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Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners by Scott McQuiggan, Jamie McQuiggan, Jennifer Sabourin, Lucy Kosturko

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CHAPTER 2

The Science of Learning

INTRODUCTION

Before determining how to appropriately use mobile learning in the classroom to enhance and personalize learning, it is important to consider what we know about how we learn. Many established theories of learning offer insights that apply to the use of mobile technologies in particular. This chapter provides a theoretical framework for discussions about educational app creation and evaluation, as well as use of mobile technology in the classroom and pedagogy.

The science of learning describes the cognitive processes surrounding why and how we learn. Historically, theoretical shifts in psychology have defined such processes in different ways, consequently changing the study of learning over time. The majority of late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century education was dominated by behaviorists who argued that empirical psychological research can only be conducted by measuring observable behaviors and treating mental processes and the mind as a black box. Studies of learning, such as Pavlov's famous salivating dog-conditioning experiments, concluded that the construction of knowledge occurs through external conditioning and reinforcement of behaviors from the environment.

However, concurrent with the behaviorist and other movements in the mid-twentieth century, studies were being published that showed that learning could occur without strict conditioning or external reinforcement. Learning often occurred after a single experience, as in ...

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