless technology to the classroom. It involves students and teachers
in two US states. As part of the programme, Motorola presented students,
teachers and a select group of parents from two schools with its
Timeport P935 two-way devices embedded with APTE's Internet Coach
Learn Together applications and wireless service from SkyTel, a
WorldCom company. (see article)
held by EFECOT, the European Federation for the Education of the
Children of Occupational Travellers, two m-learning projects were
presented, showing how education via GSM and satellite can be used
for mobile, travelling learners, such as bargees, circus and fairground
children. (further details)
Universities find wireless systems bring them convenience and savings
wireless technologies can connect up a classroom more cheaply and
are more convenient. (see article)
Web-enabled handheld devices can seriously cut down their library
time this school year according to a recent article. Dictionaries,
daily preparatory tests, calculators, research from the Internet,
and temperature-measuring probes for scientific experiments are
all available to students on their mobile phones, pagers, or personal
digital assistants (PDAs) - generally for free. (see article)
- multi-media training services via the Internet, third generation
mobile telephony and interactive television
[TEF.MC], IBM [IBM.N] and Cisco Systems Inc [CSCO.O] said recently
that they were creating an online business school for Spanish- and
Portuguese speakers. The project, called "e-ducavia",
will provide a range of multi-media training services through the
Internet, thirdgeneration mobile telephony and interactive television,
the companies told a news conference. Telefonica will participate
via its Media unit, and International Business Machines Corp (IBM)
through its Spanish unit. Cisco is the world's top maker of data
networking equipment for the Internet. The three companies will
spend an initial 100 million euros ($95.42 million) on the education
initiative, which is expected to begin offering courses in January
2001, Telefonica Media's Chairman Jose Antonio Rios said. The project
will target individuals and companies, offering a range of courses
up to the Masters level in areas such as management, marketing,
communications and advertising.
Distance learning through wireless devices
This is an analysis
by Setaro of comments made by Elliott Masie at a conference that
extensive use of handheld wireless devices such as PDAs and Web
enabled cell phones would dominate the eLearning industry within
three to five years.
a number of problems with this scenario including screen size, difficulties
with graphics, restricted bandwidth and the claim that there was
cultural resistance because wireless companies are not creating
(Knowledgenet and Smartforce)
This is an analysis
by J S Kossen of learning tools that run on Palm devices.
It claims that few companies are very far along in actually making
mLearning a reality. It suggests that two exceptions are KnowledgeNet
It is claimed
that KnowledgeNet are able rapidly to develop content for PDAs that
is as rich and interactive as it is for the PC. The courseware for
the PDA contains animation, high-quality sound and intuitive navigation.
the greatest value of PDAs in assessment They are developing downloadable
assessment exams that allow learners to test their knowledge and
then rank and report their results. An example is given:
Let's take a
look at an example. First, you need to go over the instructional
material, like that shown in Figure A.
First, you go over the lesson.
be given a series of questions to test your retention of what you
read. A sample question is shown in Figure B.
Test yourself with a series of questions.
receive your score, as shown in Figure C.
The software tracks and reports your results
changing faces of virtual learning
faces of virtual learning is a comprehensive overview of virtual
educaaation published by the Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada.
on Technology and virtual learning by Tony Bates of the University
of British Columbia lists mobile technologies and voice recognition
technologies as future assets for virtual learning.
a technology owned by Supermemo world of Poznan in Poland. The system
will be used for a system of mLearning called 3GEMS. It is planned
to use state-of-the-art technologies including Bluetooth and 3rd
a Tablet PC, which is being used to provide k-12 (kindergarten to
matriculation) education with web browsing, basic computing and
ebook functionality. It is also claimed that its mobile learning
solutions provides students, institutions and professors with access
to all of their information. It has the follwing functionality:
to the Internet wirelessly, via a LAN or Dial-in connection.
· Enjoy full-page 800x600 Web browsing.
· Access your corporate network utilizing Citrix ICA or Microsoft's
· Synchronize with Microsoft Outlook to download important
emails and contact information.
· Download, revise and upload Office, PDF, HTML and many
other documents with goReader's multiple format support.
· Draft Word, Excel and email documents easily via a virtual
keyboard, USB keyboard or handwriting recognition.
