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Moving on to mobile and wireless learning

Mobile and wireless technologies are not yet in widespread use in post-16 and higher education. As a result, the practice evolving around the use of these technologies may still be described as 'innovative' and it is yet to be established whether the pedagogies emerging around them will differ from those now being established around e-learning in general. Key benefits arising from their use, however, can be identified in the practice illustrated in the case studies section: These are:

  • Portability.
  • Any time, any place connectivity.
  • Flexible and timely access to e-learning resources.
  • Immediacy of communication.
  • Empowerment and engagement of learners, particularly those in dispersed communities.
  • Active learning experiences.

Some institutions also see gains to be made in improving institutional efficiency and in communicating with an increasingly mobile body of learners in ways that can be made personal to them.

What is revealed in the illustrations of practice in this guide is that practitioners and managers are beginning to extend e-learning provision to include mobile and wireless technologies devices, finding in them solutions to everyday challenges.

Equally important has been the role of these technologies in affording new ways for learners to participate in learning activities. Mobile and wireless devices have supported presentational, interactive and creative forms of learning and, when used with e-learning technologies, rich multimedia learning opportunities have resulted.

This potential to enhance learning has been evidenced in different parts of the sector, including adult and community learning and further and higher education, and in support of a variety of approaches to learning.