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Education Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 528495, 10 pages
Research Article

Will Mobile Learning Bring a Paradigm Shift in Higher Education?

School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington 6014, New Zealand

Received 22 September 2010; Revised 10 November 2010; Accepted 16 December 2010

Academic Editor: Jan Elen

Copyright © 2011 Lalita Rajasingham. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the light of technology-driven social change that creates new challenges for universities, this paper considers the potential of mobile learning as a subset of e-learning to effect a paradigm shift in higher education. Universities face exponential growth in demand for higher education, significant decreases in government funding for education, a changing in understanding of the nature of knowledge, changing student demographics and expectations, and global competition. At the same time untethered mobile telephony is connecting large numbers of potential learners to communications networks. A review of some empirical literature on the current status of mobile learning that explores alternatives to help universities fulfil core functions of storage, processing, and disseminating knowledge that can be applied to real life problems, is followed by an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of increased connectivity to mobile communications networks to support constructivist, self-directed quality interactive learning for increasingly mobile learners. This paper also examines whether mobile learning can align the developing technology with changing student expectations and the implications of such an alignment for teaching and institutional strategies. Technologies considered include mobile computing and technology, wireless laptop, hand-held PDAs, and mobile telephony.