LMLG events
  Members of the LMLG organise events, conferences, workshops and symposia on a regular basis. In the following details about LMLG's activities are provided.

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LMLG on twitter

The LMLG provides hashtags for some of their events and projects in twitter. Currently, the following tags are used:

  • #lmlg for LMLG
  • #moleap for MoLeaP
  • #d4dl and #LMLG for the LMLG workshops in Bristol 2013
  • #BETT_Show and #MMAFA for the LMLG workshops at BETT12
  • #MirandaModBremen for the MirandaMod at MLCB2011 in Bremen
  • #MLCB for the ‘Mobile learning: Crossing boundaries in convergent environments’ Conference
  • #telc09 for LMLG workshop at Alpine Rendez-Vous 2009

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Round Table "Mobile Learning: Learning Across Contexts � Learning In Transition"

at ECER 2015 "Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research"
September 7-11, 2015, Budapest, Hungary
see website


Wednesday, September 9, 2015, 9:00am - 10:30am

Room: 104.Oktatóterem [C]

Session details:
Network: 06. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Session: 06 SES 04 A
Session Title: 06 SES 04 A: Mobile Learning: Learning Across Contexts - Learning in Transition
see programme

Workshop convenor:
Dr. Judith Seipold

List of presenters and chair:

  • Prof. Dr. Norbert Pachler, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK; Pro-director: Teaching, Quality and Learning Innovation.
  • Dr. Klaus Rummler, Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zürich), Switzerland; Head of the research group ‘Media Education’.
  • Dr. Maria Ranieri, University of Florence, Department of Education and Psychology, IT; Associate Professor.
  • Prof. i.R. Dr. Ben Bachmair, Universitätsprofessor i.R. Universität Kassel, DE; Visiting professor UCL Institute of Education, UK.
  • Dr. Keith Turvey, Education Research Centre, University of Brighton, UK; Principal Lecturer.
  • Dr. Judith Seipold, London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG), Switzerland; Convenor of the RT; Media educationalist and researcher.
  • Chair: Prof. Dr. Theo Hug, Universität Innsbruck.

General description of the RT:
Mobile learning as a global phenomenon is considered to offer new opportunities for teaching and learning as mobile technologies can be used inter alia to realise personalised and learner centred approaches (see e.g. Sharples, Corlett, and Westmancott, 2001), to find ways to include learners who are at a distance to formal education (see e.g. Pachler, Bachmair, and Cook, 2010), to realise collaborative and networked learning formats (see e.g. Traxler, 2010), to address topics that are related to ethical dimensions in educational contexts (see e.g. Wishart, 2011) etc. This is why some advocates of mobile learning argue it is (a pathfinder for) ‘new’ and ‘future’ learning. However, the question arises why this shift in the belief that learning changes significantly through the use of mobile technologies? What is actually behind populist assumptions such as ‘new’ and ‘future’ learning? In what way does or is learning changing - and what can research, theory, practice and politics contribute and learn from this change?
The round table will adopt a dialogic approach with presenters engaging participants in a critical discussion around topics such as ‘innovation’ and, related to it, the ‘transformation’ of learning that is inherent in the affordances and use of mobile technologies in educational contexts. The round table will discuss mobile learning as agentive and meaningful activity and cultural practice rather than adopt a techno-centric perspective. Impulses for innovation and transformation in learning through mobile learning will be explored as well as differences and commonalities across different European countries; there will also be a consideration of structural limits confronting mobile learning.
The round table will frame learners as drivers of innovation and transformation of learning, and their agency and their cultural practices will be in the foreground. It will also give attention: to structures that are relevant for learners in their learning, appropriation and meaning-making processes; to the educational system that has to react to mobile learning practice in order to ensure sustainability; and to learning theory, practice and methodological implications.
Specific reference will be made to: to participatory narrative methodology (Turvey, 2014); ‘problem spaces’ (Turvey & Pachler, forthcoming); learner generated contexts (Seipold, 2014); contextual learning (Bachmair & Pachler, 2015); social justice as institutional prerequisites within life accomplishment and together with the recognition of difference (Bachmair, forthcoming); mobile storytelling (Ranieri, 2015); consequences for learning and policy development (Seipold, 2012); and to implications for teacher education and teachers’ perspective on mobile learning (Maurer & Rummler, 2014; Turvey, 2014).

