MOBILE LEARNING: THE INCORPORATION OF THE MOBILE DEVICE IN THE UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM AS AN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE

This paper verifies the importance and usefulness that college students can give to the Mobile Learning as a support resource in assimilating concepts of some subjects. We have implemented an inquiry in which have participated 150 students of Health Sciences at the University of Granada, Spain.

The results showed that students know, value and are interested in using of mobile applications with teacher supervision, that help them in understanding contents of some subjects of their career. A clear example of the motivational component that behaves this tool, we must seize to drive an improvement in educational processes.

Mobile Learning is a methodology that favors new ways of educational interaction. The Mobile Learning implementation modifies the time and the space of participation of the professors and students in usual processes of education-learning, changing, in this way, the educational scenario.

The key for its impact in education is the educational use that we do with it. The Mobile Learning has all the elements for empower both the students and the professorship, but the technology itself does not propitiate a change. If we prepare ourselves as professors for the correct incorporation and utilization of the mobile devices in the classroom, inviting to our students to use it positively, we will be contributing that the learning be really significant and with high quality.

Mobile devices are usually perceived as insulating elements that distract the attention and concentration capacities of the students, so its use has been banned in numerous classrooms. These negative aspects can be solved taking advantage of the motivating potential of this tool: it can be used by the professor as support to the didactic content of the classes using it to get complementary material, while the students learn practicing with multimedia applications that may be used as part of teamwork inside the classroom. Thus, all of them engage in the design and development of an auto-educational project using mobile applications (Apps) as social networking.

Currently, one of the most useful and interesting Apps for use in class is the Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE). It allows the students to use mobile phones during the classes, to propose multimedia questions and to share them with their classmates. It includes an application to manage the information for the professor, with which controls the progress of the real time activities.

Some pilot studies developed about Mobile Learning have showed that the mobile phones allow the literacy, promote the motivation of the students, improving the possibilities of professional development of the professors and the communication between parents, professors and executives.

Thanks to the proliferation of applications and projects for the development of the Mobile Learning, this new methodology is turning into one of the best solutions to the problems that are affecting the educational sector, since it gives a real alternative to many of the disadvantages of the capacity of knowledge acquisition, intellectual competences, such as attention skills.