While many think of mobile learning as delivering eLearning on small form factor devices, or often referred to as eLearning “lite”, it has the potential to do much more than deliver courses, or parts of courses. It includes the use of mobile/handheld devices to perform any of the following:

    Deliver Education/Learning
    Foster Communications/Collaboration
    Conduct Assessments/Evaluations
    Provide Access to Performance Support/Knowledge
    Capture Evidence of Learning Activity

Today, any number of portable devices can quickly and easily deliver and support these functions. Cell or smartphones, multi-game devices, personal media players (PMPs), personal digital assistants (PDAs), or wireless single-purpose devices can help deliver coaching and mentoring, conduct assessments and evaluations (e.g., quizzes; tests; surveys/polls; and certifications), provide on-the-job support and access to information, education and references, and deliver podcasts, update alerts, forms and checklists. In these ways, mobile learning can enhance and support more traditional learning modes, making it more portable and accessible. Mobile devices can also serve as powerful data collection tools and facilitate the capture of user created content.

New mobile technology, such as hand-held cellular based devices, is playing a large role in redefining how we receive information. The recent advances in mobile technology are changing the primary purpose of mobile devices from making or receiving calls to retrieving the latest information on any subject. "Numerous agencies including the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Intelligence community, and law enforcement are utilizing mobile technology are utilizing mobile technology for information management."

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