Mobile Learning: Structures, Agency, Practices

Norbert Pachler, Ben Bachmair and John Cook. Gunther Kress (Editor)
Springer (2010).

Review published: 13 Dec 2015.

mobile learning coverThis remains one of the most valuable books dealing with mobile learning in formal and informal education. This scholarly text  is still relevant in informing academic studies. The London Mobile Learning Group – LMLG* to which these authors belong realised very early on what kinds of changes would occur once learners had access to their own devices in daily life and its potential as a means of education.  The editor, Gunther Kress, ensures an emphasis on multimodality and communications while the authors chart the rapid emergence of new forms of mass communication and their potential for gathering, shaping, and analyzing information, studying their transformative capability and learning potential in the contexts of school and socio-cultural change.

The focus is on a range of equipment: mobile/cell phones, PDAs, and to a lesser extent gaming devices and music players. But the balance is well judged. The authors explore the integration into education, without objectifying the devices or technology itself. This approach is reinforced by the discussion of theoretical and conceptual models, an analytical framework for understanding the issues, recommendations for specialized resources, and practical examples of mobile learning in formal as well as informal educational settings, particularly with at-risk students.