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Mobile learning for teacher training and curriculum development (Prospects #169)

(16-06-14)

While the field of mobile learning is not new, in recent years it has received vastly increased attention from seasoned researchers and practitioners in the field, and from new entrants.

 

The mobile learning research community has demonstrated, in a wide variety of settings, that it can enhance, extend, and enrich the concept and activity of learning itself, beyond earlier conceptions of learning. Research has also demonstrated that it can take learning to individuals, communities, and countries that were previously too remote or sparse, either economically, socially or geographically, for other external educational initiatives to reach. Learners can now benefit from a considerable volume of user-generated content. Whatever the format, this content represents a significant transition and takes the control, agency and power away from the teacher, the school, and the ministry towards the learner, the community, and the wider world. The established conceptions and achievements are likely to be subsumed and transformed as the newer players see mobile technologies as the vehicle for delivering their development objectives to the global South. The emphasis and the priorities will shift towards policy, business models, sustainability, and scale.

 

These components raise considerable concern regarding the priorities and values of the newer players attracted to mobile learning. Behind these questions are fluid and contending views and definitions of mobile learning. The present special issue deals precisely with these important problems and uncertainties, while showing how they play out in different contexts and countries.

 

PROSPECTS is UNESCO-IBE's Quarterly Review of Comparative Education.

 

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