One challenge for those wishing to develop Personal Learning Environments is how to record and facilitate reflection on learning that takes place in different environments, including the workplace. The use of mobile devices could be a major step towards achieving that goal.
There is growing interest in the potential of the use of mobile devices for learning in offering opportunities for access to learning for those with limited access to traditional educational opportunities and technologies, in providing ubiquitous access to learning and in facilitating contextualized learning. However there is limited evidence on which to base such expectations and as yet practice has generally been limited to short-term small-scale pilots and trials.
This paper is based on the conceptual development of a Work Oriented Mobile Learning Environment (WOMBLE) through the EU Mature project. It is particularly concerned with the potential affordances of mobile devices for supporting developmental learning and informal learning in the workplace. It is based on a premise that the use of mobile devices may facilitate the development of e-learning in the workplace in a way which has not previously been possible. Thus the first theoretical underpinning for the paper is the nature and pedagogy of work based learning. The paper is also based on conceptual and theoretical work being undertaken by the London Mobile Learning Group, which proposes a socio-cultural ecology for learning, based on the “new possibilities for the relationship between learning in and across formal and informal contexts, between the classroom and other sites of learning.