The Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning

Type Conference Paper - The Fifth Pan‐Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning 13‐17 July 2008, University of London, UK
Title The Fifth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Business and leisure have long benefited from the use of mobile devices, such as mobile phones, but
research in the use of mobile phones in learning is recent (Alexander, 2004; McNeal & van’t Hooft, 2006).
The aim of this paper is to explore the on-going research on the possible effects of using mobile phones
to support learning, especially as a way of creating access for the disadvantaged people. The paper
defines mobile learning within the context of distance learning, but with the emphasis on the mobility of
information communication technology devices that can be used to support or reach (mobile) learners
anytime, anywhere. Further, the paper defines the disadvantaged by giving examples of groups of people
who do not benefit directly from the mainstream or conventional education institutions. The paper, argues
that the more access is extended and participation increased in education, the many people are equipped
and empowered with information and skills to participate in their own development as well as of their
communities and nations. The educational development of people themselves, not only bridge the
education gap, but it as well bridges the power relation divide, especially between rural communities of
the developing economies.

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