Relevant framing questions for discussion at the round table are:

  • Agency and structures
    • What is the role of learner activity in transformation?
    • What is the relationship between learner agency and structure
  • Places and contexts
    • Under which conditions is this merging of contexts fruitful for learning? When is it disruptive?
  • Benefits and limits
    • What are the benefits of mobile technologies and their affordances for learners, teachers, and the education system?
  • Role of teachers and learners
    • What are the consequences for the roles of learners and teachers?
  • Policy, educational system and teacher education:
    • What does learner centring mean for institutional learning?
    • What is the impact of the introduction of mobile technologies on educational structures?
    • What systemic action is needed to ensure sustainable structures and approaches?
    • What are the implications for teacher education?
  • Research and interdisciplinarity
    • What are the relative contributions of different scientific disciplines?

Handouts, slides and videos will be available for download:



Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium

Date: 6th - 7th March, 2014
Place: Watershed, Bristol

event details and resources


Organised by Designing for Digital Learners (D4DL) Research Group. This event was supported by QR (Quality Research) funds from UWE Bristol.

Aim and Focus:
Focus was on new patterns of connected social learning and work-based practices; on designing for ‘mobile learning’ at scale; on the boundaries of learning that the ‘m’ in m-learning forces us to explore.



Workshop "Towards sustainable mobile learning scenarios"

Event: LMLG Workshop
Date: Wednesday 9th October, 2013 (in the morning)
Place: Watershed, Bristol

event details and resources


Event organised in partnership between Designing for Digital Learners Research Group, UWE Bristol, and London Mobile Learning Group.

Aim and Focus:
Propose and discuss reference points that can help build sustainable mobile learning scenarios.
The focus of the workshop is to highlight and debate the issues currently surrounding the design and use of mobile technologies in formal learning and learning in informal situations. The interactive sessions will encourage debate about the use of mobile devices in wide-raging contexts ranging from schools to the workplace.



LMLG workshops at BETT 2012

Event: BETT 2012
Date: Janaury 11, 2012
Place: Olympia, London; Gallery Room 1, Grand Hall Gallery

event details on the MirandaNet Website

Videos of the presentations (Pachler, Cook, Rummler, Seipold, Ludwig)
Cloudscape for Workshop 1 (Pachler, Cook, Bachmair)
Cloudscape for Workshop 2 (Seipold, Rummler, Ludwig)
Collaborative Mindmap for both workshops
Twitter hashtag #BETT_Show and #MMAFA


Exploiting mobile technologies in learning (Part One)
The classroom is not the only place for learning

Wednesday 11th January 1200-1430

The London Mobile Learning Group (www.londonmobilelearning.net) will be drawing on the findings from their international research to offer some suggestions for Achievement for All practitioners supporting at-risk learners. The session will outline the key principles of the socio-cultural ecology of mobile learning with particular emphasis on at-risk learners and with reference to specific mobile learning projects. The topics under discussion will be:

  • different ways of integrating mobile media into schools in constructive learning contexts
  • bridging the gap between the use of technologies in school and in everyday life
  • harnessing the power of mobile technologies in promoting learning in informal contexts.

Invited experts who will introduce the themes will include Professors Norbert Pachler and Ben Bachmair, Institute of Education, University of London and John Cook, London Metropolitan University.


Exploiting mobile technologies in learning (Part Two)
The role of classroom practice in improving opportunities for at-risk learners

Wednesday 11th January 1530-1800

This workshop will aim to introduce practical approaches and solutions to teaching and learning with mobile technologies. The focus of the three central case studies under discussion will be to make suggestion for Achievement for All practitioners who are supporting at-risk learners:

  • teaching approaches, systematic change management issues
  • benefits and challenges of bringing tablet PCs (such as iPads) into schools
  • learner-generated videos and community platform specific solutions for at-risk learners.

The short presentations will be followed by open discussions where participants are invited to provide their own experience and to raise questions which will be discussed with other on-site and on-line participants.

Invited experts who will introduce the themes are: Judith Seipold, MirandaNet Fellow (London Mobile Learning Group), Klaus Rummler (University of Bremen) and Luise Ludwig (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz).



