Friday, August 22, 2014

Issue 2014-2: Special mLearn 2014 Issue - 13th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning, Istanbul, Turkey

mLearn2014: November 3-5, Kadir-Has University, Istanbul, Turkey

This year the conference is hosted by Kadir Has University and will be held at the Cibali Campus, 34083 Istanbul, Turkey. The focus topic of mLearn 2014 is “Mobile as mainstream – towards future challenges in mobile learning”.  

You can still register at the Early Bird rates until August 31, 2014.

Welcome Letter to Conference Participants from Dr.Yasemin Bayyurt, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Dear IAmLearn Members,

It is a great honor for me to invite the mLearn community to attend the 13th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning which will take place in Istanbul. There will be one preconference event and two keynote speakers, Mike Sharples and John Traxler, and a plenary panel. mLearn 2014 is jointly organized by Boğaziçi University and Kadir Has University, and the conference venue will be Kadir Has University, Cibali Campus. It is very close to the major city attractions, the old city and other historical places. Please visit conference website for further information on registration and accommodation. I would like to share a little information about myself, my research focus and previous work.

I currently work as  a full professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Foreign Language Education, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. Adding to a number of international publications, I am doing further work in areas including content-based instruction, mobile language learning, social media and cross-cultural communication, and English as an International Lingua Franca.Currently, I am  involved in projects on mobile language learning of young people in “at-risk” groups, ELF-aware teacher education, intercultural pragmatic analysis of English as a Lingua Franca interactions in social media (e.g. Telecollaboration project between Turkish and Korean university students on Facebook), using mobile devices and social media to train ELF-aware pre-service English language teachers.

I have had the opportunity to contribute to  various publications in refereed/indexed national and international journals and edited books. In addition, I have  co-edited two books, the proceedings of one conference, and two special issues of Boğaziçi University’s Journal of Education. My publications include: Policies and Practices in Teaching Turkish as a Foreign Language (published in Turkish in 2009 by Anı Yayıncılık), Research Perspectives on Teaching and Learning English in Turkey: Policies and Practices (published in 2012 by Peter Lang) and Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca (published in 2013 by Boğaziçi University Press).

Professor Yasemin Bayyurt addresses participants at the European Union Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation Mobile language Learning Conference (MLARG, 14 October 2011).

Please read the following information in order not to miss the beauty of Istanbul and enjoy your time there.

Visiting Istanbul

Reported by Dr. Yasemin Bayyurt and Nicole Berezin, Doctoral student

Dr. Bayyurt asked, " Nicole are you excited about the conference?" I responded that "I am counting the days the opportunity to attend mlearn 2014 and participate in sessions facilitated by people that write the books and articles I study as a doctoral student at the University of New Mexico".  The following information includes highlights for your consideration as you plan your visit.  We look forward to collaborating, innovating and celebrating the contributions of all the conference attendees and the dynamically evolving mobile learning community. 

"God and human, nature and art are together there; they have created such a perfect place 
that it is valuable to see." Lamartine’s famous poetic line reveals his love for Istanbul, describing the embracing of two continents, with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe.It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires: Christian and Islamic. Once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural pulse of Turkey, and its beauty lies in its ability to embrace all its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.

The complex and dynamic environment of Istanbul from the wide beaches of Kilyos at European side of Black Sea at 25km. outside Istanbul, to the Belgrad Forest, inland from the Black Sea, on the European Side and surrounds Istanbul.

We have included several highlights for you to explore as you plan your stay for mlearn 2014. The diverse geographic and historical sites reflect the rich complexity of our global learning community, coming together in one location to connect and collaborate. 

The Golden Horn: This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbors in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests. 
The Golden Horn

Beyoğlu and Taksim: Beyoğlu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture from a century ago. Europe’s second oldest subway, Tunel, was built by the French in 1875.

Sarıyer: The first sight of Sarıyer is where the Istanbul Strait connects with the Black Sea, past the bend in the river after Tarabya. Around this area, old summer houses, embassies and fish restaurants line the river, and a narrow road, which separates it from Büyükdere, continues along to the beaches of Kilyos.

