The Ethics of M-Learning: Classroom Threat or Enhanced Learner Agency?

Trish Andrews, Laurel Dyson, Robyn Smyth, Ruth Marie Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review

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Ubiquitous access to mobile technologies is expanding rapidly. In a changing world, where social, work and learning activities increasingly occur 'on the go' mediated by a wide variety of mobile devices, there is a growing expectation that these tools will be utilized for teaching and learning activities in higher education. However, along with the opportunities offered by mobile learning come concerns related to issues of privacy and security within classroom situations. The authors of this paper suggest that while mobile learning does indeed come with risks, there is a need to take a proactive approach to managing the ethical issues that the use of these tools in educational settings can create. Considering mobile learning as part of a transition to a more mobile society, the authors argue that ethical issues need to be considered within this social framework and that the onus is on institutions to develop protocols and policy to enable and support responsible use of mobile devices as tools to support mobile learning. Moreover, mobile devices in education should not be seen merely as a problem to be managed, but as offering the potential to enhance the agency of all learners, including those who have been disenfranchised by traditional teaching approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationmLearn 2011 Conference Proceedings
Place of PublicationBeijing, China
PublisherBeijing Normal University Press
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventWorld Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2011 10th) - Beijing, China, Beijing, China
Duration: 18 Oct 201121 Oct 2011
Conference number: 2011 (10th)


ConferenceWorld Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2011 10th)
Abbreviated titlemLearn


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