· Jot notes on screen in your own handwriting with Ink Memo.
· goReader weighs only 2.4 pounds, yet is secured by a durable
· Windows CE operating system provides users an intuitive,
· Supports all Windows CE applications.
· Memory is easily expandable using CompactFlash or PC Card
· SuperVGA 10.4" TFT touchscreen provides a bright,
Circuits Goin Mobile
is a website of the American Society for Training and Development.
presentations from the site are discussed here:
by Paul Harris
Get ready for mLearning by Donna Abernethy
Introducing WML by Steve Heckler
M is for Maybe by
provides a definition of mLearning. It is the point at which mobile
computing and eLearning intersect to produce an anytime, anywhere
learning experience. It is the ability to enjoy an educational moment
from a cell phone or personal digital assistant (PDA), but almost
exclusively the latter. The ubiquitous laptop computer dosen't qualify
in most definitions, even though it's the lifeline of the mobile
is well formulated. It clearly includes mobile or cell telephones
and PDAs but does not include laptop computers thus throwing the
emphasis on wirelessness as the defining element.
then continues with caveats saying that despite the strides made
by Palm and other handheld devices, PDAs have obvious limitations
as learning tools. Screens are tiny, the processing is slow and
storage is limited.
It then draws
attention to the ISOPIA initiative, now taken over by Sun, to access
their system through cell phones, handheld wireless devices and
PDA handsets to check their learning activities, course information
or training status. It continues with a description of Global Knowledge's
development with Ibrite and concludes with a presentation of PDAs
in the classroom.
Get Ready for
M-Learning draws attnetion to the contribution of Clark Quinn to
the promotion of mLearning at KnowledgePlanet, Introducting WML
provides an introduction to writing code in WML and M is for Maybe
gives a critical evaluation of the possibilities for mlearning.
Systems is a major eLearning provider. Its website at http://www.globallearningsystems.com/
has a simulation of a course on PDAs with text audio and graphics.
is called 'Learning to Go'.
Go Mobile Learning, Wherever You Are, Right in the Palm of
The PDA that manages your work life so effectively is now a delivery
system for training, knowledge management and just-in-time performance
support. Imagine downloading exactly what you need, when you need
it - with full-motion video, audio and maximum interactivity. The
performance improvement potential is unlimited when you deliver
custom learning on a PDA.
The greatest benefit of this delivery method for training is the
combination of true interactivity coupled with portability. Learners
are no longer tethered to a classroom or even their desktop PC.
Just as the cellular phone has become the preferred (mobile) person-to-person
communication device, the PDA is rapidly becoming the preferred
personal information organizer and information delivery device.
Now, that "information" can be "training." The
PDA gives learners the ability to learn wherever they are. That
is a type of freedom we've not experienced before.
Learning to Go, by the very nature of its instructional design
infrastructure, leads organizations into true knowledge management.
Using a series of unique 5-minute mentor lesson templates, virtually
any type of training is modularized, stored in a database and reassembled
has a long history of leadership in distance learning in the US.
This is a highly
innovative project to use mobile phones in language teaching at
the university. It is grounded in the American tradition of using
live lectures and teaching by satellite and videoconferencing as
a characteristic of distance learning, rather than the individualized
print based approach better known in Europe.
Palm Pilots, wireless Web - they help us check email, trade stocks
and stay in touch - but can they help us learn? Can we, should we,
try to fill in gaps of daily time with learning opportunities?
the Stanford Learning Lab (SLL) developed a few rough prototypes
for mobile learning. The SLL staff chose foreign language study
as the content area, hypothesizing that mobile devices could help
provide sorely needed opportunities for review, listening and speaking
practice in a safe, authentic, personalized and on-demand environment.
developed let users practice new words, take a quiz, access word
and phrase translations, work with a live coach, and save vocabulary
to a notebook - all in an integrated voice/data environment. The
intent this summer was not yet to support an actual Stanford course,
but instead to begin exploring recent technologies and fundamental
human cognitive challenges involved in learning on-the-go.
correlates with highly fragmented attention, and the challenge was
to better understand what kind of learning can happen in
those fragmented pieces of time.
Three User Modes
and Technology Tests
SLL staff conducted
three discrete technology explorations and informal tests on several
language learners of varying skill, with the following general results:
Text Quiz: vocabulary
quizzes over mobile phone-based wireless Web.