The Blue Mosque
Sultanahmet: Many places of interest are concentrated in Sultanahmet, in the heart of the Imperial Centre of the Ottoman Empire. These sites include  Topkapı Palace, Aya Sofya, Sultanahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque), the Hippodrome, Kapalı Carşı (Covered Market), Yerebatan Sarnıcı (Basilica Cistern) and the Museum of Islamic Art.

Haydarpaşa: To the north of Kadikoy is Haydarpasa, and the train station built in 1908 with Prussian-style architecture, which was the first stop along the Baghdad railway. Now it is the main station going to eastbound destinations both within Turkey, and internationally.

Polonezköy: Polonezköy, although still within the city, is 25 km. away from the centre and not easy to reach by public transport. Translated as “village of the Poles”, the village has a fascinating history. It was established in 1848 by Prince Czartorisky, leader of the Polish nationals who was granted exile in the Ottoman Empire to escape oppression in the Balkans. During his exile, he succeeded in establishing a community of Balkans, which still survives, on the plot of land sold to him by a local monastery

Kilyos: Kilyos is the nearest beach resort to the city, on the Black Sea coast on the European side of the Istanbul Strait.  Because of the ease of getting there (25km away, with plenty of public transport), it is good for a day trip, and is a popular weekend getaway in either the many hotels or one of the campsites

Heybeliada ‘Island of the Saddlebag’, because of its shape, is loved for its natural beauty and beaches. One of its best-known landmarks is the Greek Orthodox School of Theology, with an important collection of Byzantine manuscripts. 

We hope that you are able to explore and create your own stories from your experience a

Mobile Learning Events

Mobile Learning at AILA World Congress 2014

Reported by Dr. Agnieszka Palalas

Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL), a subset of mobile learning, has been an increasingly popular method of supporting foreign and second language acquisition. Innovative approaches to language learning, enabled by portable technologies, offer a wealth of possibilities for the practice of language skills both in class and outside of the classroom walls. The exponential adoption of mobile technologies coupled with the increasing importance of learning new languages for personal and professional purposes results in heightened awareness of the potential of mobile devices in language learning. The topic of using mobiles to enable language acquisition has been increasingly discussed in scholarly publications and gradually gaining popularity at conferences, workshops and seminars, expanding beyond mobile learning events.

Recently, I was  invited to participate in a featured symposium on Mobile-Assisted Language Learning at the 2014 conference of the International Applied Linguistics Association Conference, a prestigious event held every three years and bringing together applied linguists from around the world to discuss top issues in the field of language teaching and learning. The 2014 AILA Congress was held from August 10 to 15 in Brisbane, Australia. The conference was attended by 1642 international participants; it offered 1510 research-based presentations, including oral presentations, posters, workshops and symposia.

There were fourteen presentations which were focused on MALL (under the Technology in Education and Computer-Assisted Language Learning strands), counting the six which comprised our featured panel “Adopting mobile learning technology for English: benefits and challenges”. Although there were no presentations focusing specifically on MALL in previous AILA conferences, there was some mention of the usage of iPads and mobile phones in individual papers. This year’s AILA event was, thus, the first one to feature a symposium with a specific focus on the usage of mobiles in language learning.

The two-hour symposium consisted of six brief presentations followed by debate. Its key message was to adopt MALL approaches, when and where feasible, in order to ensure that language learners enjoy full access to resources, activities, and linguistic models - both in and out of the classroom.  As learners become accustomed across the curriculum to having more autonomy and access to a wider set of educational resources delivered online or by mobiles - when and where they need them - they expect to have similar opportunities in their language learning courses. In English Language Teaching (ELT) this means that more authentic English content can be brought into the classroom through real-life tasks and new forms of communicative pairwork. Moreover, mobiles can facilitate language practice outside the classroom (at home, while travelling, or through real-world language tasks in a variety of English-speaking contexts); they can enable new forms of adaptive learning and assessment, and extend the number of hours available for language study.

The panel discussed the theory and practice of MALL and 1:1 learning. Panelists shared their experience of developing new pedagogical approaches for English learners in a wide variety of contexts. The impact on school and classroom strategies, on teachers and teacher development needs, as well as on learners and on learner outcomes was discussed. Panelists referred to lessons learned from a number of implementation projects such as Plan Ceibal in Uruguay and the introduction of iPads into the Higher Colleges of Technology in UAE. Considering that MALL is still a rather new field with relatively underdeveloped evidence and research basis, new avenues were recommended for further research to advance the field further. In addition, potential future challenges and investment priorities were suggested.

