Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Increasing Access through Mobile Learning, edited by Mohamed Ally and Avgoustos Tsinakos, Vancouver, 2014, published by Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University




This chapter provides a brief historical overview of the technology contributing to mobile learning (mLearning) and the concomitant progression towards student-centred pedagogies. To begin, mLearning is defined. The theoretical, pedagogical and conceptual underpinnings of it are then explained, with a focus on the technologies and the pedagogies of each decade, from the 1970s and Kay’s futuristic vision of a mobile learning device, to today’s mobile learning technologies that have surpassed Kay’s vision.


© 2014 by the Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University.

PERSPECTIVES ON OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING: Increasing Access through Mobile Learning is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Licence (International).


0000-0002-1775-8219 (Crompton)

Original Publication Citation

Crompton, H. (2014). A diachronic overview of mobile learning: A shift toward student-centered pedagogies. In M. Ali & A. Tsinakos (Eds.), Increasing access through mobile learning. British Columbia, Canada: Commonwealth of Learning Press and Athabasca University.