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Posted by on Apr 3, 2013

mLearning in Korean Higher Education: Organizations, Partial Bibliography, and Terms (mlearning, elearning, u-learning, smart learning)

대릉원, Gyeongju (경주), Korea: April 2012

I am drawing together various strands of my thesis on mobile learning in South Korea and thought that a few of these sources might be interesting to share for some of you interested in mlearning. As anyone who has ever lived and visited South Korea, it is an impressively connected country. How connected you ask? Mobile cellular subscription rates for South Korea are well above 100% (108% as of 2012) and over 50% of the total population of approximately 52 million (as of August 2012) has possession of a smartphone (ITU ICT STATISTICS, 2012). Mobile technology penetration in South Korea has followed from a concerted effort since 1998 by the Korean government to make broadband internet widely available throughout the country. This widespread broadband access is considerable in both its scope and speed: approximately 98% of all Korean households enjoy broadband access while 83% of all households enjoyed high broadband access, defined as internet access at rates of 5bps or greater (Akamai, 2012).

The effects of this broadband access and mobile technology use has been felt in many of Korean society, from education to politics (Kim Moon, Yang, 2004). For education, this saturation of broadband access, ICT, and mobile technology has produced an environment where educational policies and programs developed around this technology are part of a larger interrelated whole. This is made evident through the use of often interchangeable or overlapping terms describing what are often considered discrete aspects of technology enhanced learning (TEL). These terms include eLearning, Mobile Learning (mLearning), u-Learning (ubiquitous learning), and Smart Learning. All of these, in some measure, incorporate both mobile technology and other forms of technology (ICT). All of these, in some measure, encapsulate the environment and culture of seemingly unlimited internet access and technological ownership that most Koreans enjoy. Further, and perhaps most important to my research, all of these terms directly effect the use of mobile technology for learning in higher education in South Korea.

Before listing these, I wanted to send a great thank you to all those Korean academics and research types who have been generous with their help (when they had no reason to be). Further affirms my love of the place and its people.  Thank to Donggil Song and Bohyun Kim in particular for their useful suggestions. There will be many more people to thank in the future, but wanted to mention those two particularly at this stage. If you know of other sources I may use, I would be most grateful if you could contact me at gallagher dot michaelsean at gmail dot com.

So here are some organizations and sources organized as best as I am able into categories. Many are technologically or design heavy, less pedagogically so, but the more pedagogical ones I am still analyzing into something cohesive for my research. So those are another post for another day. The other organizations more specific to the Humanities to give an idea of what type of work is being done in the traditional Humanities. I will post some Digital Humanities groups and projects in a later post.

My wife's grandparents in the 1960s

note: the image above is of my wife’s grandparents. My wife’s grandfather, Lee Tae Nam (이해남), was President of Hanyang University (한양대학교) in 1973 and a noted historian of his time. My wife’s grandmother pictured here is the granddaughter of Seo Sang Don (서상돈), a noted patriotic figure in Korea’s independence struggle.


Mobile & ICT



Below is a partial list of some sources (mostly in Korean) that discuss applications or instances of these terms. I believe they begin to demonstrate the way they are used if not interchangeably, then with high degrees of overlap. I would contest that this conflation of m vs. e vs. u-learning is partly a result of how the infrastructure of ICT and mobile technology became available at such scale and with such speed in a very short period of time. The two emerged more or less simultaneously.But first a rudimentary translation (mine) of smart learning (not mine), a definition that firmly entwines the learning and the technology where the learning takes place:

 Smart learning: a collection of devices and technological infrastructure (cloud, network, server, smart devices, and embedded devices such as smart infrastructure) and a smart pedagogy leading to the learning that is done, a customized, intelligent, converged, social learning and collective intelligence (Noh, 2011)

mLearning, Smart Learning, u-Learning, and eLearning: Correlation and Conflation

  • Noh, K. S., Ju, S. H., & Jung, J. T. (2011). An exploratory study on concept and realization conditions of smart learning. The journal of digital policy & management, 9(2), 79-88.
  • Smart Touch table U- Learning educational environment suitable for research and development. Song Nah , Vitality Korea Digital Design Council, Digital Design Studies 11 (4) , 2011.10, 195-204 (10 pages). 송나윤, 남경숙. (2011). U-Learning 교육환경에 적합한 스마트 터치 테이블 개발 연구. 『디지털디자인학연구』, 11(4),(195-204).
  •  U-Learning system success factors on the performance of interaction and learning of learners Price: Lee Sang-hee, Piggery Korea Internet Society of e-commerce , Internet e-commerce research 12 (1) , 2012.3, 1-29 (29 pages). 이상희, 김종기. (2012). u-Learning. 시스템의 성공요인이 학습자의 상호작용성과 학습성과에 미치는 영향. 『인터넷전자상거래연구』, 12(1),(1-29).
  • Bong Gyou Lee, Seong Jin Kim, Keon Chul Park, Su Jin Kim, Eui Suk Jeong. (2012). Empirical Analysis of Learning Effectiveness in u-Learning Environment with Digital Textbook. 『KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems(TIIS)』, 6(3),(869-885).
  • An Empirical Study on smart devices, users of e-learning services using synchronous Lee Jeong Man; Korean Society for Internet Information , Internet Information Institute of 13 (2) , 2012.4, 119-126 (8 pages). 이종만. (2012). 스마트기기 이용자의 이러닝 서비스 사용 동기에 관한 실증적 연구. 『인터넷정보학회논문지』, 13(2),(119-126).
  • Proposal of Smart phone based Social E- learning System. Sami Abduljalil , Dae-Ki Kang of Korea Multimedia Society , Journal of Korea Multimedia Society Conference announced 2010.11, 226-228 (3 pages). Sami Abduljalil, Dae-Ki Kang. (2010). Proposal of Smartphone based Social E-learning System. 한국멀티미디어학회 학술발표논문집, (226-228).
  • Lee, C. H., Han, S. K. & Lee, S. H. (2009). Study on the analysis of effectiveness of the u-learning research school. The Society of Korean Practical Arts Education, 15, 2, 312–332.
  • Shin, D. H., Shin, Y. J., Choo, H., & Beom, K. (2011). Smartphones as smart pedagogical tools: Implications for smartphones as u-learning devices. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(6), 2207-2214.
  • Smartphone-based mobile learning environment. Lee, Jong – Suk . Korea Society for Internet Information Korean Society for Internet Information Proceedings , 2010.10, 205-206 (2 pages). 김규진, 이종숙, 조금원. (2010). 스마트폰 기반 모바일 러닝 환경 구축. 『한국인터넷정보학회 학술발표대회 논문집』,(205-206).
  • Yoon, J. J. (2007). A study on a u-learning oriented model of English learning by utilizing mobile devices. Doctoral dissertation, Chungang University, South Korea.
  • e-learning and u-Analysis on the perception of teachers learning about the differences. A study on the difference of teachers `awareness of e-Learning and u-Learning: Department Educational Information and Media Society (Korea Education & Information Technology Broadcasting Society) Department of Information Educational Information and Media Studies, 15, No.1. 발행기관 한국교육정보미디어학회(구 한국교육정보방송학회). 저자 조규락 ( Kyoo Lak Cho ) , 김선연 ( Sun Yun Kim ) , 우석구 ( Suk Koo Woo ). 발행년도 2009
  • Shin, D. H., Shin, Y. J., Choo, H., & Beom, K. (2011). Smartphones as smart pedagogical tools: Implications for smartphones as u-learning devices. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(6), 2207-2214.

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