Mobile Learning - An Innovative Mode in Open and Distance Education
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 be regarded as a medium for distance learning. Distance learning technologies,online and mobile learning,
are the established fields, whichwill provide valuable insight into strategies, approaches and practical experiences.
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.
Mobile learning is in many ways a new phenomenon and its theoretical, pedagogical, organizational and technical structure
is currently still developing (Brown, 2004). The all-inclusive umbrella term for media-based learning and teaching is
distance education or distance learning, which is characterized by the quasi-permanent separation of teacher and learner
throughout the length of the learning process. The central concern of distance teaching pedagogy is to bridge the distance:
"Because the distance to students was regarded as a deficit, and proximity as desirable and necessary, the first pedagogic
approaches specific to distance education aimed immediately at finding ways by which the spatial distance could be bridged,
reduced or even eliminated" (Peters, 2001).
E- and mobile learning provide enormous possibilities for closing the gap between learners and teachers or the teaching
institution, to overcome the misconception of distance learning as an isolated form of learning. M-learning is e-learning
through mobile computational devices. Mobile learning devices are defined as handheld devices and can take the form of
personal digital assistants, mobile phones, smartphones, audio players, video and multimedia players. They should be
connected wirelessly, thus ensuring mobility and flexibility.
Innovation in education refers to the changes in teaching and learning as a consequence of the tremendous impact of
technological advances. An advanced form in education might mean that in education certain models or patterns no longer
exist, because new models and have substituted them. The media applied in distance learning influence the form and nature
of interaction and communication, the level of independence and flexibility, as well as scalability and therefore access and
costs of distance learning courses.
This paper aims to explore mobile learning as a new field of pedagogical activity in open and distance education.
Key Words –Mobile learning, open and distance education, ICT.