Featured seminar on MALL @ AILA2014 in Brisbane, Australia; from the left: Jodi CrandallMichael CarrierArdeshir Geranpayeh, Agnieszka Palalas, and Phil Hubbard.

Panelists and Topics

  • Michael Carrier, Cambridge English Language Assessment, UK
New Pedagogical Models for 1:1 Learning in Language Education. Mobile devices can be used to provide wider access to learning activities both in and out of the classroom. But what new kinds of pedagogical models are needed to take advantage of the technology in an educationally-appropriate way? And what new competences do teachers need to develop?
  • Dr. Christina Gitsaki, Assoc. Dean of Foundations, Academic Central Services, Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE
Teacher Attitudes towards the Use of Mobile Technology for Teaching English as a Second Language. This presentation reported on a longitudinal study on the use of iPads for second language teaching and learning at a post-secondary education institution in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE iPad Initiative represents one of the largest adoptions of iPad tablets in higher education and the only large-scale project that involves ESL students.Professor Philip L. Hubbard, Linguistics Department & Language Center, Stanford University, USADeveloping Student Skills as Mobile Language Learners.Effective mobile language learning depends on skills and practices students may not possess simply by virtue of being users of mobile devices. The presenter offered support for this assertion and described a mobile project where learners experienced training and positive results were achieved.
  • Dr. Agnieszka Palalas, University of New Mexico, USA
Expanding MALL outside the Classroom: Real-Life Context-Dependent and Context-Independent Language Activities. Agnieszka examined out-of-class language learning opportunities drawing on the learners' own context and personal experiences. She discussed a range of MALL activities, both individual and collaborative that take advantage of the affordances of mobile devices and the context affordances mediated by the mobiles.
  • Dr. Ardeshir Geranpeyer, Cambridge English Language Assessment, UK
Learning-Oriented Assessment (LOA): New Technology for Adaptive Learning in ELT. The integration of learning and assessment in a new adaptive learning approach requires new applications of assessment models and technology, referred to at Cambridge English as LOA - Learning Oriented Assessment. The presenter looked at how the technological affordances of mobile devices make LOA possible.
  • Professor Jodi Crandall, Dept. of Education, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA
The Use of Tablets in Assisting Teachers with Formative Assessment. Professor Jodi Crandall illustrated through her presentation how tablets can be used to assist language teachers with formative assessment.

All in all, the symposium was well attended and sparked a rich discussion of the potential of MALL in diverse language learning settings. It is our goal to continue this discussion at future events as well as to advance the field of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning through ongoing research.

Mobile Learning Resources

Resource suggestions by Dr. Mohamed Ally and Dr. Agnieszka Palalas
Reviews collected and compiled by Nicole Berezin, Doctoral student


Recently Published

Our highly “mobilized” world provides an incredible opportunity for harnessing the power of mobile devices for education and training. Mobile subscriptions are estimated at more than 6 billion globally, with at least 75% of these being in developing countries. 
Mobile learning (mLearning) is an emerging field that, with the availability of Open Educational Resources and rapid growth of mobile technologies, has immense potential to revolutionize education — in the classroom, in the workplace, and for informal learning, wherever that may be. With mLearning, education becomes accessible and affordable for everyone.

Increasing Access through Mobile Learning contributes to the advancement of the mLearning field by presenting comprehensive, up-to-date information about its current state and emerging potential. This book will help educators and trainers in designing, developing and implementing high-quality mLearning curricula, materials and delivery modes that use the latest mobile applications and technologies. The 16 chapters, written by 30 contributors from around the world, address a wide range of topics, from operational practicalities and best practices to challenges and future opportunities.
Researchers studying the use of mLearning in education and training, and as a means of supporting lifelong learning, will find this book to be of particular interest.

