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As Learning Needs Arise - Creative Use of Mobile Applications to Support Daily Informal Learning


World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning,


The potential of mobile devices for supporting learning activities, has been researched and discussed extensively in the past decade or so. However, despite broad and versatile research on mobile learning, relatively few studies have explored the use of mobile devices for supporting daily informal learning. This paper focuses on the ways in which learners make use of their mobile device to support personal informal learning and specifically, on the creative uses of readily available mobile applications by the learners. This creative usage of mobile tools and applications consists of repurposing and reappropriating the applications by using their available features in novel or non-conventional ways, for varying learning objectives. We dub this practice of subverting prescribed usage as “bending”, in order to distinguish it from related practices such as hacking, tinkering and customizing. “Bending” is in line with frameworks of digital literacy that acknowledge the significance of the reuse of media and technology. We aim to shed a light on this type of practice, and suggest that although easily overlooked, due to its somewhat anecdotal nature, bending may potentially encourage a creative mindset that could, in turn, be transferable to other technologies and domains and may support the development of critical thinking strategies , problem solving skills, creativity and self-efficacy. Furthermore, we suggest that with today’s increasing dependence on technology and specifically, on mobile technologies, bending may serve as an opportunity for learners to take ownership over the technology and may also facilitate a more mindful use of mobile devices that could potentially be transferable to their engagement with additional technologies and domains.


Aladjem, R. & Nachmias, R. (2019). As Learning Needs Arise - Creative Use of Mobile Applications to Support Daily Informal Learning. In Proceedings of World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning 2019 (pp. 123-126). Retrieved March 2, 2021 from .