UW Bothell Learning Technologies Blog Rotating Header Image

Mobile Devices & Apps

Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education

A recent study published on Educause takes a look into the mobile learning practices of students in higher education.

The study notes that mobile device usage has increased significantly among college students, and that they favor small and lightweight devices such as smartphones and tablets. However 85% of students still consider a laptop to be the most important device for academic success.

As mobile device use expands on campus, the study looks to understand how the students are using their devices. Students were given a survey to determine device prevalence and if they were being used for academic purposes. The study found that 91% of student owned a smartphone while only 58% of those students used them for academic purposes. Tablet ownership was only 37% of those questioned, though 82% of owners used them for school.

Read More!

Chromebooks, Yay or Nay in the Education World?

With prices starting at $240, students cannot help but to be attracted to Google’s Chromebooks. Its operating system is simple, to the point, and extremely fast, relying on Chrome and Google Drive. The catch? You cannot install desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or any PC games.

This may be a letdown for some people, but for others the simplicity is much appreciated. EdTech reports that Chromebooks are beginning to sneak their way into the classroom. Why not? Students are able to access the web so they can pursue research, and with Google Drive students can also write reports and create presentations just like they can with Microsoft Office.

The only case where Chromebooks could be problematic in the education world is with STEM programs who require higher end applications such as Integrated Development Environments (IDEs).

 

Students’ Thoughts on Their Technology in the Classroom

In today’s classrooms, technology is a vital tool in making teaching and learning much more interactive, engaging, and empowering. Students use their mobile devices and computers to access the Internet, electronic resources, and other educational software/applications, resulting in an independent, student-driven learning environment.

For instructors and educators who are curious as to their effectiveness in using technology in their classrooms, the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) recently released their latest version of its annual report, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013, which describes and illustrates how students feel about the use of technology in their classrooms.

Read more!

Tools That College Students Wish Their Instructors Used Either More or Less


Read more!

Time to Catch Up: The “Technology” Policy

For Isaac Sweeney, an assistant professor of English at Richard Bland College in Virginia, a simple revision of his syllabus proved to illustrate an important change of direction for his classroom. The change from having two separate policies about cellphones and e-mail, to just having one “Technology” policy, showed an acceptance and honesty about how his classroom, similar to many classrooms around the country, needs to “catch up” to the present trend in education: technology as an educational tool in the classroom.

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sweeney talks about his firsthand experience letting students use their cellphones for class activities. Even though this may seem like blasphemy, the change in policy allows students to be empowered to use their cellphones as a tool for their own learning.

Read More!