IAmLearn Newsletter

The IAmLearn Newsletter is a roundup of the latest news within the area of mobile learning. If you have something to share use our contact page to let us know!


In this Edition:

  • mLearn 2017 – 4th Call for Proposals
  • Call for Expressions of Interest – mLearn 2018
  • eBook Update – IAmLearning: Mobilizing and Supporting Educator Practice
  • Mobile Learning Research Notes
  • Book Recommendations
  • Upcoming Events
  • Contributing to the Newsletter


mLearn 2017

4th Call for Proposals

mLearn 2017 logo

The countdown is on to the 18th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (mLearn 2017), which will take place October 30-November 1 in Larnaca, Cyprus. If you have not yet submitted your paper proposal, there’s still time! The programme committee has just issued the 4th Call for Proposals, with a submission deadline of June 15, 2017.

Some important upcoming dates:

  • June 15, 2017 – Deadline for proposal submissions
  • July 15, 2017 – Notifications of proposal acceptance/rejection
  • September 1, 2017 – Deadline for submission of final versions of accepted papers (for publication in the Conference Proceedings)

Full details about mLearn 2017 can be found at http://iamlearn.org/mlearn/

Call for Expressions of Interest

mLearn 2018

The International Association for Mobile Learning (IAmLearn) is seeking Expressions of Interest to host the mLearn conference in 2018. mLearn is the leading annual international conference for researchers, policy makers, educators, developers and solutions providers in the fields of mobile, ubiquitous and contextual learning and learning with emerging ambient technologies. It attracts participants from more than 60 countries.

Expressions of interest should be submitted to IAmLearn Vice President Professor Herman van der Merwe by email at Herman.vanderMerwe@nwu.ac.za by the 30th of June 2017. The Expressions of Interest will be assessed by the IAmLearn Executive Committee and the successful consortium will be notified by 15 July 2017.

Download the full Call for Expressions of Interest for more details.

eBook Update

IamLearning: Mobilizing and Supporting Educator Practice

IAmLearn’s first eBook publication project is well underway!

Overview – IAmLearning: Mobilizing and Supporting Educator Practice

Teachers are more likely to experiment with and integrate mobile learning strategies if they feel confident in their ability to do so. Professional development resources and activities that focus on making instructional design decisions can help to increase teachers’ confidence with mobile learning. Teachers have indicated that a community of practice would also help them to increase their confidence with mLearning. To that end, we are inviting mobile learning experts and practitioners (members of IAmLearn), to help create such a community of practice by preparing chapters for the interactive e-book IAmLearning: Mobilizing and Supporting Educator Practice. Chapters should include a text component, as well as digital resources to help teachers adopt and adapt mobile learning strategies (examples could include, but are not limited to, interactive video presentations, adaptable mobile learning resource files, links to apps or other Open Educational Resources). The e-book will be published in an Open Access format by the International Association for Mobile Learning. All submissions will be peer-reviewed by 2-3 reviewers. Contributing authors will be asked to review two chapters and score the submissions using a provided set of criteria.

Current Project Status

We’re excited to announce that we have accepted eight chapter proposals, submitted by IAmLearn members! Authors are now working on the full drafts of their chapters, plus some exciting digital extras. The anticipated launch date for the IAmLearning: Mobilizing and Supporting Educator Practice eBook is at mLearn 2017!

Mobile Learning Research Notes

Mobile Language Learning Tools for Supporting Asylum Seekers – Pilot Project (Swedish title: Mobil språkinlärning)

By Dr Daniel Spikol of Malmö University, Sweden

The current pilot project is the starting point of a cross-disciplinary initiative aimed at finding ways to extend language learning opportunities to new groups in society to facilitate the integration process. We are using second language learning theories and practices that combine these with new mobile learning solutions with participatory design frameworks. Through on-going dialogue with users and other stakeholders, solutions we are currently designing and testing prototypes to inform our understanding of how people learn, with a specific focus on providing insights relevant to language learning in the context of integration.

Many societies today need to find better practices and solutions for early integration of refugees. The high number of refugees to Sweden, in particular in the year 2015, has resulted in delayed asylum application processes, leaving people waiting in asylum centres for more than a year. Access to Swedish language instruction is very limited during this period even though language skills are crucial for successful integration.

