Mobile Learning: Using SMS in Educational Contexts

  • Adelina Moura
  • Ana Amélia Carvalho
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 324)


The Short Message Service (SMS) technology is one of the most powerful mobile technologies in current usage. Most students own a mobile phone with free SMS which can be used for learning. In this paper we explain how we used SMS for teaching and learning languages (both native and foreign). The conducted experiment presented a range of opportunities for integrating text into teaching and learning strategies and for demystifying the use of SMS in educational contexts. Via SMS technology we can deliver several learning activities to students easily and immediately. The research findings showed that students had positive perceptions about the experiment and SMS use for learning improvement and the use of their own mobile phone as a learning tool. All groups showed interest in receiving educational content via SMS. Some students greatly improved their language learning performance.


Mobile learning SMS mobile phones mobile contents language learning 


  1. 1.
    Lominé, L.L., Buckhingham, C.: M-learning: texting (SMS) as a teaching & learning tool in higher arts education (2009),
  2. 2.
    Traxler, J.: Case studies: Introduction and overview. In: Kukulska-Hulme, A., Traxler, J. (eds.) Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, pp. 70–75. Routledge, London (2005)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schick, C.: The mobile lifestyle: How the fusion of the mobile and the Internet have changed the way we live, learn, and play. In: Keynote Speaker of the 6th International Conference on Mobile Learning. Melbourne, Australia (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kukulska-Hulme, A., Shield, L.: An Overview of Mobile Assisted Language Learning: from content delivery to supported collaboration and interaction. ReCALL 20(3), 249–252 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bollen, L., Eimler, S., Hoppe, H.: SMS-based Discussions – Technology enhanced collaboration for a literature course. In: Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, pp. 209–210. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Levy, M., Kennedy, C.: Learning Italian via mobile SMS. In: Kukulska-Hulme, A., Traxler, J. (eds.) Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, pp. 76–83. Routledge, London (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Markett, C., Arnedillo Sánchez, I., Weber, S., Tangney, B.: Using short message service to encourage interactivity in the classroom. Computers & Education 46, 280–293 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Naismith, L.: Using text messaging to support administrative communication in higher education. Active Learning in Higher Education 8, 155–171 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Song, Y.: SMS enhanced vocabulary learning for mobile audiences. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation 2(1), 81–98 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nix, J., Russel, J., Keegan, D.: Mobile learning/SMS (Short Messaging System) academic administration kit (2005),
  11. 11.
    Scornavacca, E., Huff, S., Marshall, S.: Developing a SMS-based classroom interaction system. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Mobile Learning Technologies and Applications, pp. 47–54. Massey University, Auckland (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    So, S.: The development of a SMS-based teaching and learning system. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange 2(1), 113–124 (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Moura, A., Carvalho, A.: Mobile learning: two experiments on teaching and learning with mobile phones. In: Hijón-Neira, R. (ed.) Advanced Learning, pp. 89–103. In-Teh, Vukovar (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kukulska-Hulme, A.: Will mobile learning change language learning? ReCALL 21(2), 157–165 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kukulska-Hulme, A., Traxler, J.: Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers. Routledge, London (2005)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Faux, F., McFarlane, A., Roche, N., Facer, K.: Handhelds: learning with handheld technologies. In: Handbook for Futurelab (2006),
  17. 17.
    Sharples, M.: Big issues in mobile learning. In: Report of a workshop by the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence Mobile Learning Initiative. University of Nottingham, UK (2006)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Goh, T., Hooper, V.: To TxT or not to TxT: That’s the puzzle. Journal of Information Technology Education 6, 441–453 (2007)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pincas, A.: Using mobile phone support for use of Greek during the Olympic games 2004. International Journal of Instructional Technology & distance Learning 1(6) (2004),
  20. 20.
    Lu, M.: Effectiveness of vocabulary learning via mobile phone. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 24, 515–525 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Thornton, P., Houser, C.: Using mobile phones in English Education in Japan. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 21, 217–228 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cavus, N., Ibrahim, D.: M-Learning: An experiment in using SMS to support learning new English language words. British Journal of Educational Technology 40(1), 78–91 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Yin, R.K.: Case study research: Design and methods. Sage, Newbury Park (1984)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Habitzel, K., Märk, T.D., Stehno, B., Prock, S.: Microlearning: Emerging concepts, practices and technologies after e-learning. In: Proceedings of Microlearning 2005 Learning & Working in New Media. Conference Series, Innsbruck University Press (2006),
  25. 25.
    Chisholm, L.A.: Micro-Learning in the Lifelong Learning Context. In: Proceedings of Microlearning 2005 Learning & Working in New Media. Conference Series, Innsbruck University Press (2006),

Copyright information

© IFIP 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adelina Moura
    • 1
  • Ana Amélia Carvalho
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Minho Campus de GualtarBragaPortugal

Personalised recommendations