Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is widespead.  Large numbers of faculty, students and staff now access university services using a portable device, usually a smartphone or tablet. Where e-learning time-shifts, space-shifts and redefines the social experience of education, mobile learning substantially accelerates these effects via

1) a range of devices that provide new and unprecedented functionality (advanced networking sensors for communicating with other devices, environmental sensors such as GPS, accelerometer, video/audio recording capabilties;) and

2) the ability to have learning opportunities occur in the same context where they are applied (aka situated learning), via a continuous connection to the internet. [Campus wireless information]

Mobile applications include, for example, videoconferencing with colleagues while studying, recording audio and video on a field trip on a camera-phone, using the global positioning system to orient a research study or explore an ecosystem, or superimposing educational models over visual experiences in real time (augmented reality, AR/VR network at UofT)

Mobile applications can be as simple as a link on a website that says 'Mobile' to provide an alternative interface, to a full fledged application that runs exclusively on your device. Here are a few 'hot picks' - from UT's core educational technology providers, and outside companies. More at the downtown site...


Major Platforms (iPhone/iPad, Android)

Canvas Teacher Application

Screen shot of iTunes app store preview for Canvas Teacher

Canvas Teacher for iOS and Android makes your course announcements, materials and grades accessible from anywhere.  Mobile guides

UofT Bookstore Sell Books

Screen shot of U of T Bookstore app

Price quote your used textbooks with this bar-code scanning app.

Web Option Mobile Site

Screen shots (3) of Web Option Mobile Site

Why can't you use your mobile phone or iOS device {iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad} to access your weboption lectures? Now you can! Log in with your UTORid, and any web optioned courses you are enrolled in will appear, with video and audio versions, and accompanying slides, if possible. Note that not all courses feature an audio version, only where it is logical to offer one: in mathematics or physics, for example, you may need follow a visual narrative, such as writing on the board. For the few courses where the content is public, a podcast link is available so you can use iTunes. Who needs TED lectures there are UTSC professors to inspire you?

IITS UTSC Mobile App

Screen shots of UTSC mobile app

Designed to improve the everyday campus experience, the UTSC Campus application offers instant access to ever-growing UTSC web services. This application provides one click access to UTSC campus map, TTC bus tracking, course descriptions, course timetable, lab availability, directory and YouTube channel. Now students can get much needed information on the go – anytime, anywhere!


Mobile Links:

Recommended by Sarah Forbes, from the UTSC Library


UofT Map

Screen shot of U of T Map smartphone app

The U of T Map provides map-based directions, on all three of U of T's campuses!

Layars UTSC Campus Map

Screen shot of UTSC Campus Layar application

UTSC Layar uses the GPS coordinates and compass in your smartphone or iPad 2 to help you find your way around and present location-aware links. How far are you from the Registrar's office and in what direction? If you're standing right in front of the library why not have the library website link right in front of you? How about the current stats for the 116 TTC bus. Three views of campus life: map, list, and augmented reality. Yes, augmented reality. :)

U of T Navigator

Screen shot of iPad U of T Navigator at the iTunes App store

U of T Navigator by Intrafinity, for iPhone or iPad, provides up to the minute information for tri-campus maps, news, and events via RSS updates.

Marshall McLuhan Walk

Screen shot of Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan Walk Cell phone GPS guided audio tour of the St. George campus produced by CBC Spark.

Mobile Learning slideshare, from 2010.



Innovative mobile learning [electronic resource] : natural techniques and technologies /Hokyoung Ryu and David Parsons, editor. Imprint Hershey PA : Information Science Reference, c2009. p. cm.

Architectures for distributed and complex M-learning systems [electronic resource] : applying intelligent technologies / Santi Caballe ... [et al.], editors. Imprint Hershey PA : Information Science Reference, c 2010.

Anwar, K. Towards a role framework for mobile devices in educational contexts. M.A. dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada), Canada.

Mobile Learning wiki page at UBC.

The university has a site license for iPhone development.  If you have an idea for a mobile application or have located a mobile resource not listed here which provides U of T information, please contact Brian Sutherland at CTL or Ab Gehani at IITS--we are interested in hearing how mobile applications can improve your teaching and learning experience.