Journal Article September 1, 2003
Unlocking the Learning Value of Wireless Mobile Devices
Roschelle, J. (2003). Unlocking the learning value of wireless mobile devices. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19(3), 260-272.
Many researchers see the potential of wireless mobile learning devices to achieve large-scale impact on learning because of portability, low cost, and communications features. This enthusiasm is shared but the lessons drawn from three well-documented uses of connected handheld devices in education lead towards challenges ahead. First, ‘wireless, mobile learning’ is an imprecise description of what it takes to connect learners and their devices together in a productive manner. Research needs to arrive at a more precise understanding of the attributes of wireless networking that meet acclaimed pedagogical requirements and desires. Second, ‘pedagogical applications’ are often led down the wrong road by complex views of technology and simplistic views of social practices. Further research is needed that tells the story of rich pedagogical practice arising out of simple wireless and mobile technologies. Third, ‘large scale’ impact depends on the extent to which a common platform, that meets the requirements of pedagogically rich applications, becomes available. At the moment ‘wireless mobile technologies for education’ are incredibly diverse and incompatible; to achieve scale, a strong vision will be needed to lead to standardisation, overcoming the tendency to marketplace fragmentation.