Smart devices or people? A mobile learning quandary

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2012). Smart devices or people? A mobile learning quandary. International Journal of Learning and Media, 4(3-4) pp. 73–77.




Mobile learning is an emerging paradigm in an unpredictable and shifting landscape of technological change. A technocentric focus is anathema to educators who prefer to believe that innovative pedagogy is the driving force behind educational developments. However, the proliferation of mobile devices may have an almost irresistible impact on teaching and learning. The focus of this article is on the concept of “smartness” in relation to mobile devices and people. As devices become smarter, their users are in danger of becoming less smart, or their agency may be at risk. Yet the key value of smart devices may be in how they can help develop essential skills and competencies in 21st-century learners—in particular, their self-direction—although this will not happen of its own accord.

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