Augmented Learning by Eric Klopfer, from The MIT Press is at the vanguard of arguments that mobile learning will have roles where it is preferred in education’s future. M-learning has moved – not without some agony – from rejection by education, to suspicion, through accusations that it is too distracting for the classroom, to some increasing enthusiasm at the bleeding edges. For the believers in m-learning, this sketch from the publisher of Klopfer’s book rings happy tones in their ears:
Klopfer begins by exploring the past and present of education, educational technology, “edutainment,” and mobile games, and then offers a series of case studies of mobile educational games that have been developed and implemented in recent years. These games–either participatory (which require interaction with other players) or augmented reality (which augment the real world with virtual information)–can be produced at lower cost than PC or full-size console games. They use social dynamics and real-world contexts to enhance game play, can be integrated into the natural flow of instruction more easily than their big-screen counterparts, and can create compelling educational and engaging environments for learners. They are especially well-suited for helping learners at every level develop twenty-first century skills–including the ability to tackle complex problems and acquire information in “just-in-time” fashion. All of this, Klopfer argues, puts mobile learning games in a unique and powerful position within educational technology.