Mobile learning, or m-learning, can be any educational interaction delivered through mobile technology. The software that underlies m-learning includes not only mobile applications designed specifically for learning purposes but also those designed for other uses that can be adapted for educational purposes. M-learning hardware can include mobile phones, handheld PCs, tablets, the iPad, and netbooks, as well as devices such as the iPod touch that are able to run mobile applications. The use of mobile devices is a natural fit for distributed learning and field activities in that handheld technology can accompany the learner almost anywhere. Ease of use offered by mobile devices supports lifelong learning, and because the devices themselves are integrated into everyday life, they facilitate authentic learning.
The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.