MoLeNET is certainly the UK’s, and possibly the world’s, largest and
most diverse implementation of mobile learning. Approximately 40,000
learners and more than 7000 staff, in Further Education colleges,
specialist colleges ans Schools have been involved in MoLeNET
The Learning and Skills Council (now Skills Funding Agency) and
consortia led by Further Education colleges have together invested over
£16+ million in MoLeNET. During the 3 years, 2007/8, 2008/9 and 2009/10
MoLeNET has funded and supported 104 mobile learning projects involving
147 Colleges and 37 Schools. All projects are supported by the
MoLeNET Support and Evaluation Programme led by LSN.
What is Mobile Learning?
There are several definitions of mobile learning. The MoLeNET programme uses a broad definition i.e:
"The exploitation of ubiquitous handheld hardware, wireless
networking and mobile telephony to facilitate, support enhance and
extend the reach of teaching and learning”
Mobile devices employed include personal digital assistants (PDAs),
mobile phones, smartphones, MP3 and MP4 players (e.g. iPODs), other
portable multimedia players, handheld gaming devices (i.e. Sony PSP,
Nintendo DS), Ultramobile PCs (UMPCs) and netbooks.
Mobile learning involves connectivity for downloading, uploading
and/or on-line working via wireless networks, mobile phone networks or
both, and linking to institutional systems e.g. virtual learning
environments (VLEs) and management information systems (MIS).
Why Mobile Learning?
Research and practice within both educational and commercial environments has found that mobile learning can:
- be used for both independent and collaborative learning
- help bridge the gap between mobile phone literacy and ICT literacy
- engage reluctant learners and young people not in education or employment
- help improve literacy and numeracy and help learners to recognise their existing abilities
- help to raise the self-confidence and self-esteem of non-traditional learners
- take place outside, whilst travelling, in the workplace or in the classroom
- be used to capture evidence and for assessment
The LSN Support and Evaluation Programme
The Support and Evaluation Programme is delivered by a team of
experts including staff from both LSN’s Technology Enhanced Learning
Research Centre and LSN’s e-Learning and Technology Team, supplemented
by sector based and independent mobile learning experts. The team
is supported and guided by the Learning and Skills Council and an
Advisory Board of national and international experts from both the
education and private sectors.
Programme services include: programme management; information,
expert advice and mentoring; face-to-face and on-line facilitated
networking and knowledge sharing; face-to-face and on-line induction,
continuing professional development and dissemination events; tools and
materials; repurposed materials; action research including practitioner
researcher CPD and support; programme evaluation; dissemination of
research findings, good practice and lessons learned.