Roundtable of "Social Mobile Networking for Informal Learning" (SoMobNet)

Event: SoMobNet Roundtable
Date: November 21, 2011
Place: Institute of Education, London

event details


Mobility and networking are two important emerging issues. Learners and teachers, as well as workers, especially in developed countries, are continuously involved in ubiquitous relationships with other people on the net, exchanging information and sharing knowledge and skills. However, in the eld of mobile learning, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on technologies and content transfer, while the potential to support community building processes through the integration with other socio-technical mechanisms such as social networks has tended to be underemphasised.
The aim of this roundtable is to explore educational and socio-cultural perspectives on the use of the increasing convergence of mobile devices and digital media for social networking in formal and informal contexts of learning. The roundtable is intended to offer a space for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experiences and research on social mobile networking for informal learning.

The round table will feature two keynotes, a series of paper presentations as well as two discussion sessions moderated by a facilitator and reported by a network member. The discussion sessions will provide the opportunity for participants to respond to inputs from the perspectives of their own research and professional practice. The roundtable will provide opportunity to network with colleagues to learn about each other’s work, formulate collaborative ideas and scope challenges to advance theory and practice in the field of mobile learning and social network.

About SoMobNet
SoMobNet stands for "Social Mobile Network to Enhance Community Building for Adults' Informal Learning". It is a capacity building network part-funfed by STELLAR, the only Network of Excellence on TEL (Technology-Enhanced Learning) funded within FP7 with the objective to unify the diverse TEL communities.
Partners include Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy), Institute of Education (UK), Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), Universität Bremen (Germany), Attiko Vocational Training Center (Greece) and LTRI, London Metropolitan University (UK).



Workshop "Pedagogically-orientated Mobile Learning Research: The Case of Design Research"

Event: AERA 2011
Date: April 9, 2011
Place: New Orleans, LA

roundtable materials
event details


Brenda Bannan, Norbert Pachler, JohnCook and Ben Bachmair

Recent work on researching mobile learning (Vavoula, Pachler and Kukulska-Hulme, 2009) inter alia argues that an inter-, multi- or transdisciplinary approach and methodological diversity are desirable, indeed necessary, in order to fullyunderstand the intricacies attendant to the issues characterizing the field. Yet, at the same time, there is a need for a common set of underpinning research purposes for the field of mobile learning with which aims, research questions, data collection and research methods and frames for individual analysis articulate.
To achieve such a common set of purposes this Roundtable proposed a research focus on learning. It started from the premise that activity with, and supported by mobile devices has the potential to meet the key conditions for effective learning, viewed as a process of cognitive and social development in which social interaction is mediated by cultural tools such as language andtechnology.
On the basis of such a premise the Roundtable sought to explore the implications of the use of mobile devices as cultural resources for learning in complex, sometimes unpredictable and often uncontrollable educational, social and cultural arrangements - and its key characteristics of user-generated contexts for development and appropriation - for developing appropriate approaches to, and methods of research. In view of the complexity and richness of the social phenomena to be investigated, which are often located at the interface between the public and personal, the Roundtable had a strong focus on qualitative approaches in particular design research and on ethnographic approaches. The Roundtable sought to extrapolate relevant issues for research-informed pedagogical practice. It reported on specific mobile learning interventions, discussed the role of research in the projects and sought toshow how it can be made fruitful to understand the processes involved as well as to be able to make judgements about their impact on learning.
This Roundtable sought to contribute to the establishment of mobile learning research as a distinct field of research with particular concerns and challenges. It took the view that the specificities of mobile learning, such as its situated nature often in private or semi-public contexts, the relative complexity of the phenomenon, its boundedness with identity formation or its multi-dimensionality cutting across different physical, virtual and social space, makes the choice of research approaches difficult and throws up a number of important methodological and ethical considerations.



