All posts tagged mobile learning

The Future of Mobile Learning

I was inspired just reading these visions of mobile learning, collected by T.H.E. Journal, which is all about transforming education through technology. Some of them make our current modes of learning seem quaint by comparison. Hang on to your memories of text books and pop quizzes at wooden desks — they’ll be as outdated as your VCR.

These are some of my favorites:

The mobile learning device of the future won’t be a separate piece of equipment. Rather, mobile learning in the future will be an active part of the student’s world. Smartphones, televisions, tablets, in-car telematics and even household appliances will always be connected to the student’s academic life. Everything the student does, and everywhere the student interacts, will become a learning opportunity. The only examples given to a student will be real-world examples, because they will always be plugged in, always learning. The future of learning isn’t bound to a mobile device; the future of learning is mobile.

Caleb Jones

Student experience advocate

Florida Virtual School

Orlando, FL


The “Ubique” mobile device is credit card-sized, waterproof, shock-resistant, and indestructible, with long battery life and solar power capability. It will operate all programs, regardless of operating system, and will connect to the internet anywhere on Earth via providers working under a global service umbrella. Service providers and product manufacturers will provide the device and service free to students and educational institutions in exchange for tax benefits and concessions. In addition to operating standard learning programs, “Ubique” will monitor physical health status and warn users of potential health issues through various input capabilities, such as blood pressure, blood, and diet.

Rhonda Leduc

Graduate student

University of Illinois

Urbana-Champaign, IL


Many years down the road, I envision a device that isn’t mobile per se, but located in every classroom. I’ll call it the iDesk. Imagine a glass-top student desk that is like a larger version of an iPad–a touchscreen computer desk connected via WiFi to a school’s network. Using cloud computing, students would sit down and log into their desks, where they can respond to teacher prompts, complete and submit work, and connect with other students–all without needing additional computers or mobile devices. As smartphones evolve more into full-function computers, students’ mobile devices can be linked to the iDesk. An expensive proposition, and this future is many years away, but that is my vision.

Kyle Ross

Assistant principal, education services

Chaparral High School

Scottsdale, AZ


Read the rest here. 

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The Mobile Campus: Textbooks for iPad


This is the third post in a four part series on The Mobile Campus. This series examines how students are using mobile devices and the impact on higher education. To read the first post on student mobile application usage trends click here. To read the second post about location based application Foursquare’s partnership with universities click here.

Backpacks will be a lot lighter this fall when student’s head back to class at some colleges.  Inkling, a San Francisco start-up has developed an interactive textbook platform for the iPad. Both universities and investors have taken notice. Publishing companies McGraw-Hill and Pearson are early investors. According to the Association of American Publishers, $4.5 billion worth of textbooks were sold in 2010. The universities already set to use Inkling iPad textbooks this fall include Brown, University of California-Irvine, and the University of Central Florida.

But will they college students use interactive iPad textbooks? Are they interested? Turns out it’s exactly what they want. A July 2011 research study by Kelton Research revealed college students can expect to spend more than $2400 on textbooks before getting a degree and the average student carries 20 pounds of books around campus. According to the same study, 62% of the college student respondents revealed they would spend more time studying if they had either online or mobile access to their textbooks, and 71% of respondents were ready for required reading to be accessible through a mobile or online application. Although there are dozens of mobile tablets on the market, The iPad is the most advanced and popular, making it the perfect platform for interactive textbooks.

When it launched in 2010, Inkling had 4 books for the iPad, but by fall semester there will be over 100 textbooks downloadable within the iPad app. Currently students are able to buy book chapters through the iTunes app store at $2.99 each. Art, business, history, and medical textbooks make up a bulk of Inkling’s catalogue. Users are able to interact in many ways with the textbook – from rotating images, to zooming, to watching imbedded videos. Medical textbooks that show 3D renderings of the heart and other elements of the circulatory system have been receiving rave reviews from medical students.

Inkling is currently the frontrunner in the interactive tablet textbook space, but they certainly have competitors – including CourseSmart, which offers PDF e-textbook services and Push Pop Press, an interactive iPad reading platform which was recently acquired by Facebook. Another competitor Kno has a database of 70,000 textbooks that can be downloaded and read on mobile devices, but they lack the interactivity of Inkling’s iPad offerings.

So what does this mean? One thing is for certain – students will carry fewer textbooks in the coming years. Whether it is Inkling or another company, textbooks will continue to transition onto tablets and other devices that make them more accessible and engaging. As long as digital textbooks meet the needs of students they will dominate the market by 2020. If they make learning easier, more efficient, engaging, and fun, then they will disrupt one foundation of learning.

To learn more about Inkling visit

To download the application, visit the Apple iTunes store by clicking here.

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