Our project focuses on finding ways to extend language learning opportunities to this target group to facilitate the integration process. The diverse background and education of the current refugees pose challenges to the design of mobile learning tools that can accommodate these learners. The current work investigates chat-bots based on real world learning situations to engage the learners in realistic and authentic (everyday life) educational experiences.

Project group (MAH):

Daniel Spikol & Bahtijar Vogel
Department of Media Technology and Product Development

Karina Vamling, Maria Wiktorsson, Teresa Tomašević, Christina Waern
Department of Language and Linguistics

External participants:

Gisela Håkansson
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University, Sweden/Faculty of Education, University College Halden, Norway

Mechtild Tronnier
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University

Are mobile games such as Angry Birds beneficial for young children?

By Dr Christothea Herodotou, The Open University, UK

Angry Birds is a popular mobile game played by diverse ages including young children. The aim of the game is simple: with the help of a slingshot, gamers throw birds to free pigs up. Angry Birds has been linked to learning of basic physics principles, such as speed and velocity, making observations and hypothesis testing. Despite considerable research on games and learning, there is yet a dearth of empirical evidence examining the effects of mobile game applications on young children’s learning (younger than 6 years old).

With funding from the British Educational Research Association UK (BERA), young children 4 and 5 years old played the game Angry Birds for a period of seven days. Their interactions with the game were captured using a screen recording software. A writing task examining children’s knowledge of projectile motion was completed by children before and after gameplay. Information about children’s general performance and demographic information were also collected. Learning gains were identified for the 5-year-old children only, in relation to their understanding of how force (but not angle) affects projectile motion and the prediction of the pathway of the ball as being a parabola. Improvements in game performance were also observed. These findings suggest that transfer of learning from interactive gaming contexts to static non-digital contexts is hard to achieve without appropriate scaffolding, either embedded in the design of the game or provided by a more knowledgeable other e.g., teacher, parent. Learning also varies as a function of age and children’s preconceptions about science with children 4 years old showing no learning or game-related gains.

More details are available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/bjet.12546/asset/bjet12546.pdf?v=1&t=j1upfdep&s=2787adc4e02ce3f41faa041e23abd33ce7890e39

Book Recommendations

International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning

Submitted by Song Yulin
Associate Professor from Liaoning University, China

IMHALL cover art

Here I would like to recommend International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning, edited by Agnieszka Palalas and Mohamed Ally, published by China Central Radio & TV University Press Co. Ltd, 2016.

The handbook is really international for the thirty-five authors of the book come from thirteen countries with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, demonstrating MALL solutions to language learning and teaching in different cultural, educational and technical contexts.

The book is really a practical handbook for readers of second and foreign language teachers from different levels, researchers, instructional designers and relating professionals. It consists of three parts, theoretical foundations of MALL, practical applications and research from case studies, providing findings both in theory and practice on MALL.

The book is published in China, so it gives teachers and researchers on MALL in China a special opportunity to keep up with the latest development of MALL and the free download e-book version at http://www.crtvup.com.cn/zyxz/dj.asp?id=9 or https://www.academia.edu/27892480/The_International_Handbook_of_Mobile-Assisted_Language_Learning will help to share the understanding of the authors on MALL to the researchers in the world.

Upcoming Events

Calendar icon

1st Minclusion project conference: How can mobiles be used for integration of newly arrived migrants?

  • 12 June, 2017, Lindholmen, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • http://minclusion.org/en/
  • For newly arrived migrants, learning the language and about the culture is vital to quickly get integrated into the new society. The Minclusion project develops mobile support for language learning and intercultural communication to help immigrants to integrate in Sweden.
  • The project is a collaboration between researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg. Minclusion is funded by Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)

FocusOn Learning 2017 – Mobile, Games, Video

Mobile World Congress Shanghai, The Human Element (industry event)

34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) Conference

Contributing to the Newsletter

Bullhorn icon

Do you have an upcoming event, research study, posting, or a story about something happening in the mobile learning world that you would like to share through our newsletter? Have you participated in a recent podcast or vodcast that might interest our members? Share your ideas and resources by getting in touch with Rob Power (robpower@hotmail.com) or with any of the team members.