Two days and three paragraphs

This last couple of days have been slow writing days. I never really understood it when other academics/students said that they found writing to be a slow process. In the past it hasn’t been slow for me. It may have required many re-writes, and much reflection, but the actual act of writing hasn’t been slow.

Until now. Until this week. I’m working on a paper about mobile learning as a teaching strategy in healthcare education. The paper is in my head, it is just struggling to get out. One of the challenges is that I’ve read so much about mobile learning that I can’t remember what ideas are mine and what ideas came from somewhere else. I also need to find references to support my ideas – so even when the idea is mine, I can’t just say you should do it this way, I actually need to find some evidence to back it up.

So, after two-days, I have three whole paragraphs! Yup, that is it. I see the structure of the paper in my mind – or at least what I think the structure will be, I’m sure that will change too – but not a lot of words on the page.

Guess I better get to it ….

For your entertainment, here are my three amazing paragraphs:

The eLearning Guild defines mobile learning (mLearning) as “any activity that allows individuals to be more productive when consuming, interacting with, or creating information, mediated through a compact digital portable device that the individual carries on a regular basis, has reliable connectivity, and fits in a pocket or purse” (E-Learning Guild, 2007).

mLearning is not a new idea – in the 1990s it was thought of as a subset of electronic learning (eLearning) (Crescente & Lee, 2011, p. 111); however, mLearning is fundamentally different from eLearning. Quinn explains a key difference, “mLearning is more about performance support and complementing learning, not delivering full courses” (Quinn, 2011, p. 9).

Mobile devices are becoming more prevalent in healthcare practice, as evidenced by more than 1700 medical related applications in the iTunes App Store, and the recent purchase by the Ottawa Hospital of 1800 iPads (CBC News, 2011). DeBourgh recommends “to fully prepare students to assume professional roles ad develop skills for life-long learning, it is essential that technology be integrated in the learning paradigm” (DeBourgh, 2002). Further to this, I propose that to help students adapt to the use of mobile technology in practice, healthcare educators must seek out opportunities to use mobile devices as tools to support learning in healthcare professions education.

CBC News. (2011). 1,800 iPads ordered by Ottawa Hospital. Retrieved 3 June, 2011 from

Crescente, M. L., & Lee, D. (2011). Critical issues in m-learning: design models, adoption processes, and future trends. Journal of Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers, 28(2). doi:10.1080/10170669.2010.548856

DeBourgh, G. A. (2002). Simple elegance: Course management systems as a pedagogical infrastructure to enhance science learning. Retrieved 2 June, 2011 from

E-Learning Guild. (2007). Mobile learning. Retrieved 29 May, 2011 from

Quinn, C. N. (2011). Designing mLearning Tapping into the mobile revolution for organizational performance. San Fancisco, CA: Pfeiffer.


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