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Synopsis

The subject of this book is 'mobile learning', but 'mobile' means many things: it means technology, as in a mobile phone or tablet, and it also means mobile learning courses themselves, as well as being used to describe the experience of learning in this way, of experiencing 'mobile'.

I'm interested in all of these things, in exploring what they each mean and how we can pull them together to provide a meaningful narrative of how we develop and experience mobile learning.

It's easy to think of mobile as just being a distribution channel, like a television or a radio. We can view the devices as just conduits to push content out to learners, but this is to miss so much of the potential, potential that is only unfolding to us as we speak. People interact with mobile devices in fundamentally different ways: they are social tools used to reinforce our standing, fashion statements, aspirational decoration, sources of knowledge and power, able to make us win a pub quiz or find a pizza, but also business tools used to organize meetings, remind us of deadlines and let us speak to the boss when we're running late.

Mobile devices transcend the traditional boundaries of our lives, crossing over between the formal spaces of work and the informal social spaces that surround it. The devices are not purely functional, they are much, much more.

It's important that we understand just how widely mobile has permeated our lives, how often we reach into our pocket and ready our thumbs for action. We need to recognize how it impacts on knowledge: we used to have to 'know' things, whilst now we often only need to know how to find those things out fast. Knowing how to use Google is often enough.

We need to develop a mindset for mobile learning.

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