Workshop ""The mobile' in teaching and learning: exploring and evaluating the role of mobile phones"

Event: Learning and Teaching Conference
Date: April 1, 2011
Place: Institute of Education, University of London

workshop materials
event details


The London Mobile Learning Group ran a workshop at the 2011 IOE Learning and Teaching Conference. The workshop provided a brief overview of the main principles of the socio-cultural ecology of mobile learning and went on to explore the application of mobiledevices in teaching and learning in schools, colleges and universities. Members of the group reported on recent projects with and for practitioners and learners including

  • My Mobile (use of mobile phones in regular classes in six primary and secondary schools)
  • CONTSENS (use of mobile phones for project-based learning in teacher education)
  • ALPS (planning the use of iPhones with 500 Year 4 medical students)


"Mobile learning: Crossing boundaries in convergent environments" Conference

Date: March 21-22, 2011
Place: Bremen, Germany

conference website and resources


The �Mobile learning: Crossing boundaries in convergent environments� Conference that took place in Bremen (Germany) from Monday to Tuesday, March 21st to 22nd, 2011 built on a series of mobile learning research symposia hosted by the WLE Centre for Excellence at the Institute of Education, University of London between 2007 and 2009. It will focused on the challenges of developing new pedagogic approaches and on the potential of mobile devices for learning in formal and informal contexts. As mobile learning is not only about learning with mobile technologies, but also considered to be "new" learning, the conference had a look at challenges for research and practice in understanding the changing social and technological structures allowing the use of technology for learning that are present in our personal lives, in school and in work places.



Working group "Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning"

Event: Formation and Education in the Democracy (Bildung in der Demokratie) – 22. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE)
Date: March 15-17, 2010 from 10:15 - 13:00 hours
Place: Mainz, Germany



Workshop leader:
Prof. Dr. Ben Bachmair

Application, summary:
Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the ‘mobile complex’ for participatory learning
The current cultural transformation is driven by individualisation, which leads to a mobile complex with (a) fragmentation of learning, (b) new social stratification of socio-cultural milieus, (c) mobilisation of mass communication with user-generated contexts and content. Within the mobile complex new cultural resources are emerging. The educational aim is to support a personal appropriation of new resources for enhancing participation for all socio-cultural milieus. The theoretical frame comes from a cultural ecology, which analyses socio-cultural structures, agency and cultural practices (e.g. informal learning). The concept of appropriation (Aneignung) helps to identify generated mobile contexts as subjective areas of development in the view of Lev Vygotsky. An assimilation of ‘native’ learners’ competence on media and learning offers practical and tested options for the school.

Application, extended version:
Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the ‘mobile complex’ for participatory learning
The current and ongoing cultural transformation is driven, among other things, by individualisation, which, in turn, leads to (a) a fragmentation of learning, (b) a new social stratification of socio-cultural milieus each with a specific habitus and (c) a mobilisation of mass communication with user-generated contexts and content. We use the shorthand ‘mobile complex’ for these trends, which have notable implications for schools.
We are witnessing a significant transformation of media practices in relation to individualised mobility, which has considerable implications for learning inside and outside of formal educational settings. Individualised mobility is increasingly mediated by multifunctional mobile devices in everyday life and social networking tools (Web 2.0). Furthermore, the fragmentation and personalisation of media content in user-generated contexts brings situated meaning-making into focus. Users become agents of content and context generation within their individualising socio-cultural frames and milieus. Within this dynamic, learning is become a form of meaning-making according to habitus of socio-cultural milieus.
One consequence is a shift of relevance of cultural resources: school-based learning is partly replaced by resources of the mobile complex, e.g. user-generated contexts and communicative mobile phone applications. At the same time, individualised mobile mass communication is personally appropriated as a widely accepted cultural resource, especially by socio-cultural milieus, which engage less well with school-based learning. The growing irrelevance of traditional cultural resources in relation to school-based learning leads to milieu-specific at-risk learners.
With direct reference to these trends, the symposium aims to recognise the appropriation of mobile media devices and user-generated contexts as resources for meaning-making and learning. One task of the school is to assimilate the appropriated cultural resources into the practices around formal learning. The intention is to widen the definition of educationally relevant cultural resources to enable participation by all socio-cultural milieus according to their habitus of learning.

