Smartphones and Learning: An Extension of M-Learning or a Distinct Area of Inquiry
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The smartphone has become an integral part of the education landscape. While there has been significant smartphone research in education under the guise of m-learning, the unique role of the device suggests that m-learning may not be an appropriate characterization. The purpose of this paper is to review the use of m-learning as a primary descriptor for smartphone- and learning-related research. In support of this goal, the paper reviews the definitions associated with m-learning, smartphones, and related technologies from the perspective of educational research. In addition, a review of author keywords of research on smartphones in education is used to provide context to the classification of the research. Finally, three theoretically guided smartphone programs are presented as evidence of the unique nature of smartphone and learning research. This review concludes with recommendations for the characterization of future research.
technology acceptance model