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LEARNING FOR THE NEW GENERATION OF DIGITAL NATIVES: ADVANTAGES OF MOBILE LEARNING AND CURRICULUM IMPLICATIONS

S. Hussin, A. Ghanad, D. DeWitt

University of Malaya (MALAYSIA)
Engagement theory posits that students in the classroom can be fully engaged and motivated in learning when a technology is being used for them to find information and knowledge to solve a problem, or to complete an assignment, and by so doing they can understand better the meanings and relationships of concepts involved. Today in developed and developing countries, the information communication technology (ICT) and the internet are the powerful medium that can promote engagement in learning. Concurrently, the ICT and internet are so readily accessible via the use of mobile digital devices such as smartphones, iphones, ipads, and laptops. The ICT and internet applications on mobile digital devices also have somewhat altered pedagogy, from non-engagement to engagement via computer mediated learning, virtual interactive learning, and collaborative learning. Furthermore, according to socialization theory, mobile digital devices with internet and various applications can be the new medium for widening social networking albeit virtually among high school and college students.

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the phenomenon of easy accessibility to smartphones and internet, which can make learning more constructive and effective for the new generation of digital-age children and youth (or digital natives). The accessibility of the mobile device has its advantages in terms of the ubiquitous application of collaborative mobile learning in both the informal setting as well as the formal classroom situation. The context, the software application used and the available hardware related to mobile technology influence the concept of mobile learning.

Relevant literature on this topic has been reviewed. Research has shown the advantages of collaborative mobile learning in increasing students’ motivation, engagement, and interaction in the classroom, and to develop critical thinking skills. However, the implementation of mobile learning has several implications on the curriculum such as the need for proficiency in English, the development of resources for mobile learning, the availability of the necessary hardwares in schools, and the recruitment of human resources for maintaining and supporting learning for mobile learning environments.