The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Kiran Maharaj

Using m-Learning Technologies to Support Tertiary-level Education in the Carbbean

Kiran Maharaj
The University of the West Indies, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Permanand Mohan
The University of the West Indies, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

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     Last modified: October 17, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/01/2006 2:30 PM in NT Trelawny
     (View Schedule)

m-Learning technologies can potentially deliver education at significantly reduced costs by leveraging the relatively cheap mobile infrastructure available throughout the Caribbean. Mobile devices also have a strong appeal among young adults that can be exploited to provide flexible learning opportunities regardless of the time or the location of learners. m-Learning technologies are a perfect complement to Open and Distance Learning (ODL), allowing communication with learners beyond their traditional places of learning. They can also support face-to-face learning by reaching out to learners outside the traditional classroom.

Even though m-Learning is still in its infancy, in this paper we show how it can be used to support blended learning in both traditional face-to-face formats and ODL, using technologies such as context and location awareness, mobile learning management systems, and mobile RSS. As an example, we consider an advanced course at The University of the West Indies. We show how classroom learning can be supported with m-Learning technologies that deliver concise course notes, summaries, assignments, and tutorials directly to individual learners after each class or topic is covered. The technology supports polls, opinions, and other forms of student interaction and communicates information on timetables/schedules, deadlines, news, alerts, etc. to an entire class.

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