The learner's perspective

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"We have each got our own PDA which we use in groups or individually, and it's got links to the web pages. First the teacher uses them on the projector, using a laptop. We've got the same information, but we have got it in our hands, in our control."
Child care NVQ Level 3 student, Sure Start Centre, Dewsbury
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Final word


Evidence from the m-learning projectshows that hybrid PDA/mobile phones offer learners a similar experience to using web-based learning materials on a desktop computer. As a result, these devices have proved successful with the majority of the young learners sampled in trials. Case studies in this section also show that portable devices in general offer considerable benefits to learners of all ages.

These findings suggest that mobile devices have the potential to play a valuable part in the way that learners access the internet and other e-learning resources, and communicate with one another and with tutors as part of their learning. Where a strong educational need exists for which a mobile device has presented a viable or perhaps the only solution, the results can be powerfully indicative of the value of these technologies in learning.

What has also become clear is that the more easily the device can become the property of the learner, the more it is used by them. Ownership of the device - at least for the duration of a session - increases learners' sense of control over the learning process and enables them to personalise the way they access and manage their learning.