This research and development project aimed to tap the potential of mobile phones as a modern and networked learning medium for vocational education and training.

concept graphic of the mobile learning project, with didactic elements, teacher portal and view for learner

The target group were electrician trainees in the two first years of apprenticeship.

Trainees can use their mobile phones for example to look up symbols directly on a construction site, prepare for exams with exercises, but also communicate with classmates and teachers about the contents.

The didactic concept involves also the teachers. They can assemble the learning content and adapt it. And in addition they can optimize the learning content thanks to reviews and statistics.

The project is a collaboration by Handylearn Projects with the FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany. Practice partner was the vocational school for metal technology and electrical engineering Hannover. Over a hundred vocational students and five teachers tested the overall system in everyday life: at school, at work, on construction sites and on the road.

The project duration was three years. The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project was completed successfully in may 2012.

Technical Implementation

I created a mobile learning management system with the help of Ruby on Rails as server framework, PostgreSQL and MySQL as databases. The system uses the JavaScript libraries jQuery and Protovis for visualizations. There are import and export possibilities for JSON, Excel and text-based formats.

The mobile web client used XHTML Mobile for greatest possible compatibility. An additional version was created with jQuery Mobile.

In addition, I developed an app for feature phones. This app used Java Mobile Edition and the LWUIT library.