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Mobile learning and teaching with PDAs - Dewsbury College, Thomas Danby College and Bishop Burton College

Dewsbury College of Further and Higher Education and Thomas Danby College support predominantly urban multi-cultural communities in West Yorkshire. Both colleges make extensive use of community- and work-based outreach centres. Bishop Burton College offers a range of land-based courses and is a Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in agriculture.

All three colleges see widening access and developing personalised learning programmes as priorities. Providing access to learning resources in outreach and work-based environments pose particular problems. These contexts typically offer few opportunities to access the benefits of e-learning. Any technology used would also have to be lightweight, strong and portable.

Key advantages

PDAs have been shown to be valuable in stimulating and supporting learners in environments that do not usually offer access to technology. They can support dynamic group activities without internet connectivity by the use of beaming, provide immediate access to e-learning resources, and have been widely accepted by learners including those with limited experience of other technologies.