Retrieved from:

This volume, edited by Dr. Avgoustos and Dr. Mohamed Ally, includes valuable insights and information from 14 experts worldwide  Francesc Pedró, Chief, Teacher Development and Education Policies  at UNESCO captures the potential impact of this book on a variety of practioners. "The future of technology in education is wireless, and the initiatives described in this book are bounding toward this future. This publication provides an international review which easily translates into a practical roadmap for educationalists interested in mobile learning and an analytical mirror for practitioners already involved in mobile learning. As such, this resource is a valuable tool for all those who, as UNESCO does, see in mobile learning a window of opportunity for the expansion of educational opportunities and the transformation of learning".

Retrieved from


Book Review

  • Berge, Z.L., & Muilenberg, L. (Eds.).  (2013) Handbook of Mobile Learning.  London,               Routledge. Available at Amazon.  

Reviewed by Dr. Mohamed Ally

The chapters in this handbook are written by recognized world experts in the area of mobile learning. It is good to see the global expertise in mobile learning in one book. The handbook has 53 chapters and is 638 pages long which is on the longer side for a book at this time in history. However, the book is organized into 5 sections (Foundations and Future, Learning and Learner Support, Teaching and Instructional Design, Policies, Administration, and Management, and Cases and Perspectives) making it manageable for the readers. This book informs readers on what is happening in mobile learning around the world and why it is important to use mobile learning as a delivery option in education and training. Also, since the use of mobile technologies is new to many in education, the book provides suggestions on how to design and implement mobile learning.

Potential Audience
As the names of the sections indicate, the book will be of interest to a variety of educators, researchers, and professionals. Teachers, instructors, instructional designers, and professors will find the sections “Learning and learner support” and “Teaching and instructional design” very helpful to design mobile learning materials and to provide support in the learning processes. The chapters under the section on “Policies, administration, and management” will be of interest to managers and administrators. Researchers will be interested in all of the chapters in the book. Hence, this book will be of interest to everyone involved in mobile learning which is
the main purpose of a handbook.

Content Organization
Section one on Foundations and Future provides a historical background of mobile
learning and looks into the future of mobile learning. Chapters one and two traced the history of technology in education by starting at electronic learning to the use of mobile technology in learning. Chapter eight on the future of mobile learning looks at how mobile learning can benefit education and how future educators can benefit from mobile learning. Chapter twelve explores the importance of mobile learning in developing countries and looks at projects that are making a difference in the developing world to narrow the digital divide. It may have benefited the reader to have divided Section into two sections with Foundations of Mobile learning as the first section and Future of Mobile Learning as the last section in the book. Such a format would have taken the reader on the journey from past to present to the future.

Section two on Learning and Learner Support covers the learners and the importance of
designing quality mobile learning and providing learner support for learner success. Chapter 13 analyzed past papers to identify who the learners were in these studies and to identify the missing target learners for mobile learning. Chapter 16 explores mobile pedagogy for learners and educators so that quality mobile learning materials can be developed and the authors suggest there should be a more learner-centric model for mobile learning.
Section three on Teaching and Instructional Design covers how to design effective
mobile learning to promote students’ success. Chapter 24 explores team and community building in mobile learning with the authors discussing how mobile devices can be used to build community of learners using different delivery modes including classroom, classroom and online (blended), and online. Chapter 25 is one of the few chapters in the book that looks at mobile learning in the K-12 school system. The chapter describes some mobile learning projects in K-12 and lessons learned from these projects. This information will be helpful for teachers who are planning to implement mobile learning in K-12. Chapter 27 is an important chapter on the use of Apps in mobile learning. The use of Apps in learning is important for students who do not always have connectivity to access learning materials from servers. The students can download the apps and complete their learning activities offline. This chapter goes one step further by describing how to design customizable Apps and what research is needed to enhance the design and implementation of such Apps. The emerging delivery method of using mobile technologies in Massive Open Online Course (mMOOC) is covered in Chapter 31. The author describes how to design effective mMOOC for learning in the cloud. This chapter will be of interest to educators who are planning to design and deliver MOOCs in developing countries where most citizens use mobile technologies.

