An Off-the-Shelf Mobile App Portfolio for Distance Education

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2015
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Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA)
Abstract

Mobile technology has become a near-necessity in our modern lives, be it professional, personal and social. It is then not surprising to see mobile technology play a key role in how we are educated as well. To this extent, Mobile Learning (mLearning) has gained much significance over the past few years. With the design of new pedagogies and paradigm shifts, mLearning has become a new academic discipline on its own with a focus on the use of bespoke mobile technologies such as purpose built mobile apps to achieve the set learning outcomes. However, the design, development and implementation of such bespoke technologies require a substantial investmentboth monetarily and time wise. Many Distance Education (DE) practitioners would not have this privilege in terms of delivering their courses. In contrast, there are thousands of mobile applications available for free which can be leveraged to deliver a DE course more effectively and efficiently. In this light, this brief paper introduces how these off-the-shelf applications can be systematically incorporated into each stage of the learning process. // The remaining sections of this paper will explore how DE has evolved from paper based, to plastic to virtual; the divide between digital natives and immigrants; the current mobile application landscape; and 95 free off-the-shelf mobile apps for the Android platform which could form a rich portfolio for teaching and learning in DE.

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Higher Education, Educational Technology, Education Policies
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Asia
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