The future of learning-From eLearning to mLearning
Mobile learning is seen as the provision of education and training courses on wireless devices: PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), palmtops and mobile telephones. The book sees the provision of education at a distance as a continuum and traces an evolution from d-learning (distance learning) to e-learning (electronic learning) to m-learning (mobile learning). No conflict is to be seen in these differing forms of provision. Clearly distance education continues to prosper with the arrival of e-learning, and both continue with the move to wirelessness in society. The vision is rather of the richness and choice that are available to learners in the 21 st century. Education at a distance is distinguished from conventional face-toface provision and is seen as the provision of programmes for nationally and internationally accepted degrees, diplomas and certificates for students who legally and contractually do not reside at, or travel to, or attend in any continuous manner commensurate with the award, the training centres or colleges or universities providing the award.
Mobile learning Mobile learning is a harbinger of the future of learning. Mobile learning sets out to design a learning environment for wireless technologies and provides this model of the environment: It seeks to put in place a new virtual learning environment which might be represented thus: Wireless Virtual Learning Environment of Tomorrow At the dawn of the third millennium Ericsson and Nokia announced that there would be 1.000.000.000 mobile telephones in the world by 2002. The world population would be just over 6.000.000.000. With the successful development of Bluetooth, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), GPRS (General Packet Radio System) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), the technological structures for wireless telephony and wireless computing are now firmly in place. All over Europe today wireless technologies and applications are replacing wired ones: e-Commerce is moving to m-Commerce; mBusiness is replacing e-Business; venture capitalists are snapping up WAP application providers as they appear; the site http://www.ericsson.se/letswap lists WAP applications for stock
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