Section four on Policies, Administration, and Management addresses how to make the
transition to mobile learning and how to implement successful mobile learning. Chapter 32
describes one university experience in the implementation of mobile technology in the university where they use the 1 to 1 implementation of one mobile device for each student. The authors use their experience with the 1 to 1 implementation to suggest strategies other organizations should use to make sure 1 to 1 implementations are successful. This chapter will benefit organizations and countries that are planning to distribute large number of mobile devices to students and citizens. Chapter 33 also provides information and lessons learned from a project to implement mobile learning in a university. Potential implementers of mobile learning will also benefit from this chapter. Chapter 34 addresses an area that many organizations are struggling with, how to successfully implement a system where students bring their own device (Bring Your Own Device - BYOD). Decreasing cost of mobile devices and increasing numbers of students already have mobile devices, is leading organizations to implement BYOD. This chapter describes the benefits of BYOD and suggests that a major benefit of a BYOD system is teachers spend more time on students learning rather than arranging to provide technologies to students. Chapter 37 explores how mobile learning can be used for equal access providing everyone with equal opportunity to learn. This chapter is important for those who are involved in achieving the goal of “Education for All” put forward by UNESCO and governments around the world. This chapter makes recommendations on how to achieve equal access using mobile learning.

Retrieved from:


Other m-learning Associations

The Mobile Learning Association of Malaysia was first established in 2008. The association received its official registration as a non-profit organization on 21 January 2011. The Mobile Learning Association of Malaysia organizes conference, seminars, and workshops and offers research and publication updates to its members. It is open to citizens of Malaysia, eighteen and older. 

One of the upcoming events includes the 4th Specialized Workshop on Ubiquitous Learning: Designing 21st Century Learning Experiences Workshop, held on November 1, 2014.
For  more information visit

Tips for Doctoral Students

Resources provided by Dr. Agnieszka Palalas
Reported by Nicole Berezin, Doctoral student 

As doctoral students, we balance the challenges of our learning trajectory , sleepless nights, hours spent creating the perfect research questions along with our day to day life.  Membership to IAmLearn provides an oasis of sorts. As student members, experts that continue to build the mlearning foundation and set the pace for mobile learning worldwide surround us.  In addition, our membership allows us to span geographic boundaries and connect, collaborate and innovate.  As we move forward, we invite you to submit resource ideas that you utilize so that we can share them with our community. Please email your resources and ideas to Agnieszka Palalas ( and copy Nicole Berezin (

Visit the following sites for a variety of research and design ideas: 

The University of Leicester created the following two resources:

Design Based Research Resources

How many of you are considering to integrate Design-Based Research (DBR) into your work?  This is a vital research methodology for the design and evaluation of innovations in education such as mobile learning. Dr. Palalas shares some of her favorites resources with us as follows.


Websites with DBR Resources

The Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) offers an Overview of Design Based Research at :

Dr. Tom Reeves and the students at the University created this extensive website including expert interview and webliographies:



Anderson, T., & Shattuck, J. (January 01, 2012). Design-Based Research: A Decade of Progress in Education Research?. Educational Researcher, 41, 1, 16-25.



Plomp, T., Nieveen, N. (Eds.).  (2013). Educational Design Research. Netherlands, SLO-Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development. Available at
The book "Educational Design Research" comprises two parts:

Educational Design research - Part A: An introduction

Part A provides an introduction into educational design research as a suitable research approach either to address complex problems in educational practice or to develop or validate theories (e.g.) about learning processes, learning environments and the like.
Download Part A

Educational Design research - Part B: Illustrative cases

Part B contains a collection of 51 examples of successful educational design research projects written by researchers from more than 20 countries. These examples enable graduate students and novice researchers to learn how to design and conduct a project utilizing an educational design research approach.
Retrieved from:


DBR Webinars

On 12 March 2013, the IAmLearn webinars launched with a session on "Using design-based research (DBR) in the mobile learning contexts" (Dr. Agnieszka Palalas). This session focused on the practicalities of DBR for enhancing the understanding of mobile learning and the technologies enabling m-learning.

You can find this webinar along with other resources by exploring the new Webinar page on the

Moving Forward

As we conclude this Special Issue, we extend a warm invitation to you to consider, if you are not already attending, joining us at mlearn2014.  We look forward to seeing you there. 

Our commitment to  IAmlearn members worldwide includes building and in turn extending our expertise to learning communities worldwide.  Please let us know how we can continue to improve and enrich this resource.  

We would like to invite you to contribute your ideas, articles, resources, and other submissions you wish to share through future issues of the IAmLearn newsletter. Email your submissions to Agnieszka Palalas ( and copy Nicole Berezin ( Thank you.

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