P.J. Drouillon

K.U. Leuven (BELGIUM)
Mobile learning is a term for learning while taking advantage of mobile devices. There already has been some work in this area, but the omnipresence of cloud services now offers new opportunities to learn, work and study any place and any time.

A few years ago, the term cloud was first coined as a common term for ‘services on a network’. It was primarily used as a tool for IT experts who are always looking for new technologies to enable their users and customers to work any place and any time they want.

In the last 2 to 3 years, these kind of services became slowly available for non-power users. They gained not that much popularity as expected due to lack of maturity of the technology, the rather high cost and the limited range of services.

Today nearly all internet users are acquainted with the term cloud and may already be using it. In the summer of 2011, Apple introduced its cloud services – called iCloud - and this was a giant boost for the popularity of all cloud services.

This paper describes in detail the history of cloud services and the requirements to use these services in the context of mobile learning. An overview of available services is included. By using the outline of a day in the life of a student, the advantages of cloud services are highlighted, especially for distance learning.