Appropriation of the mobile complex from the perspective of a cultural ecology
The recognition of the mobile complex as potential cultural resource derives from an epistemology, which identifies a triangular interrelation of (a) socio-cultural structures, (b) agency as the subject’s capacity to act in respect to the world, and (c) cultural practices. From an educational perspective, the interrelationship of these three areas of structures, agency and practices is relevant in the way subjects appropriate the mobile complex into their life worlds and life courses. The concept of appropriation deliberately combines the traditional concept of ‘Bildung’ and Vygotsky’s interpretation of child development. The concept of ‘resource’ offers the discussion of the social, democratic and equal allocation of mobile devices and contexts. Furthermore, it helps to develop didactic practices, which are increasing social participation and equality. One possible educational approach is to assimilate the ‘native mobile expertise’ of the students into the teaching and learning practices of schools.

Assimilation of the appropriated mobile complex into the school
The symposium will provide insights on school initiatives, which operationalize the cultural ecological approach and focus on learner-generated mobile contexts. The practical aim is a ‘conversational integration’ of ‘responsive contexts of development’. The term ‘responsive context of development’ refers deliberately to Lev Vygotsky’s “zone of proximal development” and Jerome Bruner’s practice of “scaffolding”. The didactic task is to create situations for mobile learning, which attach the ‘native mobile expertise’ of young people to the curricular aims of the school with the intention to recognise milieu- and habitus-specific mobile resources for social participation. This intention finds expression in the term ‘participatory learning’. Its operationalization is envisaged through four ‘didactic parameters’, which are derived from our conceptual work, and they are under evaluation.
The focus is on the learning potential afforded by mobile devices with particular reference to user-generated contexts and their appropriation. Due to structural changes to mass communication users are now actively engaged in generating personal contexts for learning, in which self-development is a socially negotiated process involving the internalization of cultural products.

List of papers and the discussant:

  • Introduction
    Bachmair, B., Pachler, N., & Cook, J. (2010, March 17). Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the ‘mobile complex’ for participatory learning (AG 46). Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Introduction.pdf
  • Dr. Norbert Pachler, Institute of Education University of London, Department of Learning, Curriculum & Communication, Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy; Centre for Excellence in Work-Based Learning for Education Professionals (WLE):
    "The socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning"
    Pachler, N. (2010, March 17). The socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning. Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Pachler.pdf
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia de Witt, FernUniversität in Hagen; Dr. Sonja Ganguin, FernUniversität in Hagen:
    "Research Project Mobile Learning in work-based contexts"
    de Witt, C., & Ganguin, S. (2010, March 17). Research Project "Mobile Learning in work-based contexts". Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Ganguin_deWitt.pdf
  • Prof. Dr. John Cook, Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the London Metropolitan University, Learning Technology Research Institute:
    "Learning options of mobile and user generated context and its appropriation"
    Cook, J. (2010, March 17). Learning options of mobile and user generated context and its appropriation - a Vygotskian perspective. Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Cook.pdf
  • Dr. Gemma Moss: Institute of Education University of London, Faculty of Policy and Society, Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies:
    "Boys' use of cultural resources, a Bersteinian perspective"
    Moss, G. (2010, March 17). Boys' use of cultural resources: a Bernsteinian perspective. Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Moss.pdf
  • Prof. Dr. Ben Bachmair, Prof. i. R. für Erziehungswissenschaft, Medienpädagogik und Mediendidaktik, Universität Kassel, Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaft/ Humanwissenschaften; Dipl. Päd. Daniel Zils, Ludwigshafen; Dipl. Päd. Maren Risch, Ludwigshafen:
    "Assimilation of naïve mobile expertise for learning in schools in socially deprived areas, a Vygotskyian perspective"
    Bachmair, B., Risch, M., & Zils, D. (2010, March 17). Mobile responsive contexts of development and learning; report of field projects on mlearning. Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Bachmair-Risch-Zils_M-Learning.pdf
  • Discussant:
    Dr. Benjamin Jörissen, Universität Magdeburg, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaften, Lehrstuhl Allgemeine Pädagogik/ Universität der Bundeswehr München
    Jörissen, B. (2010, March 17). Comments on the presentations of "Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the ‘mobile complex’ for participatory learning (AG 46)". Presented at the DGfE 2010: Individualised mobility as cultural resource: harnessing the 'mobile complex' for participatory learning, Mainz. Retrieved from http://www.londonmobilelearning.net/downloads/DGfE2010_Joerissen-alle-Kommentare.pdf


