For some, ubiquitous learning (or u-learning, ULearning) is equivalent to some form of simple mobile learning, e.g. that learning environments can be accessed in various contexts and situations. The ubiquitous learning environment (ULE) may detect more context data than elearning. Besides the domains of eLearning, uLearning may use more context awareness to provide most adaptive contents for learners.
A ubiquitous learning environment is any setting in which students can become totally immersed in the learning process. So, a ubiquitous learning environment (ULE) is a situation or setting of pervasive or omnipresent education or learning. Education is happening all around the student but the student may not even be conscious of the learning process. Source data is present in the embedded objects and students do not have to DO anything in order to learn. They just have to be there.
Ubiquitous Learning Materials (ULM) is defined as learning materials that may be transferred to mobile devices via cable or wirelessly and be operated in these mobile devices. These materials can be videos, audios, PowerPoint presentations, notes, or any kind of learning materials that can be transferred to and worked on mobile devices.
Ubiquitous learning implications for education includes:
- Shifts the classroom from a traditional to non-traditional context. In a traditional classroom, the teacher is the main source of information, and students are required to be in the same place at the same time engaging in the same activity. There is one teacher for thirty students. This project shifts the classroom from a traditional to nontraditional form in which learning can happen almost anywhere and at anytime. It also changes the role of the teacher from being the primary source of information to facilitator and supervisor, and it allows the teacher to pay equal attention to every student. It also gives the student the opportunity to access instructional materials at different times from different locations.
- Prepares and encourages students to become lifelong learners. Teaching ESL/EFL in a Ubiquitous Learning Environment enables students to become lifelong learners in that they are able to use multiple devices to access and search for knowledge and information while developing their search skills.
- Creates an environment in which interaction is “free of stress.” In ESL/EFL, the Ubiquitous Learning Environment provides a safe environment for learners to interact with each other and with instructors.
- Prepares students for “real life.” New technologies have become a part of our lives, and students need to learn how to use these technologies in order to prepare for their future careers.
- Provides several representational modes. ESL/EFL materials are crucial in the learning process. Teachers choose and create ESL/EFL learning materials to make the learning process more effective. In a traditional learning environment, teachers have limitations in terms of using and creating the materials. Teachers can use and create visuals (photos, drawings, flash cards), audios, videos, overheads, and PowerPoint presentations. On the other hand, students may elect to do presentations using overheads, PowerPoint, or online journals. The Ubiquitous Learning Environment offers learners and teachers many cost-effective opportunities to present knowledge.
Ubiquitous learning is the subject of a research institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.
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