Mobile learning = mo learning. At least that’s what Teemu Arina has to say on the topic (see videos below).
Arina views the subject through the lense of learning spaces. Do we learn in cubes, or is learning open to the world — to the larger environments in which we actually find ourselves from day to day? Can mobile learning foster situated applicational learning better than more formal educational settings? From personal experience, I’d say “YES!”
While Arina focuses on the value of mobile learning as being in its ability to allow for greater social interaction, to connect people and ideas, to share conversations, and to connect the virtual world with physical contexts, I find myself turning instead to a different focus: mobile learning is real world learning. Situatedness really does have an impact on how well we can assimilate new information into our present schemas. And real-world contextual learning may allow for more authentic tasks and for the construction of new ways of thinking and acting, both socially and personally. Beyond this, at its heart all learning is mobile learning. People learn on the go. People learn as they are doing. In a way, traditional in-classroom learning could be considered one (limited) phase of mobile learning, because learning happens not only in the room itself, but in the hallway, in the dorm room, in the library, and on the way to work. People are thinking while they are being, and we are called human beings for a reason (one thing we know how to do well is be). While we are being we are becoming with the help of education (whether formal or informal). And becoming is situated across times and places. Learning spaces are living spaces and vice-versa.
One particular manifestation of mobile learning is learning while using modern mobile technologies (laptops, mobile phones, mp3 players, etc.). These tools help us to connect with other people and to situate our learning experiences in real world contexts. We are here. We need the knowledge here. We can apply the knowledge here. It seems an obvious conclusion that here is where we should learn. These tools bring our living and learning together here. Do we want people to learn only in a cube, or do we want them to be learning, to become in the here and now?