Survey and analysis of current mobile learning applications and technologies

Orlando R. E. Pereira, Joel J. P. C. Rodrigues
2013 ACM Computing Surveys  
Distance learning, electronic learning, and mobile learning offer content, methods, and technologies that decrease the limitations of traditional education. Mobile learning (m-learning) is an extension of distance education, supported by mobile devices equipped with wireless technologies. It is an emerging learning model and process that requires new forms of teaching, learning, contents, and dynamics between actors. In order to ascertain the current state of knowledge and research, an
more » ... search, an extensive review of the literature in m-learning has been undertaken to identify and harness potential factors and gaps in implementation. This article provides a critical analysis of m-learning projects and related literature, presenting the findings of this aforementioned analysis. It seeks to facilitate the inquiry into the following question: "What is possible in m-learning using recent technologies?" The analysis will be divided into two main parts: applications from the recent online mobile stores and operating system standalone applications. Learning requires at least two types of actors, the person who will be instructed and the content of learning itself . In order to achieve it, the person can use three main types of learning-auditory, visual, and kinesthetic-which are categorized as associative and nonassociative [Todorova et al. 2008 ]. Auditory learners are persons that prefer to listen to things being explained than to read about them. It is all about the hearing process. Visual learners learn best by reading, looking at graphics, or watching a demonstration. Kinesthetic learners process information best through the touch experience. Currently, doing an activity can be the easiest way for them to learn. Most people use a combination of the three learning styles and usually have a clear preference for one. Knowing and understanding all types of learning styles help people to achieve greater learning [Riener and Willingham 2010]. However, the types are based on learning models [Preece 2006]. Learning models are the tools used to convey the same. Beyond the traditional learning, which occurs in a school classroom, mediated by a trained teacher, the evolution of technology offers a new way of forward information and knowledge [TSAI 2011]. The growing diffusion of devices with Internet access has improved the quality and flexibility of learning, thus providing a new learning paradigm called electronic learning (e-learning) [Oliveira et al. 2007]. E-learning began in the early 60s due to the Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations (PLATO) project. Later, in the early 70s, the project Time-shared, Interactive, Computer-Controlled Information Television (TICCIT) promoted the development of e-learning. In 1990, e-learning comprises all forms of electronic supported learning or teaching and its main target is to realize a new kind of learning [Yan et al. 2010]. E-learning implements learning mechanisms through communications systems, usually networked, and takes advantage of modern information technology to reach applications and processes that include computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, webbased learning, or even digital collaboration [Svetlana and Yonglk-Yoon 2009] . Its content includes media in the form of text, images, animation, video, and audio, and it is delivered through the network, audio-or videotape, or CD-ROM, among others. Through innovative technologies offered by recent mobile devices comes a new learning model called m-learning, and it offers people the opportunity to learn anytime, anywhere. This can be achieved by the use of mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, smartphones, and tablet computers [Georgiev et al. 2004] . This technology has several approaches for an equal number of situations and is supported by a range of devices, such as e-book readers, hand-held consoles, personal audio players, tablet computers, and mobile phones. Figure 1 presents the authors' personal views about the evolution of learning models, with m-learning being the latest step in the inherent evolution. It receives contributions from the traditional e-learning and computer-supported collaborative learning. This work aims to provide an extensive review of the state of the art of m-learning and provides some insights regarding new, innovative, fast, and technologically advanced types of applications regarding the new mobile devices [Georgieva and Georgiev 2007] . Emerging technologies regarding mobile operating systems (m-OSs) and the inherent advantages and disadvantages will be studied [Xin 2009 ]. For example, the specific characteristics of each m-OS and its directed supported hardware will be analyzed. A comparison is made between their global market share and even their current use in the teaching environments and schools. The main contributions of this work can be summarized as follows: -Extensive study, compilation, review, and critical analysis of the available literature surrounding the field of m-learning;
doi:10.1145/2543581.2543594 fatcat:34ipmurc4ffhvpezw7rqbz46d4