Using a Mobile Device is Not Mobile Learning

Many schools are moving to “mobile learning” when, in fact, they really are moving toward using students using mobile devices. The students use mobile devices as they would have used a desktop or a laptop.

Some characteristics of mobile learning (CLIP)

Collaboration and Communication: Students work with other students and adults in the class, in the school, in the community, in the state, in the country and or in other countries to increase their learning. Central New York English students have students from Australia as peer reviewers for their essays.

Location and Mobility: Students use their mobile devices outside of the classroom to capture information or to share localized information. Students go to a river and video record river data for others to look at.

Interactivity and Production: Students do not just consume information, they produce it. Students record local history from their town to share with others.

Purpose and Goals: Students focus on the big learning, the essential learning. They put information together as in project- based learning about the math involved in a garden.

cross-posted at

Harry Grover Tuttle teaches English and Spanish college courses at Onondaga Community College and blogs at Education with Technology. He is also the author of several books on formative assessment and the new ebook 90 Mobile Learning Modern Language Activities.