New trends and some thoughts on the future of
Dr. Tom Brown, University of Pretoria
The adoption of mobile technologies into teaching and learning environments was very slow at the turn of the millennium. However, rapid developments with regards to mobile and wireless technologies sparked a growing interest in m-learning (mobile learning) on a global scale. By the end of 2004, there were already a significant number of applications for mobile technologies in education. Now, in 2005, noticeable new trends and challenging developments are emerging.

The keen adoption of m-learning in educational environments and the number of pilot projects show that m-learning is experiencing exponential growth and is thriving in contemporary learning paradigms. Clearly cognisance needs to be taken of the fact that these ICT developments are beginning to impact our educational practice. Changes in our educational practice lead, in turn, to changes in our teaching and learning paradigms.

For the past few decades, the recommended and accepted paradigm for teaching and learning has been the constructivist paradigm. In the light of the knowledge explosion in the knowledge era that we are currently entering, I argue that we will, in the near future, experience shifts in learning paradigms. What will these new learning paradigms look like? Are we planning for and anticipating the future? What will the impact of these new learning paradigms be on m-learning and its potential to enhance and support student learning?