Pros - convenient
small question chunks to test knowledge during opportunistic bits
Cons - small screen is difficult to focus on while outdoors; small
bits of text do not provide an immersive enough experience for learning
live-voice coaching sessions over mobile telephones.
Pros - speaking
with an expert is ideal for language practice.
Cons - comprehension can be difficult over the phone; time with
real-live coaches is difficult to scale.
Audio: automated voice-controlled vocabulary and quiz sessions over
Pros - audio
experience can coincide with other activities (driving, walking,
waiting, etc.) instead of replacing those activities; automated
system offers potential for scalable, personalized, database driven
listening and speaking practice.
Cons - voice recognition technology, flaky and expensive mobile
phone connections, and audio interface design complexities are just
some of the potentially show-stopping technology challenges.
General Responses and Guidelines for Design
test results were mixed, SLL continues to be intrigued by the potential
for interactive audio to provide a scalable, rich, and flexible
language learning environment. A summary of their user test findings
and suggestions for future development
is a Highly Fragmented Experience:
be hard work. It requires concentration and reflection. However,
being on-the-go (driving, riding a train, sitting in a cafe, walking
down the street) is fraught with distractions. Users are in situations
that place intermittent, unpredictable, yet critically important
demands on their attention. Where does this leave the mobile learner?
With a highly distracted, highly fragmented experience. The learning
application must be designed with this in mind.
a Personal and Emotional Process:
about speaking your new foreign language, even with your teacher?
Afraid you'll accidentally insult someone, or that they'll laugh
at you? Learning is a sensitive process and language learning especially
requires opportunities to practice in an emotionally safe and supportive
The SLL's current
interface is friendly, congratulates you when you get something
right, and encourages you to try again when you don't.
Wrecks Trust and Decreases Learning:
connections and environmental noises can cause imperfect voice recognition
and therefore failed menu navigation and incorrect responses to
learning interactions (such as quizzes). User observations indicate
that repeated voice recognition misunderstandings impact users in
interesting ways: on the surface, frustration and a reluctance to
continue the lesson; on a perhaps less conscious level, a perception
of the system as stupid or uncaring and therefore not an effective,
trustful way to learn.
Also, not all
misunderstandings are created equal. Users were more forgiving when
the system made an incorrect response to their attempted Spanish
than when it made an incorrect response to a simple navigation command
Did It Work?
This first attempt
at supporting language learning over mobile phones was not perfect.
While voice interface design and creating studio quality audio are
not easy, these can be remedied with a more professional development
process and budget than SLL had available last summer. What about
the more fundamental question of learning over the phone and in
a mobile environment? Is the technology far enough along? Can a
threshold of usability be reached, even though it's not perfect?
Yes, and no.
With care and
attention some parts of the learning process can be supported. SLL's
testing showed that simply having access to the application anytime,
anywhere increased daily attention to learning Spanish and boosted
motivation. However, highly fragmented attention and bleeding edge
technology can result in an environment too frustrating for learning.
The Learning Lab's advice is to keep it simple. Focus on those parts
of the learning process most suited to audio, most suited to small
chunks of time, and most suited to a highly distractable learner.
Allow learners to personalize their experience - from personality
to interaction mode - to match their own learning styles and situational
have developed four of their courses for Palm computers:
Network Fundamentals (483 text pages, 120 figures, 2450k file size)
· Telecommunications Fundamentals 1 (417 text pages, 48 figures,
1240k file size)
· Telecommunications fundamentals II (524 text pages, 65
figures, 1555 file size)
· Syngress CCNA Study Guide (1648 text pages, 120 figures,
4421k file size).
This is how
they describe their system:
We have selected
some of our most popular courses and made them available for use
on your handheld PDA. Mobile Learning is the perfect pre and post
course enhancement. With Mobile Learning, opportunities to reinforce
your technical competence are greatly expanded - while traveling,
in-between meetings, while waiting in line, or anytime you have
a few minutes.
The Mobile Learning
interface simplifies content navigation using familiar controls
and speeds learning through four learning modes. These features
are built around adaptive learning technology that remembers what
material has been covered and focuses students on areas that require