Carly Shuler draws on interviews with mobile learning experts as well as current research and industry trends to illustrate how mobile devices might be more broadly used for learning. Examining over 25 handheld learning products and research projects in the U.S. and abroad, the report highlights early evidence of how these devices can help revolutionize teaching and learning. Pockets of Potential also outlines mobile market trends and innovations, as well as key opportunities, such as mobile’s ability to reach underserved populations and provide personalized learning experiences.
The report highlights five opportunities to seize mobile learning’s unique attributes to improve education:
1. Encourage “anywhere, anytime” learning
Mobile devices allow students to gather, access, and process information outside the classroom. They can encourage learning in a real-world context, and help bridge school, afterschool, and home environments.
2. Reach underserved children
Because of their relatively low cost and accessibility in low-income communities, handheld devices
can help advance digital equity, reaching and inspiring populations “at the edges” — children from economically disadvantaged communities and those from developing countries.
3. Improve 21st-century social interactions
Mobile technologies have the power to promote and foster collaboration and communication, which are deemed essential for 21st-century success.
4. Fit with learning environments
Mobile devices can help overcome many of the challenges associated with larger technologies, as they fit more naturally within various learning environments.
5. Enable a personalized learning experience
Not all children are alike; instruction should be adaptable to individual and diverse learners. There are significant opportunities for genuinely supporting differentiated, autonomous, and individualized learning through mobile devices.