Mobilizing Higher Education
Published by: WCET Frontiers | 4/3/2012
Today WCET Frontiers welcomes Dr. Robbie Melton, Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, with the Tennessee Board of Regents, eLearning Initiative, as a guest blogger.
Mobilization (the use of mobile devices and apps) continues to change the way we communicate, conduct business, and entertain us. Higher education is not exempted from this impact. In fact, mobilization is transforming all areas of education from teaching, learning, recruiting, operations, student services, IT, and workforce development. However, many of these transformations are occurring without any strategic planning, or quality standards; nor alignment to educational goals, programs, curriculums, and student outcomes.
The latest wireless survey in 2011 by CITA noted that 91% of Americans use cell phones; up 15 million over the same time last year. It was revealed that instead of talking on their cell phones, people are now making use of many of the extras features that these smart phones and tablets are designed to provide such as browsing the Web, sending e-mail and text messages, and entertainment.
What is missing in mobilization is the use these devices and apps for educational and workforce purposes. According to the Nielsen App Study “AppNation” games continue to be the most popular category of apps followed by apps in ranking order for weather, maps, social networking, music, news, entertainment, banking, dining, productivity; whereas educational use was not listed by those surveyed. Note: The majority of apps developed for mobile devices are for games, social networking, and entertainment.
Mobilization offers educators an opportunity to deliver education “on demand and in students’ hands.” It is well documented that people carry their mobile devices; especially their phones, with them at all times. Infographic, 2010, reported that, “From the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed, young people are constantly connected to their electronics, syncing their tablets and smartphones with all the latest updates that came in while they caught their precious shuteye. 83% of young people sleep next to their cell phones; 35% boot-up apps before getting out of bed; 40% use their devices in the bathroom; 70% of college students take notes on their mobile devices; 51% of people do online research as part of their job; 60% of TV viewers use a computer/mobile device at the same time; 50% of Americans prefer communicating to face-to-face conversation.”
Mobile apps provide easier access (touching and talking) to multi-media manipulative digital content that are preliminary showing positive results in student engagement. (Research is being conducted across the globe regarding any significant differences in using mobile devices and apps in improving teaching, learning, and workforce development.)
This blog is intended to launch a conversation (via the comments section below) about the following elements of mobilization on campus or other reflections on mobilization in higher ed:
References noted in Blog:
CITA Wireless Study Report: http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/10316
The State Of Mobile Apps Created for the AppNation, Conference with Insights from The Nielsen Company’s Mobile Apps Playbook by The Nielsen Company: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/NielsenMobileAppsWhitepaper.pdf
How Do People Use Their Smartphones? Nick Corasaniti, BITS. September 14, 2010, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/report-looks-at-trends-with-mobile-apps/