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Understanding the potential of ubiquitous computing technologies for learning and education (i.e. "ubiquitous e-learning") is a relatively new undertaking. Ubiquitous computing refers to making computers imperceptibly and pervasively available to the user in her environment. The notion of ubiquitous computing as a research issue itself dates back only to 1988 (Weiser, 1991), and the popular realization of this technology in the form of wireless mobile devices such as mobile telephones, personal digital assistants, Webpads, laptops, onboard automobile navigation systems, and other portable, networked computing technologies has only recently taken place. This paper begins from the premise that the emergent requirements of ubiquitous e-learning are very well suited to the flexibility and adaptability of a learning objects approach. The paper starts with a brief consideration of the characteristics and requirements of ubiquitous e-learning, and also explains the learning object approach and the standards and infrastructures used to support it. It then identifies challenges presented by the fact that these standards and infrastructures have not been developed with the requirements of ubiquitous e-learning in mind. The paper then suggests a number of adaptations or extensions to one specific and important e-learning standard - the standard for "learning object metadata." In discussing the application of this standard to ubiquitous e-learning, this paper makes significant reference to the CanCore guidelines for the implementation of learning object metadata in order to ensure maximum reusability and interoperability of data in this new context.
Date of Conference: 8-12 March 2005