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ERIC Number: EJ853761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Holding the World in Your Hand: Creating a Mobile Language Learning Environment
Gilgen, Read
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v28 n3 p30-39 2005
Three years ago, the language lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison encountered the same challenge many campuses face. Older analog technologies were getting harder--in some cases impossible--to maintain, thus making the move to digital technologies a necessity. A typical solution would have been to digitize existing materials and substitute digital equipment (computers) for analog equivalents (tape recorders), all the while continuing to maintain a fixed-location language lab. Instead, the college administration challenged the staff to explore more innovative ways to leap into the digital world. Fortunately, the college obtained a substantial equipment grant from HP that had as its focus the implementation of wireless (networking) and mobile (portable equipment) technologies. At first, the school staff had a difficult time getting their minds around the idea of mobile language learning, but the more they examined the possibilities, the more excited they became. They put together a proposal they called "Creating a Mobile Language Learning Environment." The proposal called for a range of initiatives. First, they planned to replace two of their traditional language labs with laptop-based labs, writing their own language-learning and language-testing software. Second, they planned to implement the use of wireless handheld and laptop devices for use in classrooms. They intended to make it easier for instructors and students to access the Internet and to use digital materials in the classroom, without having to take up valuable class time by going to a fixed-location lab. Third, they planned to make digital materials available to all students through their online virtual digital language lab. With wireless coverage throughout their building, and by taking advantage of campus wireless coverage in many other locations, students could use handheld and laptop computers at any time and any place. Finally, they planned to determine whether the use of mobile technology helped further the cause of foreign language learning. (Contains 6 figures, 1 table, and 9 resources.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin