Mobile assistance for personal learning on a massive scale

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes (2018). Mobile assistance for personal learning on a massive scale. In: Orsini-Jones, Marina and Smith, Simon eds. Flipping the blend through MOOCs, MALL and OIL - new directions in CALL., pp. 1–8.



Despite efforts to increase participation in education across the globe, it remains an inaccessible right for millions of children and adults. Mobile learning, and specifically ‘mobile assistance’, can provide personal support to learners when teachers are scarce or learners have pressing individual goals. MASELTOV was a project which implemented mobile assistance for migrants, comprising a suite of smartphone tools and services for orientation in a new environment and everyday language learning. Experiences gained from this project invite reflection on what are the unique qualities of teachers and human assistance. As we enter a new era of pervasive applications of artificial intelligence (AI), there are concerns that AI will encroach on the territory of the teacher. However it is possible that intelligent assistants can be designed and used in such a way that they complement and enhance what human teachers are uniquely able to do. It is important to ask how less developed societies will be included in these advancements. The answer can emerge from greater clarity around the nature and capabilities of mobile and intelligent assistance.

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