Education has been designed to minimize the effects of context on learning, so that children can gain universal knowledge and take tests that are appropriate whatever the location, time of day or surroundings. Yet many professions, in areas such as medicine, art or engineering, require general professional knowledge to be applied in specific contexts. Young children’s learning is tied to contexts of time, place, people and objects, so they live ‘in the now’. New context-sensitive technologies offer opportunities to develop enriched contexts for learning. Handheld location-aware guides and augmented-reality applications can offer audio, text and images to describe the current location or object, such as a painting or museum item. The Aris application offers a set of tools to create and deliver location-based games, such as scavenger hunts and re-enactments of historical events. Contextual learning ties together other pedagogies including geo-learning, seamless learning, event-based learning, crowd learning and citizen inquiry.