"Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 7355-7359
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Mobile devices are irrevocably changing learning. Mobile technologies are interfacing with all aspects of our lives including Web tools and applications, immersive virtual world environments, and online environments to present educational opportunities for learning.

Mobile Learning is a real need today, driven by natural penetration of information technology in all areas of economic life, the needs to align education to economic and social requirements. Mobile learning is a new trend in learning environment, that allows the access of users to the information through Internet using mobile devices like phones, smartphones, PDAs, laptops, tablets.

Mobile devices present special means of interaction with the user which are not similarly with classic computer applications, therefore special attention should be given to this issue. Mobile technologies have attracted a lot of attention, which offer a possible solution for the implementation of technology in education environment. Interface design must take into account a number of factors associated with human interaction: accessibility, ease of use, level of skill, capturing and reporting errors.

Mobile devices represents presently an attraction for students, so that according our case study 90% of the university population owns a mobile phone and see this phone as their single most important form of communication. They link learners in new ways to other learners and information. This constant access to information offers learners new ways to party, dream, play, and learn in ways never before visualized. But this always-on communication has led to a millennial language with 76% using instant messaging/text messaging and 15% logged on 24/7.
As teachers, we have always tried to take a holistic view of teaching and learning and prepare our students through a combination of skills, knowledge and dispositions. What is different is that now as teachers we have competition in the form or devices that can deliver content quickly, access experts, and connect to anyone, anywhere.

We are still in the early days of mobile learning and its application. Students can play a major role through the development of apps that become institutional resources and part of the institution’s infrastructure. Most of the time, students are pioneers in forcing us as educators to change. However, once the student work becomes part of the university infrastructure, the apps may be outsourced just like the university website and other centralized IT work of the university.

Mobile devices increase the opportunity for student/faculty interaction. Text messages, Skype calls and constant email can become a 24/7 event for the faculty member. The expectations of a mobile-based learning will have to be negotiated such that both faculty and student are not invading each other’s social and private spaces and time.

Cell phone use, laptop use, social networks in the classroom will also have to be negotiated. “Student empowerment is a faculty member’s threat.”
According to our research results, there are some key mobile learning benefits: Is more convenient; Is more relevant; Can take place during down time; Eliminates technological barriers; Empowers learners; Results in better professional judgments; Affords numerous social learning opportunities, etc.
Knowledge, e-learning, mobile learning, mobile devices.