Mobile learning in the workplace. Unlocking the value of mobile technology for work-based education.
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The use of mobile phones is attracting considerable interest in the fields of professional learning and work-based education. Surprisingly, there is relatively little systematic knowledge about how mobile devices can be used effectively for learning and competence development in work contexts. Many of the current approaches tend to repackage eLearning content in order to make it suitable for the smaller screens of mobile devices following behavioural and cognitive paradigms. By contrast, we attempt to illustrate in this chapter how mobile devices allow the realisation of rich pedagogical strategies. We use a number of educational parameters to characterise mobile learning (mLearning) as learning across different contexts that bridges and connects: 1) the creation and sharing of content; 2) learning for and learning at work; 3) individual and social forms of learning; 4) education across formal and informal settings, and (5) situated, socio-cognitive, cultural, multimodal and constructivist educational paradigms. We underpin our arguments with empirical studies from different fields and disciplines of work-based education. In so doing, we conclude that, in addition to sporadic, self-contained training, mobile devices can connect and span different situations and forms of learning and, accordingly, support learners across various contexts and phases of their career trajectories.