It might have been easier to pinpoint mobile-friendly colleges in the mid-2000s, before schools of every size invested in support for web-connected mobile devices of every kind pouring onto campus.

mobileSpotting colleges and universities with the best mobile device policies is increasingly difficult, as higher education — driven in part by K-12’s mobile adoption — is investing time and money into creating the most friendly mobile atmosphere possible.

It makes sense, as college students have turned to smartphones as their primary study tool, beating out computers and tablets in 2013. Students are even asking for more homework assignments to be mobile device friendly.

College technology officials, in other words, are highly invested in mobile technology not so students can stream movies in their dorm rooms, but because they are increasingly relying on tablets and smartphones as essential educational tools.

In the midst of higher education’s headfirst dive into mobile technology, it’s good to know which schools are rising above the rest in their commitment to excellent mobile programs for students and faculty.

IvyWise.com has ranked the nation’s top-5 mobile tech-savvy campuses.

5. University of Missouri Columbia: The university is pushing for development in both Apple and Windows devices. Students in the School of Journalism are required to purchase an iPhone to review course materials. Lectures are available in audio form for students to review after the class. The Reynolds Journalism Institute opened a Microsoft App Development Lab that creates apps for the Windows 8 operating system. The lab is open after hours for students who want to create and test new applications with supervision from faculty and staff.

4. University of Maryland College Park: The Computer Science program includes a course called “Programming the iPhone.” Upper-level students learn to develop programming software for the iPhone. Part of the university’s Mobility Initiative, the course encourage students to develop apps that can be used throughout the university. Students are given MacBooks during class time, and students who complete this course gain experience that employers are interested in utilizing when they graduate.

See page 2 for the top-3 mobile tech-savvy campuses…

3. Stanford University: CourseRank, an app developed by Stanford students then sold privately, helps students choose the right courses by providing all the information they need in one place. CourseRank offers details on classes and professors. It features an official ranking system and an advice forum. Students can choose classes for a specific semester or create a four-year plan. The iApp Project, soon to be released in a pilot phase, gives students the chance to develop apps for their fellow classmates.

2. Seton Hill University: All full-time students receive an iPad Mini when they enter the university, and all undergraduate students are also given a Macbook Air under the Mobile Learning @ The Hill program. After two years, students’ iPads are replaced with an upgraded version. Students have no restrictions on the use of the technology, and may take the Macbooks and iPads with them when they graduate. The entire campus is wireless, and faculty are trained advanced technologies.

1. Ohio State University Columbus: The new OSU Mobile app features student grades, class schedules, navigation, and bus locator services. It also includes a campus alerts messaging service. With an extensive athletics program app, students can access the scores, stats, and schedules for their favorite university sports. The ParkMobile app allows smartphone users to pay for parking spaces from their phones, with the option to time on a meter. All apps are available on both iOS and Android. The university manages eight official applications.


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