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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 7

Mobile Technology's Defining Features

Mobile devices offer many exciting and distinct features in educational settings (see Figure 7.1). When educators and school districts embark on a mobile learning initiative, they're aiming to tap into the 10 key differentiating factors (as discussed in Chapter 3) that enhance students’ learning experience. These factors set mobile devices apart from their predecessors and make them appealing to students, teachers and administrators: connectivity, awareness, multimodal experience, familiarity, personalization, comprehensiveness, consolidation, portability, relevancy and security. But in this chapter we will focus directly on specific aspects of the devices: hardware options, operating systems, and other features that, through sound app development and thoughtful pedagogy, maximize the learning experience. In this chapter, we provide a developer-focused discussion about the key features of mobile learning—that is, how to tap into mobile devices’ educational potential by making the best use of its hardware, software, and accessories.

A key component of this discussion, and a theme of this section on developing educational apps, centers on how apps can be good app citizens. This term, though nebulous, relates to how apps work with the user and the device in a fair and neighborly way. This can mean many different things as it relates to mobile technology features. Responsible use of bandwidth and Internet connection, reasonable app size ...

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