A Systematic Review of M-Learning: Deepening Education or Widening the Divide?
Abstract: A new paradigm of teaching/learning has emerged-learning through the mode of mobile devices. Mobile technologies promise new, innovative methods of teaching/learning. Its benefits include collaboration, portability in learning, immediacy, ubiquity and adaptability. Yet, mobile technology is a paradox. Mobile devices can be powerful tools for creativity, learning and civic engagement. Still, while worldwide rates of mobile phone ownership are rising, data plans are limited, and homes restricted to mobile plans as a sole source of Internet are rarely granted access to these kinds of activities. Further, over half the world's population lacks access to open internet. Those who lack this access/use are divided by socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, social class, generation and geographic location. A few schools and individuals are using mobile devices as a learning tool today. Yet, this rate is growing. Thus, researchers have increased reporting on the effectiveness of adopting mobile learning approaches in different learning environments. Many countries recognize mobile learning as an emerging trend and strategically identify it as part of their national educational policy. This systematic review covers mobile learning research from 2014-17. It discerns if mobile learning meets student needs or exacerbates the digital divide/knowledge gap, student/teacher perceptions of mobile devices in the classroom, benefits of mobile teaching, and where the gap is (digitally) in learning.
Presider: Douglass Scott, Waseda University