Workshop "Technology-enhanced learning in the context of technological, societal and cultural transformation"

Event: Alpine Rendez-Vous, within the framework of the STELLAR Network of Excellence
Date: November 30 to December 1, 2009
Place: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany

background paper
twitter hashtag: #telc09
Presentations, notes and discussions can be found on cloudworks: http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape/view/1926/cloud#cloudstream


Dr. Norbert Pachler

Scope of the workshop:
This workshop was organised by Norbert Pachler (www.norbertpachler.net), the convenor of the London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG) (www.londonmobilelearning.net), housed at the Centre for Excellence in Work-based Learning for Educational Professionals (www.wlecentre.ac.uk) at the Institute of Education, London (www.ioe.ac.uk).

The Stellar Network funded only three of the 16 workshop places; participation of most of the remaining participants was made possible through financial support from the WLE Centre for Excellence.

The LMLG comprises an international, interdisciplinary group of researchers from the fields of educational, media and cultural studies, social semiotics and educational technology. The aim of the workshop was to augment the work of the LMLG, in particular around its socio-cultural ecology, and to extend the interdisciplinary nature of its work through exposure to perspectives advanced by (TEL) researchers in cognate fields from across Europe and the US, in particular in relation to design-based approaches.

The LMLG sees learning using mobile devices governed by a triangular relationship between socio-cultural structures, cultural practices and the agency of media users / learners, represented in the three domains. The interrelationship of these three components: agency, the user's capacity to act on the world, cultural practices, the routines users engage in their everyday lives, and the socio-cultural and technological structures that govern their being in the world, we see as an ecology, which in turn manifests itself in the form of an emerging cultural transformation. Another significant trend, which requires pedagogical responses, is the prevalence of what we call 'user-generated contexts'. We are currently witnessing a significant shift away from traditional forms of mass communication and editorial push towards user-generated content and individualised communication contexts. These structural changes to mass communication also affect the agency of the user and their relationship with traditional and new media. Indeed, the LMLG argues that users are now actively engaged in shaping their own forms of individualised generation of contexts for learning through individualised communication contexts. New relationships between context and production are emerging in that mobile devices not only enable the production of content but also of contexts. They position the user in new relationships with space, i.e. the outer world, and place, i.e. social space. Mobile devices enable and foster the broadening and breaking up of genres. Citizens become content producers who are part of an explosion of activity in the area of user-generated content. What are the implications for education?

The workshop inter alia sought to explore the following questions and issues:

  • Learning as a process of meaning-making for the LMLG occurs through acts of communication, which take place within rapidly changing socio-cultural, mass communication and technological structures. Does the notion of learner-generated cultural resources represent a sustainable paradigm shift for formal education in which learning is viewed in categories of context and not content? What are the issues in terms of 'text' production in terms of modes of representation, (re)contextualisation and conceptions of literacy? Who decides/redefines what it means to have coherence in contemporary interaction?
  • What synergies are there between the socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning, which the LMLG developed (see Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010), with paradigms put forward by different (TEL) research communities in Europe and beyond?
  • What relationship is there between user-generated content, user-generated contexts and learning? How can educational institutions cope with the more informal communicative approaches to digital interactions that new generations of learners possess?
  • What pedagogical parameters are there in response to the significant transformation of society, culture and education currently taking place alongside technological innovation?

Workshop procedure:
Following an open Call and the submission of a position paper by each participant, the workshop was attended by the following colleagues from across Europe who work in and across various aspects of the fields of education and educational technology:

  • Elisabeth Adami, Verona
  • Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu
  • Ben Bachmair, Kassel
  • Jörgen Bang, Aarhus
  • Brenda Bannan, George Mason
  • Margit Böck, Salzburg
  • John Cook, London Met
  • Theo Hug, Innsbruck
  • Mark Kramer, Salzburg
  • Ambjörn Naeve, Stockholm
  • Norbert Pachler, WLE/IoE (convenor)
  • Christoph Pimmer, Basel
  • Maren Risch, Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Carl Smith, London Met
  • Daniel Spikol, Växjö
  • John Traxler, Wolverhampton

On the basis of the expressions of interest and position papers received, the following sub-themes were identified:

  • opening session: mobile complex, socio-cultural transformation, ecology of mobile learning, user-generated/responsive contexts (Pachler)
  • MyMobile project/didactic parameters (Bachmair, Risch)
  • work-based learning (Pimmer, Attewell, Pachler)
  • design challenges (Spikol, Bannan, Smith)
  • content and augmented reality (Hug, Bang, Kramer)
  • literacy (Cook, Adami, Boeck)
  • sustainability (Traxler, Naeve)
  • closing session (Pachler).

