People who are engaged in e-learning may find it useful to have printing apps that allow them to use ink supplies to produce documents from smartphones and tablets, as the use of these gadgets is said to be growing.

Grainne Conole, director of the Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester, stated these items have had a huge impact of the education sector by making it far more viable to study from anywhere or while on the move.

She said: "I was always dubious about mobile learning until I saw things like the iPhone – which is transformative – and some of the things like tablets for example."

Ms Conole added some university departments are now beginning to hand out iPads that are pre-loaded with course materials, while this strategy can also take advantage of the fact many students will already own such gadgets and be keen to make the most of them.

Recently, the expert added social media and collaborative tools such as Wikis also have a role to play in e-learning as they offer users new ways to share information and get advice.