Archives For mobility

In a Campus Technology interview, Tim Flood the former Stanford Mobile Program Director and manager of iStanford responds to Mary Grush’s question about the key advantage institutions can get by offering mobile applications on campus with two words:

Being Relevant

Flood makes the argument that the world that students live in on a daily basis is a mobile world and higher education must at minimum use mobile technology to just stay relevant. I would take this a step further and suggest that relevance is only a starting point. If we (higher education) really want to be student centered and build effective learning environments we have to be respectful of who are students are and what they bring into the classroom. This is not a new idea and mobility is only the most recent cultural circumstance that brings the need to respect the learner to the forefront. Back in 1966 the learning theorist Jerome Bruner argued that a theory of instruction should address four major aspects:

1. predisposition towards learning,
2. the ways in which a body of knowledge can be structured so that it can be most readily grasped by the learner,
3. the most effective sequences in which to present material, and
4. the nature and pacing of rewards and punishments.

Recognizing where your learner is at or being aware of your learner’s predisposition toward learning is the first and perhaps most important step in building effective learning environments because until you do so you are NOT respecting who they are and what they bring into that environment. The use of mobile devices is so intrinsic in almost all aspects of culture that it not only should be considered in point one, a learner’s predisposition, but should also considered in point three, the most effective sequences to present material. Mobile devices enable learners to access content all the time and everywhere so when presenting or using content the instructor has to take mobility into account.

The challenge of accessing information which was intrinsic to the print culture of the 20th century is no longer the challenge of the digital culture of the 21st century. Our new challenge is assessing information because we can access so much on our mobile devices all the time and everywhere. Recognizing mobilities role in 21st century learning is not only a matter of relevance for higher education it is a matter of respect.

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In the Tech Sanity Check post Microsoft conjures up the future of mobile productivity, Jason Hiner rightly points out:

As entertaining as it is to watch these videos, it’s hard to take them very seriously until Microsoft can start connecting some of these ideas with steps that it’s actually taking in real world products.

While it is frustrating to see such potential not being realized by Microsoft we can be consoled by fact that Apple and many other companies are working to create this future. This perspective is confirmed in the Geekwire post The future is amazing, and Microsoft has video to prove it which offers an analysis of the Microsoft’s latest video and points to the likelihood that many other companies may use Microsoft’s ideas to create this future. For example the Geekwire post refers to Microsoft’s inability to deliver and points to Microsoft’s failed tablet strategy that was ultimately realized by Apple. An account of this failure is handled by Hiner in the 2010 Tech Sanity Check post Microsoft’s misguided tablet strategy is the apotheosis of the company

In 2009 Microsoft put out this earlier video that introduced many of the concepts further developed in this years video:

The following is the 2009 Microsoft “Courier” secret tablet that held so much promise but failed to materialize

While it may be unfortunate for Microsoft to not be able to realize the potential of the video vision-casts they create, they must still be commended for releasing these videos that are inspiring others to work towards this exciting future.

Is the iPad going to be another classic example of disruptive innovation for the PC in the same way that the PC disrupted the mainframe and mini computer market? It sure seems to be on the right track. The iPad doesn’t offer all the power and functionality of the PC but what it does offer is enough to make people want to use the device in similar yet different ways than the PC. You have the incumbent market leaders (Microsoft, HP, Dell etc.) downplaying the significance of the iPad yet at the same time trying to compete by offering inferior products that don’t really match the power and uniqueness of the iPad.

The PC disruption took many years to really change the landscape of computing but we didn’t have the Internet, social networking and social media that we have today so the accelerated pace that we are seeing with the iPad disruption should not be a surprise. The accelerated pace of disruptive innovation will continue to grow because we are moving from a push to a pull economy. When you consider the millions of apps in the App Store, Apples continued exploitation of the mobile market that it grew with the iPhone, mobility and the mobile market place that Apple created is poised to knock off more than just the likes of Microsoft.

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All the time everywhere ubiquitous access to the internet is what the promise of mobility will bring. When this is fully realized we will really be able to to learn all the time everywhere. Just how far away is this world. That depends on who you talk to… I also think that the notion that only startups and small companies are moving to the cloud is a classic example of established companies ignoring this disruptive innovation.

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ACU is pleased to announce we won a Next Generation Learning Challenges grant! This first wave of the competition provides funding for innovative technology-enabled approaches that improve college completion in the U.S.

Our MEIBL (Mobile Enhance Inquiry-based Learning) project is the proud winner of a Next Generation Learning Challenges Wave I grant! In this first round of grant funding, the initiative has awarded a combined total of $11 million to organizations developing promising education technology solutions.