The workshop ran for two full days. Each theme was allocated between around 90 and 120 minutes and the participants allocated to a particular theme were invited to plan their session jointly in advance. All sessions involved some degree of input, discussion/group work/practical activity as well as a plenary phase.

Position papers and questions for discussion were made available in advance of the workshop on GoogleGroups as well as Cloudworks (cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape/view/1926/cloud#cloudstream). During the workshop contributors' presentations were added and participants in Garmisch and beyond contributed to the discussion on Cloudworks as well as on Twitter.

Key messages from the workshop:
In terms of outcomes and key messages, it was interesting to note the interest the position papers attracted on Cloudworks, even prior to the start of the workshop.
The mixture of theory and practice was felt to have worked well and to have been fruitful particularly in view of a potential chasm developing between the research community and the policy and practitioner communities in the field of mobile learning.
The workshop underlined the importance of definitional clarity around key terminology, particular in the context of interdisciplinary work in an international context.
Mobile learning, the main focus of the workshop, can be seen to deal with complex issues, which benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. Despite interdisciplinarity adding complexity and this complexity needing to be managed sensitively, there exists a need for greater richness in the conceptual foundations of mobile learning; there is arguably a need to challenge the hegemony of education, psychology and computer science as the foundational disciplines of the mobile learning research community.
Some topics, such as sustainability, have proved to be multi-layered and the concurrent discussion of different layers during the workshopprovided fruitful insights into possible different framings of each given topic and issue.
The workshop showed that the key theoretical framework used at the event for illuminating the use of mobile learning - the LMLG's socio-cultural approach - has provided a useful lens and a shared vocabulary for analysis. At the same time it transpired that, in relation to some topics such as work-based learning, more work is required to align it and its theoretical underpinnings with established discourses in certain areas, such as WBL. Work-based mobile learning has to be embedded in the work-processes and current practices and not be designed as an extra layer. Structure in WBML is not only related to media platforms but also to organisational structures and focusing only on the first issue would be too narrow. Power-relationships are a central construct to be considered in WBML. And, the fact that businesses are orientated towards a productivity paradigm, rather than towards a learning paradigm, poses a particular challenge for WBML. A key question appears to be to what extent practices around mobile devices influence work-life balance.
The discussion around user-generated contexts demonstrated the complexity of the notion of context and how its different understandings are rooted in divers epistemological and ontological traditions.
The discussions around augmented reality brought to the fore a number of issues in particular around retention, perception and coherence as well as filtering and the need for criticality on the part of the user.
With respect to augmented contexts for development, the question arose whether Vygotskyan notions of perception / attention / temporality are a way forward and how these notions link in concrete terms to more academic / traditional views of ‘literacy’. And, what are the implications of for the emerging field of mobile augmented reality? Is it possible to replace the more capable peer in the zone of proximal development?
Synergies with design-based research were generally seen to offer considerable potential for the work of the LMLG and beyond. In particular, there emerged a strong sense of potential around the bringing together of a hermeneutic and critical historical approach to planning and analysis of teaching and learning, i.e. critical didactic, with the experimental, empirical evaluative approach offered by design research.
In terms of sustainability, the workshop concluded that much more still needs to be done in terms of understanding the complexity of the notion of sustainability. The discussion showed that there exists an important, and currently underexplored, ethical context to mobile learning, that is the context in which we connect with learners, composed in part of challenges such as sustainability, scalability (or transferability or replication), equity, inclusion, opportunity, embedding. It relates to a concern for the role of mobile learning for addressing forms of deprivation and disadvantage and informing the relevant policy environment.
Overall it can be noted that the discussions during the two days reiterated the need for a paradigm change in education to enable young people to deal with the implications of ongoing transformations.

