A Note from Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas, IAmLearn President
Dear Mobile Learning Educator,
IAmLearning: Mobilizing and Supporting Educator Practice draws together a range of expertise and experience of mobile learning researchers, theorists, and practitioners whose findings and recommendations should be critically regarded and applied by innovative educators. This important eBook deserves to be widely read by those who seek to deepen their understanding of mobile learning and explore the changing narrative of the role of the teacher and pedagogy in the evolving educational ecosystem.
As mobile and networked technologies have become increasingly powerful, robust, accessible, and familiar, the benefits and opportunities they enable should be reflected in both mobile learning and teaching. Educational needs, structures, and their socio-economic contexts have evolved impacting not only what we learn and how we learn but also what is expected of the mLearning educator. Examples of the many questions educators are asking today include: What mobile technologies to apply and when? How to integrate mobile technologies to effectively support learning processes and outcomes? What are the shifting theoretical paradigms often referred to in mLearning reports? What learning theories to apply in the ever-changing educational contexts? What are the recommended evidence-based teaching methods and learning approaches – pedagogy (teacher-determined), andragogy (self-directed), heutagogy (student-determined) or other? How to support active learner-centered teaching recommend by mLearning pedagogies?
Educators often receive little or no guidance in answering these questions and in how to integrate m-learning into their practice. They face a range of challenges when experimenting with mLearning in attempt to incorporate it into their curriculum. In order to support teachers in their efforts to integrate mobile learning strategies, appropriate professional development resources and activities are indispensable. Literature has repeatedly flagged the absence of adequate training initiatives and the importance of such supports for teachers. Many educators seek to be able to use innovative technologies in their practice and to make informed instructional design decisions with ease and confidence. They need pedagogical guidelines to promote the design of effective mobile teaching and learning, as well as examples of their real-life application.
We have invited our IAmlearn colleagues to document their expertise pertaining to the above issues in a digital book we are now proud to present to you. In this open access interactive eBook, the authors share their own research and experiences as well as those of other innovative instructors, in hope to advance your practice of designing and implementing mLearning.
The book will help you understand the various experiences and barriers faced by teachers in diverse educational contexts and assist with the integration of mobile learning. Strategies and tools to overcome these challenges are offered along with recommendations on how to utilize m-learning to become holistic teachers and leaders. In addition, interactive tools are included to help educators in the development and evaluation of mobile learning strategies and activities, using appropriate learning theories and principles.
We invite you to enjoy this online resource and to treat it as a stepping stone to a broader discussion with your IAmLearn colleagues on how to adopt and adapt mobile learning strategies in your educator practice. Thank you to the chapter authors, book editors, and the readers for joining our community of practice!
Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas, Editor
Assistant Professor, Centre for Distance Education
Athabasca University, Canada