Mobile Learning: A rhizomatic learning

By Giselda  Costa

For our study, this notion of types of learning mean the metaphor a biological rhizome, where in the stem of a plant takes root , each of which may become a new plant (see Figure 1). Rhizomes do not have begin or different order, grow and spread of a nomadic way, as the learning process. Today, the rhizomatic learning has become more available because the development of mobile technologies.

Learning with mobile technology can be viewed as an example of rhizomatic learning.  M-learning as a rhizome, for us, it is the way  unpredictability, the connection and the flexibility of learning because learning is a casual, dynamic process, without limitation, unpredictable, adaptive and nonlinear. Mobile learning is not only a way. There are many ways to use mobile devices to support students and in control of your own learning.

The concept of rhizome as a metaphor  was developed by Gilles Deleuze,a French philosopher and Felix Guattari, a French psychiatrist and political activist. This concept was developed in their book “A Thousand Plateaus”, which was published in 1980. This book is designed as experience in schizophrenic and nomadic thought, but caught the attention of some educators who see the rhizome as a useful metaphor used to describe the learning complexity, especially in technological environments. Thus, the rhizomatic learning is a metaphor for how we learn. According to Sanford al. (2011), the rhizome process refers to the interconnection of ideas and exploration without limits various educational and technological models, whereas all technologies have their own qualities that can be difficult to modify or ignore. This means for us a mixing our link of learnings: formal, non-formal and informal.

Photo by Valdenia Sampaio

Photo by Valdenia Sampaio

See my article in Portuguese here Encipro- artigo – 2014

DELEUZE, G.; GUATTARI, F. A Thousand plateaus capitalism and Sshizophrenia.London: Continuum, 1980.
SANFORD et al. There’s no fixed course: rhizomatic learning communities in adolescent videogaming, loading. 2011. Disponível em:
<;. Acesso em: 05 de jan.2012.


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