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Title: Mobile learning – a new paradigm shift in distance education?
Authors: Zawacki-Richter, Olaf
Brown, Tom
Delport, Rhena
Keywords: distance education
mobile learning
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2007
Abstract: During recent years, many distance teaching as well as residential institutions have started to experiment with mobile learning through pilot projects as part of their e-learning and technology enhanced learning environments. Mobile learning should not be regarded as a medium for distance learning. However, because of the similar affordances of distance learning technologies and online and mobile learning, the established field of distance education can provide valuable insight into strategies, approaches and practical experiences with regard to the conception and organization of this new medium for learning. Distance teaching institutions have a long history and much experience with media-based instruction. This affords them an advantage in the development and application of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) for teaching and learning. Student support systems have existed in traditional distance education for decades. ICTs – especially mobile devices – open up new paths for learning support and opportunities to reach a wider audience for (higher) education. However, will mobile learning bring about a paradigm shift in distance education? Or is it perhaps a new generation of distance education? Does it afford new opportunities for teaching and learning in terms of access and flexibility? This paper reports on an international survey that was conducted amongst distance educators in order to explore these questions.
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