Mobile and Ubiquitous Learning

In the last few years we have witnessed an increased use of mobile technologies within educational contexts. An analysis of the literature reveals an evolution over time. In fact, early studies focused on technological aspects and especially on the use of mobile devices in the classroom, while later research has concentrated on pedagogical aspects.
The most recent studies consider the use of mobile technologies from the wider point of view of learning experiences, which are often based on innovative methodologies where learning is seen as a continuous and social process, which takes place both inside and outside the classroom.
The mobile devices have played a fundamental role in the epistemological evolution of the concept "tool to support cognitive and metacognitive processes" and, nowadays, they represent one of the most outstanding challenges in the field of innovative educational methodologies.

Since 2003 the CNR ITD of Palermo has been researching on methodologies and technologies for the mobile learning application, amog the other, it was developed the MoULe(Mobile and Ubiquitous Learning) system an mLearning project. MoULe adopts most of the methodological and technological solutions described above. In fact, the MoULe project allows users to carry out collaborative learning activities both online (through a learning management system) and on site (using applications on mobile equipment).
In order to test and validate our theoretical assumptions on mobile learning, we have developed a learning platform, called the MoULe environment, based on the integration of a Learning Management System with specifically designed mobile applications. The MoULe project is based on the creation of learning communities who collaborate in the construction of an augmented reality where digital objects are related to physical places.
The main MoULe functionalities are: Information search based on the users' geographical position; building of information spaces in a collaborative way (through wiki technologies and conceptual maps); association of an information item to a specific point of interest; onsite multimedia annotation (photos, text, audio interviews); synchronous and asynchronous communication tools (chat e forum), adapting themselves to the geographical position of the user; satellite navigator to visualize the position of users and points of interests; automatic recognition of the points of interest; centralized users monitoring.