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What Is the Future of Mobile Computing in Teaching at Vanderbilt?

Posted by on Monday, February 8, 2010 in News.

According to the 2010 Horizon Report, a report issued by the the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) identifying emerging technologies likely to impact institutions of higher education in the near future, “mobile computing” is going to play an increasingly important role on campuses in the next two years.  (Please note that the CFT is hosting a discussion of the Horizon Report tomorrow, February 9th, from 1 to 2 p.m.  Register now!)  From the Horizon Report:

Virtually all higher education students carry some form of mobile device, and the cellular network that supports their connectivity continues to grow. An increasing number of faculty and instructional technology staff are experimenting with the possibilities for collaboration and communication offered by mobile computing. Devices from smart phones to netbooks are portable tools for productivity, learning, and communication, offering an increasing range of activities fully supported by applications designed especially for mobiles.

Here at Vanderbilt, the School of Nursing is leveraging students’ mobile devices as part of classroom response systems, allowing students to use their smart phones as “clickers” to respond to multiple-choice questions posed by their instructors.  Undergraduate computer science students are actively developing smart phones apps that provide a variety of student services.  Biological science instructors are having students take GPS devices into parks near Vanderbilt to record plant life data.  And, of course, most students do indeed have a mobile device in their pocket that does more than just make phone calls.

What potential uses in teaching and learning do you see for mobile computing here at Vanderbilt?  Leave your ideas in the comments or come to our discussion tomorrow at 1.

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