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Jan 8, 2010

Mobile Technology Makes it into the Classroom

Web 2.0 and mobile technology have changed the way we research, purchase from and engage with organisations; communicate with friends and family; and even the way we work (I'll delve into this one another day - I could go on about the advances of mobile work technology endlessly!).

Well, now it's changing the way we learn, with universities around the world adopting mobile technology as part of the curriculum to improve and add value to the courses on offer. Live and recorded video lecture streaming, interactive polls and question submissions throughout, greater access to staff (eg. real-time online support sessions as well as on-campus assistance), collaborative forums and projects and supplementary applications that provide students with the opportunity to maximise their education are just the beginning.

That the smartphone will become an essential learning tool for the students of today is no surprising progression considering its astounding rate of adoption and integration into our day-to-day lives, but its entry into the education system will no doubt cause controversy and debate.

Lack of vocal communication and interaction is one fear, while others claim students will miss out on networking opportunities, as well as the chance to overcome the fear of putting your hand up and asking a stupid question, or offering an idea out of left field (because really, there are no stupid questions, and those left field ideas breed creativity and innovation).

Having said all that, personally, I'm all for it. There are opportunities for enhanced efficiency, and greater return on investment that can't be ignored. The more ways students are able to positively engage with lecturers, staff members and other students (without being limited by time or location) the better - and if an application is going to bring with it greater interactivity and enhanced learning, then why not?

What do you think?

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