Two researchers discuss myths associated with mobile adoption and use
By now, educators are familiar with the term mobile learning — or mLearning — having experienced its rush in classroom popularity starting as early as 2000. But two researchers say it’s now imperative that educators slough off the myths from the reality to avoid ineffective classroom practice moving forward.
“In recent years, many projects have assisted in the maturation of mLearning and much has already been done to integrate mLearning into mainstream education. However, mLearning is still in its infancy and we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg,” notes Tom Brown, a former associate professor of research and development in tech-enhanced learning at the University of South Africa , Pretoria (UNISA), and co-author of the report (after the report’s publication, Brown left to become CEO of a portfolio management company).
“Our perspectives on [mobile learning] seek to…stimulate an appetite to embrace the opportunities in open and distance learning, while minimizing the potential negative effects of technological, social and pedagogical change,” explains Lydia Mbati, senior researcher with specialties in higher ed-tech and pedagogic theory at UNISA, and co-author of the report.
Most of the myths identified by Brown and Mbati focus on mobile learning’s oft-described “techno-centric” characteristics, which the researchers say may do a disservice to those educators either interested in implementing mLearning, or have already done so.
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