The proceedings of the workshop will be published as a Special Issue of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning guest edited by Norbert Pachler.

Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010) Mobile learning: structures, agency, practices. New York: Springer

Norbert Pachler
London, December 2009

The Alpine Rendez-Vous is organised within the framework of the STELLAR Network of Excellence (www.stellarnet.eu) by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. The LMLG workshop will take place from November 30 to December 1 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria.



Symposium on "Multimodal approaches to communication"

Date: May 27, 2009
Place: University of Verona, Italy




Symposium "Outside in and inside out: interdisciplinarity and mobile learning research"

Event: AERA 2009
Date: April 14, 2009 from 16.05 - 17.35 hours
Place: San Diego Marriott Hotel






3rd WLE Mobile Learning Symposium "Mobile learning cultures across education, work and leisure"

Date: March 27, 2009
Place: WLE Centre, IoE, London

website and resources
conference proceedings



Symposium "Outside in, inside out? Digital media as cultural resources for learning"

Event: CAL 09
Date: March 23, 2009 from 13.15 - 14.35 hours
Place: Hilton Metropole Brighton



Prof. Dr. John Cook

Individual papers accepted as part of the symposium:



Workshop "Exploring and working with mobile technologies"

Date: May 22, 2008
Place: WLE Centre, IoE, London




Arbeitsgruppe "Mit dem Handy-Alltag der Jugendlichen Schulkultur transformieren - Mobile Learning als pädagogische Antwort auf die Diversifizierung von Bildung"

Event: "Kulturen der Bildung" – 21. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE)
Date: March 18, 2008
Place: Dresden, Germany

symposium presentations


Workshop leader:
Prof. Dr. Ben Bachmair

Brief description of workshop:
Die Detraditionalisierung der modernen Gesellschaft erreicht mit Handy und MP3-Player den Kulturbereich der Massenkommunikation. Websites wie YouTube oder Podcasts sind der deutliche Belege wie die vertraute Massenkommunikation sich in diskursive Sphären der Zeichenzirkulation verwandelt, bei der u.a. Archive bedeutsamer werden als die redaktionelle Produktion von Sendungen. Die Veralltäglichung des Handys und seine sich ständig ausweitenden Repräsentations-, Speicher- und Interaktionsfunktionsfunktionen hat vor allem in Großbritannien Schulen und Forschungseinrichtungen motiviert, deren didaktische Funktionen im Rahmen von „participative and meaningful learning" zu erkunden und zu erproben. Die Arbeitsgruppe untersucht seit Ende 2006 folgende vier Problembereiche:

  • Cultural transformation and the mobilised communication. M-devices and mlearning in the society of individualized risks;
  • To enhance learning in the existing schools and widening the participation; The didactic potential ofmobile devices for situated and meaningful learning: Enrichment function of m-devices; Mobile devices as genuine tools for learner groups at risk / learner groups with non-typical cultural experiences, Learning options for learners at risk: boys, migrants, children from precarious life contexts.
  • Accordance of the mobile technology; the wide range of applications: from the telephone to the iPodand MyVideo;
  • Mobile changing of the school within the recent cultural transformation - rethinking education in the school.

List of papers and the discussant:

  • Prof. Dr. Ben Bachmair, Kassel: Transformation der Massenkommunikation durch Mobilität - eine bildungstheoretische Einordnung
  • Dr. Norbert Pachler, London: The didactic potential of mobile devices for situated and meaningful learning
  • Dr. John Cook, London: Enhancing specific scholastic subjects and their learning and teaching methods
  • Prof. Dr. Theo Hug, Innsbruck: Micro Learning, ein theoretischer Rahmen zur Verbindung von Massenkommunikation, Alltag und Schule
  • Prof. Dr. Gunther Kress, London: Discussant


2nd WLE Mobile Learning Symposium "Research methods in informal and mobile learning: How to get the data we really want?"

Date: December 14, 2007
Place: WLE Centre, IoE, London

conference proceedings



1st WLE Mobile Learning Symposium

Date: February 9, 2007
Place: WLE Centre, IoE, London



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MLCB 2011



LMLG @ DGfE 2010



LMLG @ Alpine Rendez-Vous 2009