Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 187–203

Exploring the uses of mobile phones to support informal learning


DOI: 10.1007/s10639-011-9151-2

Cite this article as:
Santos, I.M. & Ali, N. Educ Inf Technol (2012) 17: 187. doi:10.1007/s10639-011-9151-2


This paper explores how a group of undergraduate students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) use their mobile phones to perform informal learning activities related to the content of their courses outside the classroom. The paper also addresses the usefulness of informal learning activities to support students’ learning. The study adopts an exploratory case study design and uses multiple methods of data collection including questionnaires, interviews and diary entries. Main findings suggest that students performed informal learning activities mostly from home, interacting mainly with classmates. It also shows that students were in control of their informal learning activities without teachers’ input. However, it was found that students used only a limited number of applications but these were considered useful to their learning. The paper contributes to a discussion of the implications of training and instructor support to help students to take more advantage of mobile phone applications to support informal learning. Recommendations for further research are discussed.


Mobile technologies Mobile phones Informal learning Curriculum 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emirates College for Advanced EducationAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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