The pitfalls of mobile devices in learning: A different view and implications for pedagogical design

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Studies have been devoted to the design, implementation, and evaluation of mobile learning in practice. A common issue among students' responses toward this type of learning concerns the pitfalls of mobile devices, including small screen, limited input options, and low computational power. As a result, mobile devices are not always perceived by students as beneficial tools for their learning. Such perception undermines the use of mobile devices in learning and dampens teachers' interest in adopting mobile learning. This study tackles this issue and proposes that contextualizing the use of mobile devices can promote students' attitudes toward the use of mobile devices in learning. In other words, the use of mobile devices in learning should be in conjunction with the ambient artifacts where the user is and corresponding experience may provide the user with a positive perception toward the use of mobile devices. The proposed approach is evaluated by a sample practice to obtain preliminary supporting evidence. Further discussion is made on some innovative designs of mobile learning practices. This study is to provide a different view of mobile devices' pitfalls in learning and suggests that, relying on appropriate design, these pitfalls can be overcome to embrace a broader spectrum of mobile learning practice designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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