Title: Addressing the cost barriers to mobile learning in higher education

Authors: Laurel Evelyn Dyson, Richard Raban, Andrew Litchfield, Elaine Lawrence

Addresses: Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia. ' Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia. ' Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia. ' Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007, Australia

Abstract: This paper addresses one of the main barriers to the widespread adoption of mobile learning in higher education, that of cost. Usage charges billed by telecommunications providers and the cost of mobile hardware are identified as the key cost issues. However, opportunities to overcome this barrier include the high rate of ownership of mobile phones by university students and technological solutions such as packet transmission technologies. The authors describe two experiments in low-cost mobile learning: one that uses packet technology (mobile WAP/WML) to build low-cost interactivity in the classroom and the second that involves mobile-supported fieldwork using several cost-saving strategies.

Keywords: low cost learning; mobile learning; m-learning; educational technology; cost barriers; sustainability; interactive classrooms; fieldwork; higher education; budget constraints; mobile phones; cell phones; packet technology; mobile WAP-WML; online learning; e-learning; electronic learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2009.027455

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 2009 Vol.3 No.4, pp.381 - 398

Published online: 26 Jul 2009 *

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