ADEQUACY OF DISTANCE EDUCATION SYSTEMS FOR MOBILE DEVICES
Mobile devices have increasingly become essencial in our modern lives. With the technology advance, and by his even more facilitated access, these devices have gone from mere electronic equipment to a global phenomenon of access to information expansion. This is also due to its practicality and numerous features available, which increases its functionality and use, making them essential for most people.
In the educational context, the use of these devices should not be ignored, since students, teachers and tutors are using more phones and tablets for reading, queries, researches and paperworks. At this cenario, the m-learning (mobile learning – learning through mobile devices or e-learning – learning through the internet) becomes an indispensable ally as an educational tool, working as another resource to be used boht even inside the classroom, as a support tool; as on distance education as the main study tool. (CORTEZ, et al, 2004; DIAS, et al, 2008; MOURA, 2010).
The m-learning is the distance education future-present, thanks to its specificities of access to 3 g, 4 g or wi-fi networks, that allows access to online content at any time, any place, collaboratively allowing greater interaction between the participants of a group.
Unfortunately, this tool usage has yet been little widespread in Brazil. In this context, it is clear the increasing need of new materials, produced by educators and institutions, that suit these devices, as well as defining a new way of evaluating teaching and learning level of these m-learning users.
The m-learning must be part of the learning strategy, once it has already become a revolution tool in education, where learning has ceased to be individualized, or adaptive, starting to be collaborative. (CLEMENTINO, et al,2006; FULCO, CARVALHO, ZIMMERMANN, 2013).
Kukulska-Hulme e Traxler (2005) present some relevant reason for mobile devices use:
- Improve access – access to evaluation and learning materials, in addition to increasing the flexibility of students ' learning.
- Evaluate and improve learning-assess - Evaluate how much the mobile device can help the student in learning, exploring the potential of this resource in education.
- Evaluate and improve teaching – allow students to understand the use of mobile technology as a learning tool, also reducing cultural barriers between teachers and students.
- Explore the demands and behavior of students – monitor which students use the resources of mobile technology and how often it is used, investigate the interface and usability limitations of m-learning within the educational context used in the course.
- Alignment with educational resourcer – carry out feasibility studies for the m-learning application resources in other courses with large numbers of students, assessing the capacity of infrastructure, and improve the course’s interface and interactivity.
According to FULCO; CARVALHO; ZIMMERMANN, 2013, a limitation of m-learning is the student’s unavailability of internet access, as well as the lack of familiarity with the software and applications from teachers and students. However, the m-learning can be used to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of educational interventions, combining several performances to the contents taught.